Itis difficult for human beings to naturally comprehend God’sattribute of Holiness because of their human nature. It is anattribute that exalts Him and sets Him apart from all other thingsthat He created it shows His majesty and His perfect moral purity.The term holiness has been used to show “God’s consummateperfection and glory that crowns His infinite power andintelligence.”1It embraces every distinct attribute of the Trinity, God the Father,Son and the Holy Spirit, which helps us to understand Him. ThomasWatson said that “holiness is the most sparkling jewel in God’scrown it is the name by which He is known,” God is distinct asthere is no sin on him.2Moreover, many things that are connected to God are regarded as holy,such as Holy Sabbath, a holy place, Holy Ground, Holy Scriptures. Besides, all through the scriptures, God’s holiness has beendepicted through His creation, in His works, His hatred for sin, andin His laws (Rom 7:12).3
Inthe Bible and theology God’s Holiness has been elaborated invarious instances. To begin with, when God appeared to Moses theplace was termed as holy ground. The sandals were a symbolism of sin,and thus, to approach God we need to dispose any filthiness becauseHe is holy. “God told Moses to take off his sandals because he wasstanding on holy ground.”4Mount Sinai was also termed as holy when God appeared to Moses andthe Israelites in the form of a thick cloud (Exodus 3:5 NAB).5During this time, Israelites were asked to stay away from sin andpurify themselves. They were also told to stay away from the mountainas anyone who comes to it will die.
Additionally,during the call of the prophet Isaiah, he saw the Seraphim cried oneto the other “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts (Isaiah6:3[NAB]).6The Bible does not say that they called mercy, mercy, mercy, but theycalled Him holy, this is the affirmation of His holiness even in Histhrone.
Humanbeings have been made to know God has Holy. In Isaiah 57:15, it iswritten that “for thus says the high and exalted one who livesforever, my name is Holy7.And He has called all human beings to Holiness “Be Holy because Iam Holy” (1 Peter 1: 15-16 [NAB]).8Human behavior is rooted in God’s character, but a man in hisimperfection, cannot comprehend God’s holiness and they wonder howman one completely stays away from sin.9As it is written that “far be it from God to do wickedness and fromthe Almighty to do wrong,” (Job: 34:10 [NAB]).10 This verse shows His utter separation from sin because he is Holyand perfect.
Inthe Old Testament, most of man’s encounter with God’s Holinesswas fearful because most of them were associated with death.Approaching His holiness requires reverence and absolute obedience toHis commands, this shows His perfect nature.11For God to have a close relationship with a man, He requires ourHoliness. When the Ark of the Covenant was being brought toJerusalem, Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the ark because theoxen tipped, but God was angry and immediately struck him (2 Samuel6:6).12Moreover, in another instance, when the ark was being transferred inthe book of 1 Chronicles 15, only the Levites were allowed to carrythe ark because God had chosen them.13
Inthe New Testament, God gave His only son to die on the cross for thesake of our sins, so that we are forgiven through repentance.Forgiveness of sin gives us a chance of perfection as we are cleansedand made as white as snow as it is written in Isaiah1:18.14The Bible is the word of God and Paul in Romans 1:2 affirms that theScriptures are Holy. Paul also reminds Christians to offer theirbodies as a holy sacrifice because it is their spiritual duty. Jesusalso refers to His Father as Holy, in John 17:11 He says “HolyFather protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me,so that they may be one as we are one.”15
Thereare some issues that Christians may find contradicting and has madeit difficult for human beings to understand God’s holiness. Tobegin with, David in Psalms 51:5 says “Surely I was sinful atbirth, sinful from the time my mother,” this verse shows that humanbeings are born sinners and has made it seem impossible for them tostay away from sin.16Human beings in his imperfect nature cannot understand how one can beHoly and be like God.17
Additionally,in the Old Testament, people were fearful since they were punished bydeath if they went against God’s Holiness. Due to this, humanbeings wish to refer Him as Love, peace, merciful and righteous amongother attributes that are more appealing to them forgetting what Hetruly is.18 Contrary to God’s fearful nature depicted in the Old Testament, inthe New Testament we see Jesus mingling freely with sinners becauseHe had been sent by His Father to the world to die for sinners as aSavior.19
God’slove for us surpasses everything else that is why He gave His onlyson to die on the cross for the sake of making us Holy so that we maybe like Him. Through our confession and faith in Jesus, we are madeHoly. Human beings should, therefore, see the new things that God hasdone and embrace His Holiness by being Holy just like Him. Godgoverns His creation and the whole universe in holiness and it isimpossible for man to please Him without being holy.20
Todaymost people desire Holiness, as they strive for holy marriages, holyhomes, holy friends, holy families, and holy vacations among otherthings in life. Holiness can only be actualized in human life if theygain a vision of God’s holiness that captivates and transforms ourbeing from inside to the outside and to all aspects of human life.God is Holy and unchangeable: thus, Christians should devotethemselves fully to seeking His Holiness and to becoming like Him. Hecreated holy people who will worship Him as a Holy God.
Bridges,Jerry. "The holiness of God." In ThePursuit of Holiness with Study Guide,19-26. Colarado: Navpress, 2016.
Hall,David W. "Apocalypse soon – The holiness of God."Apocalypse Soon – Announcing the return of Jesus Christ. AccessedNovember 9, 2016.http://www.apocalypsesoon.org/xfile-35.html.
Wilsey,John D. "A critique of the various views on the holiness ofGod." Monergism. Accessed November 9, 2016.https://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/Holiness_of_God.html.
1John D. Wilsey, "A critique of the various views on the holiness of God," Monergism, accessed November 9, 2016, https://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/Holiness_of_God.html
2 Wilsey: "A critique of the various views on the holiness of God."
3 Rom 712 [NAB]
4 Jerry Bridges, "The holiness of God," in The Pursuit of Holiness with Study Guide (Colarado: Navpress, 2016) 19
5Exodus 3:5 NAB
6 Isaiah 6:3[NAB]
7 Isaiah 57:15 [NAB]
8 1 Peter 1: 15-16 [NAB]
9 Bridges: The holiness of God 21
10 (Job: 34:10 [NAB])
11 John D. Wilsey, "A critique of the various views on the holiness of God," Monergism, accessed November 9, 2016, https://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/Holiness_of_God.html.
12 2 Samuel 6:6 [NAB]
13 1 Chronicles 15 [NAB]
14 David W. Hall, "Apocalypse Soon – The Holiness of God," Apocalypse Soon – Announcing the Return of Jesus Christ, accessed November 9, 2016, http://www.apocalypsesoon.org/xfile-35.html
15 John 17:11[NAB]
16 Psalms 51:5 [NAB]
17 Wilsey: "A critique of the various views on the holiness of God,"