Could you define the word, “holiness?” What is holiness, really?
From Genesis 2:3 we have the first use of the word, “holy,” when God blesses the seventh day of the creation week and made it “holy.”
Holiness is God? When Moses meets God in the burning bush, he is instructed to stop and take off his sandals “because the place on which he is standing is holy ground (Exodus 3:5).” When Moses is set free along with God’s people at the Red Sea, he sings, “Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?”
The bible describes a scene in which Isaiah saw the glory of God filling the space of the temple and angelic creatures cried out, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory (Isaiah 6:3)!”
Who is God? Holiness is one of the attributes of God listed in our fourth catechism question, “Who is God?”
Answer: “God is a spirit, infinite, eternal, unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.”
The tabernacle, the holiness code, the temple all communicate God’s holiness. In Jesus, the Holy one became incarnate and dwelt among us and beheld God’s glory.
In Humanity: God is holy, but shouldn’t we be holy? Holiness is not something distant and far removed from humanity. It is perfectly represented in the life of Jesus. Jesus lived a life of humanity as it was made to be.
J. C. Ryle in his 19th-century book, Holiness, described holiness in many ways. At one point, he called it, “the habit of being one mind with God as we find his mind described in scripture…Hating what he hates, loving what he loves. Measuring everything by the standard of his word.”
Our Purpose & Design: Paul says in Ephesians 1:4-5, “in love God chose the church before the foundation of the world in order that she might be Holy and blameless.”
It is clear from scripture that holiness is descriptive of who God is and who we are to be and it is, therefore, worth our attention. How do you define holiness? Comment below.