THE HOLINESS OF GOD
Exodus 15:11, “Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?”
Holiness is purity or integrity of moral character; freedom from sin. The Hebrew word translated “holiness” means “consecrated” or “dedicated,” “to be set apart.”
The psalmist says that God’s name is “Holy,” “He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.” Psalm 111:9. In Job 6:10 Job said, “Then should I yet have comfort; yea, I would harden myself in sorrow: let him not spare; for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.”
God’s power makes Him mighty, His holiness makes Him glorious. His holiness consists in His perfect love of righteousness and abhorrence of evil. God is “of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:” Habakkuk 1:13a.
I. GOD IS INFINITELY HOLY
A. Sin is an unclean thing to Him; it is hyperbolically evil, Romans 1:23, “And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.”
B. Sin is an abomination to God, Deuteronomy 7:25, “The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God.”
II. HOLINESS IS GOD’S GLORY
A. God’s holiness is an affront, John 7:7, “The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.”
B. God will cast out those that scoff at His holiness as he cast out Ishmael from Abraham’s household, Genesis 21:9-10, “And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. 10- Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.”
III. GOD CALLS FOR HOLINESS FROM HIS PEOPLE
A. We are commanded to be holy, 1 Peter 1:16, “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
1. Holiness of equality, Exodus 15:11, “Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” This is God’s holiness that man cannot attain to.
2. Holiness of similitude, 1 Thessalonians 3:13, “To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.”
a. We are to conform to the image of God’s Son, Romans 8:29, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
b. God’s purpose is to make us like His Son, 1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
1) We were called, Romans 1:6, “Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:” Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
2) We were justified, Romans 3:24, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” Romans 5:1, 9, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 9- Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”
3) We shall be glorified, Romans 8:17, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
B. We are to be partakers of the divine nature, 2 Peter 1:4, “Whereby are given [bestowed or endowed] unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
C. We are to be pictures of God in holy living.
1. In meekness, Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
2. In mercifulness, Luke 6:36, “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”
3. In faithfulness, 1 Corinthians 4:17, “For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.”
D. Our holiness consists in our subjection to the will of God, Acts 13:22, “And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.”
We have only touched the hem of the garment of God’s holiness. It is a vast subject that we will continue at the next opportunity.