Summary: God calls us to be holy as he is holy and calls us to a holy life.
BE HOLY BECAUSE I AM HOLY
We serve a holy God. He tells us in Lev 11:44 that he is holy.
Lev 11:44 I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground.
Lev 11:45 I am the LORD who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.
In a couple of sentences he gives us the motive for being holy. Because He is. The call to be something is not about us it’s about Him. We exist for Him, for His glory, for His purposes.
R. C. Sproul makes this insightful statement about his divine attribute from Isaiah 6:
“The Bible says that God is holy, holy, holy. Not that He is merely holy, or even holy, holy. He is holy, holy, holy. The Bible never says that God is love, love, love, or mercy, mercy, mercy, or wrath, wrath, wrath, or justice, justice, justice. It does say that He is holy, holy, holy, the whole earth is full of His glory.”
(1) TO BE HOLY IS TO BE DISTINCT, SEPARATE, IN A CLASS BY ONESELF. AS SPROUL PUTS IT:
The primary meaning of holy is ‘separate.’ It comes from an ancient word that meant, ‘to cut,’ or ‘to separate.’ Perhaps even more accurate would be the phrase ‘a cut above something.’ When we find a garment or another piece of merchandise that is outstanding, that has a superior excellence, we use the expression that it is ‘a cut above the rest.
This means that the one who is holy is uniquely holy, with no rivals or competition.
“When the Bible calls God holy it means primarily that God is transcendentally separate. He is so far above and beyond us that He would be totally foreign to us except that he made himself relatable to us. To be holy is to be ‘other,’ to be different in a special way.
The Scriptures put it this way:
11 “Who is like Thee among the gods, O LORD? Who is like Thee, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders? (Exodus 15:11). 2 “There is no one holy like the LORD, Indeed, there is no one besides Thee, Nor is there any rock like our God (1 Samuel 2:2).
8 There is no one like Thee among the gods, O Lord; Nor are there any works like Thine. 9 All nations whom Thou hast made shall come and worship before Thee, O Lord; And they shall glorify Thy name. 10 For Thou art great and doest wondrous deeds; Thou alone art God (Psalms 86:8-10; see also Psalm 99:1-3; Isaiah 40:25; 57:15).
Everything about him is holy. We see in the scriptures many references to things that God made holy: There’s the Holy Temple, holy mountain, holy ground (the place where Moses was standing), Gods holy dwelling, the holy place, the Holy of holies, we are a holy nation and a holy priesthood, the holy city of Jerusalem. Consider the following points.
Pt 1: HIS NAME IS HOLY.
(Lev 22:32 NIV) Do not profane my holy name. I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites. I am the LORD, who makes you holy.
Lev 19:12 "’Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.
Lev 24:11 The son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name with a curse; so they brought him to Moses. (His mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri the Danite.) Lev 24:12 They put him in custody until the will of the LORD should be made clear to them. Lev 24:13 Then the LORD said to Moses: Lev 24:14 "Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him.
No profanity, no swearing falsely, no cursing, nothing indecent should spoken in reference to Gods name for it is holy. Rather,
We are to: (1 Chr 16:10 NIV) Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Praise and honor his name. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray the first words out of his mouth were “Father hallowed (to honor as being holy) be your name.”
Pt 2: HIS WRATH IS HOLY
Some may think when God destroys people that he is being unjust. Wrong! Even when God destroys people for their sin he is still being holy. God is holy in all he does because he is pure and perfect and without sin. God cannot do anything wrong because he has perfect wisdom to do everything right. He knows exactly what do to do all the time and in every situation. God cannot act outside of his character which is holy even when expressing his wrath.