Summary: Seventh in a series on the attributes of God focusing on the call to be holy because God is holy.
Knowing God Series #7
“Be Holy because He Is Holy”
Hosea the prophet called the people of God to return to Him.
Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him. So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth." Hosea 6:1-3
Hosea promised the people that if they returned to God, He would heal, revive, restore to life refresh like the spring rain on a dry desert in a specified amount of time.
I. The nature of God
II. The Attributes of God
A. God is infinitely GREAT in His ability / capacity
B. God is infinitely PURE in His morality
1. God is HOLY
God is absolutely separated from all that is contrary to His own moral standard. He is above and separated from all evil because He is holy. The Hebrew root form appears nearly 1,000 times in the Old Testament. The Greek root form shows up almost 300 times in the New Testament.
Holiness in both creator and creature appears all through the Bible. It stands as a key foundational concept deserving closer attention. Both the Greek and the Hebrew root words convey the general idea of separation, set apart for a special purpose, to cut, to be unique, special.
Translators translate these Greek and Hebrew roots into several English words.
Noun – holiness, sanctification, saint
Verb – sanctify, purify, consecrate, set apart.
Adjective – holy, pure, sanctified, sacred.
It refers to someone or something recognized or considered different, special, and distinct. Only God is infinitely holy, special, transcendent, and pure. Only a holy God can make something holy. Both God and man can declare, or consider something to be holy. Many things in Scripture were “consecrated”, “sanctified”, “made holy” and thus called “holy”. Holy Ground, holy assembly, a holy habitation (living space), Keep the Sabbath holy, a holy nation, holy men, holy gifts, Holy Place, consecrated clothes, sanctified plates, holy offerings, consecrated altar, special anointing oil, pure incense, God’s holy name, holy angels, holy temple, holy people (saints) prophets, covenant, faith.
Applied to God, holiness points to the fact that God lives infinitely separated from all that is contrary to His own moral character and law and thus holy, special above, transcendent. It is His character or nature to be absolutely free from defect of any kind. He is holy!
Often in Scripture, the declaration or recognition of God’s holiness was accompanied by graphic and frightening manifestations. Moses encountered a flaming bush in the desert followed by a voice instructing him to remove his sandals because he was standing on holy ground before a Holy God. The presence of a holy God made the ground holy.
Who else among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is glorious in holiness like you—so awesome in splendor, performing such wonders? Exodus 15:11
Aaron’s sons met with a holy fire from a holy God.
Joshua encountered the Holy Christ and was instructed to remove his sandals. Josh 5:15
Isaiah, Daniel and Ezekiel fell on their faces after visions of a holy God on the throne.
The Apostle John struggled to describe the manifestations accompanying God’s presence in the heavens.
Isaiah’s encounter with a transcendent holy God on the throne in the temple shook him to his core. Isaiah realized that without some sort of intervention by God himself, he was doomed.
The same is true for us. Without some sort of intervention of God on our behalf we have no hope of relationship with a holy God. Yes, the Bible also reveals a God of mercy and love but the holiness of God will not permit him to overlook sin. He himself is infinitely separated from all that is contrary to his own nature and law which also separates us from him.
Behold, the LORD'S hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. Isaiah 59:1-2
So where does that leave us? What are we to do?
Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14
No one will see the Lord without sanctification.
Just as Isaiah needed the purifying touch of God to survive his encounter with a holy God, so does every man woman and child.