Summary: Does holiness matter?
The holiness of God is the attribute that is sorely neglected in our day. One man said that the glory of God is His intrinsic holiness. If this be true then it is to our advantage to understand and make sure that we communicate this to our people.
The word we use as holiness is tied to the concept of separation. God is separated from sin and “in Him is no darkness...”. When He told His people to be to be holy as He is holy you could exchange holy for separation. “Come out from among them and be ye separate” is a call to holiness. Amazing, is it not, that if you take a strong stand on separation you are quickly labeled a legalist and yet it is the very essence of God to be separated? We use the term Holy Bible, and we are right on target because the Bible is the Word of God and separate from all other literature as it is the very Word of God inspired in its fulness. It is a book of holiness since “God hath spoken in His holiness.” (Psalm 60:6) What comfort we can take when we realize that He promises using His holiness as surety. (Psalm 89:35) And yet, we should fear Him because of His holiness and strive to follow His will. (I Samuel 6:20)
God desires to make Himself known and will make Himself known through His holiness. (Ezekiel 39:7) The very condemnation of the Pharisees was that they did not know the holiness of God or else they would have known who Jesus was by His holiness. (John 7:28) The holiness of God will be the very reason for the judgment of the earth during the Tribulation. (Revelation 6:10)
The very fact of the holiness of God provided our perfect sacrifice. That fact that Jesus was God in the flesh meant that He could not fail because He could not sin. The testing of Christ was for our benefit to see if He could sin. A test has no real effect on the object itself. If we fire a bullet at a sheet of glass to see if it is bullet proof we do nothing to the glass itself. It is already bulletproof from the time of its manufacture or else it is not. The test is for us so that we will know whether it is or not. We do not invalidate the test by aiming a bullet at bulletproof glass. A bullet is a bullet and a valid test of a material. The fact that the material is intrinsically resistant to our test does not invalidate the test since it is we who are ignorant and can only obtain knowledge by the test. Therefore the temptation of Christ did nothing to Him since He was immutable by virtue of His Holiness. (James 1:13) He was bulletproof. The temptation is valid because it would have made a human fall because man is not temptation resistant by nature. We, as humans, needed to have the knowledge of His holiness, immutability and impeccability, thus the test was for our benefit.
What about the human nature of Christ? Could it not have sinned? No. Man did not fall when Eve sinned, but when Adam partook of the forbidden fruit. Thus the sin nature passes from the man though the woman possesses it as well but does not pass it on. The seed planted in Mary was from God the Father who has no sin nature to pass on. Just as we carry various genes and yet only the dominant genes express themselves so also was the human nature under control of the naturally dominant Divine nature. The gene for blue eyes may always seek to express itself but it cannot as long as the dominant brown gene is present. Therefore, even if the human nature would have desired to sin and express it outwardly the dominant Divine nature would have suppressed it! Born again Christians have the Divine nature implanted in them and if they walk in the Spirit they will not fulfil the lusts of the flesh or Adamic nature. (Galatians 5:16) Why? Because the Divine nature will keep the Adamic nature suppressed even though it still wars and lusts continually. (Galatians 5:17) If it is possible for us in whom the Divine nature is implanted, how much more so in Him who is Divine and the very giver of the nature to us?
Am I saying that believers are sinlessly perfect? No. Just as Christ had a will of His own and yet submitted that will to the Father (Matthew 26:39), so also we have a free will that may choose to walk in the flesh or the Spirit. (I John 2:1; Ephesians 5:18; 6:11-18) We must remember that we being the children of Adam were wicked from our birth and have practiced evil in our hearts from the beginning. Therefore we have the warfare of the flesh strongly entrenched. (Romans 7:14-24) Jesus had the distinct advantage over us by being God from everlasting and put on a tent to visit us and redeem us. (John 1:14; dwelt being understood as tabernacled or tented.)