Summary: A look at the characteristics of God’s holiness.
"Holiness: Heresy & Heritage"
"What Makes God Holy"
"As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:14-16 (RSV)
I. Call To Be Holy
"Say to all the congregation of the people of Israel, You shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy." Leviticus 19:2 (RSV)
"For I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy." Leviticus 11:44 (RSV)
"Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am the LORD your God." Leviticus 20:7 (RSV)
qodesh- separate, apart
R.C. Sproul gives us a simple way to remember the definition of holiness,
The first prayer I learned as a child was the simple table grace: "God is great, God is good, and we thank Him for this food." The two virtues assigned to God in this prayer, greatness and goodness, may be captured by the one biblical word, holy. [Essential Truths p. 47]
Chuck Colson says it well, "Holiness is the everyday business of every Christian. It evidences itself in the decisions we make and the things we do, hour by hour, day by day." [Loving God p. 131]
2. Call To Be Holy Is A Call To Be Like God
Only God is Holy
"For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place" Isaiah 57:15 (RSV)
"Who is like thee, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like thee, majestic in holiness, terrible in glorious deeds, doing wonders?" Exodus 15:11 (RSV)
"There is none holy like the LORD, there is none besides thee; there is no rock like our God." I Samuel 2:2 (RSV)
John Brown, 19th Century Scottish Theologian said, "Holiness does not consist in mystic speculations, enthusiastic fervours, or uncommanded austerities; it consists in thinking as God thinks, and willing as God wills." [John Brown, nineteenth-century Scottish theologian, quoted in J. Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness, p. 51. http://www.bible.org/illus/h/h-40.htm#TopOfPage.]
"For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether such a great thing as this has ever happened or was ever heard of. Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live? Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides him." Deuteronomy 4:32-35 (RSV)
3. Characteristics Of God’s Holiness
"Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?’ God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’"" Exodus 3:13-14 (RSV)