“Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David.”Psalm 89:35 ESV
In teaching my kids the pattern of prayer that Jesus taught His disciples; I’ve had to explain the difference between praise, and thanksgiving.
To teach them how to praise, I’m teaching them His attributes.
One they often go to is – He is holy.
Holy: Undefined, apartness, holiness, sacredness, separateness, set-apartness. clean, free from defilement of crimes, idolatry, and other unclean and profane things. It shows up over 300 times in the Old Testament alone.
From scripture, it is plain that God is holy.
In the psalm 89 reference this attribute of God is so solid, so sure, so intrinsic to who Yahweh is, He swears by it.
“I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no Savior.”Isaiah 43:11 ESV
We sing many hymns about His holiness.
We read scriptures about the separation of man from God because of sin.
Often we continue to apply that to our lives as we walk with the high and holy one.
Yet, isn’t this what Adam and Eve did in the garden before the fall?
Isn’t this what God is aiming to restore with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
That is unmitigated access, intimacy, relationship, and righteousness with the God who dwells in unapproachable light.
There seems to me to be a connection between the holiness and righteousness of God.
“but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16 ESV
Peter tells us to be holy as the Lord your God is holy.
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”Hebrews 12:14 ESV
The writer to Hebrews says we won’t see the Lord without holiness.
We also know that we’re given the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ as a gift.
We become righteous, that is having a right relationship with God because of Christ Jesus, who is holy, holy, holy!
This same holy God prayed the night He was betrayed that we would be one with Him just as He and the Father are one! That unity requires a holiness; uniqueness.
“The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,”John 17:22 ESV
So when we are righteous, we are holy.
When we are holy we have the righteousness of God.
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
Often, we think of holiness as something to achieve, by wearing the right clothes, going to the right church, eating or not eating the right foods, singing the right songs, and so on.
I’ll not deny a connection; and at the same time argue against legalism.
The distinction is that holiness is a by-product of righteousness.
Not the reverse.
When we are in right relationship with the Living God, we become, we are holy, we are granted His holiness and our lives will be different.
We are grafted in, adopted, accepted, and declared righteous by God.
So that we can proclaim, demonstrate and rejoice in the holiness of God.
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” ”Romans 8:15 ESV
As you meditate on the character of our God, recall His utter uniqueness.
His perfect cleanliness, His high position above the circle of the earth!
“Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.Psalm 66:5-6 ESV
He turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot.
There did we rejoice in him,”
Prayer & Reflection:
1. What does God’s holiness mean to you?
Take time to ponder and mediate upon that word.
2. From 1 – 10, gauge your level of Holiness in the eyes of the Lord.
How can you move it nearer and nearer towards God’s standard?
3. How does pursuing righteousness make us more Holy?