Any of us who have been in the faith for some time know that we are called to a life of holiness. However, living at a time when the culture is becoming increasingly ungodly, and while the church continues to lower the standard of holiness in order to accommodate the culture, we tend to lose sight of God’s standards of holiness. It is helpful from time to time to reflect on God’s holiness so we can refocus our goal.
We read in 1 John 1:3-5 that God is Light (absolutely holy), and if we are to have fellowship with him, we too must walk in the light. There were many who claimed to know God in John’s day, as in our day, but were walking in darkness.
So in our study on the necessity of holiness in a believer’s life, we need to start where John starts, and that is by establishing the standard of holiness that God calls us to in 1 Peter 1:15.
RC Sproul in his classic book on The Holiness of God describes God’s holiness in this way:
“When the Bible calls God holy it means primarily that God is transcendentally separate. He is so far above and beyond us that He seems almost totally foreign to us. To be holy is to be ‘other,’ to be different in a special way…. when the word holy is applied to God, it does not signify one single attribute. On the contrary, God is called holy in a general sense. The word is used as a synonym for his deity. That is, the word holy calls attention to all that God is. It reminds us that His love is holy love, his justice is holy justice, his mercy is holy mercy, his knowledge is holy knowledge, his spirit is holy spirit.”
As Hannah said in 1 Samuel 2:2, “No one is holy like the Lord, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.”
There is nothing that will abase man more than beholding the holiness of God . It is only when we see ourselves in light of God’s holiness, as did Isaiah (Isaiah 6:5), that we will truly see our need for Christ’s perfect righteousness; and with that sense of humility and gratitude for the cleansing mercy of Christ’s blood, we go forward to preach and live out the glorious gospel (Isaiah 6:6-8).