The definition of the word holiness is the quality of being holy, sanctity. Another meaning of holiness is belonging to, derived from, or associated with divine power. Still another definition is living according to a strict or highly religious standard.
Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: "You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy."
No one is holy like the Lord, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.
1 Samuel 2:2
Christians are to always be moving in the direction of perfection. This can be compared to a child as he grows into adulthood. His actions in adulthood are not what they were in childhood.
Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
1 Corinthians 13:11
Personal holiness is a step-by-step progress. We are to be diligently pursuing it. We have the holiness of God as our standard for holy living. Perfection means entirely without any flaws.
God sent His son, Jesus Christ to die so that we might be saved. He came here to do the Father's will. The characteristics we see in God are reflected in his Son's life.
Christ Jesus is our supreme example. If we pattern our lives after His Son, we will follow closely as we imitate Christ.
And He said to them, " Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?"
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
And they made His grave with the wicked-- But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
We are to present our body as a living offering unto the Lord. As we live our lives, we can strive to attain the attributes we see in God and His Son.
You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:5
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
We have such a Magnificently Holy God. For us to strive to attain His holiness, first we have to look at some of His ways. Listed below are some of the ways of our God.
One of the ways of God's holiness is that of His ways being perfect. Another of His ways is that of justice.
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested .
Our God is forever holy. God desires all mankind to be saved, therefore he has no part with sin. God has turned away because of our sins.
Your testimonies are very sure; Holiness adorns Your house, O Lord, forever.
Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.
There are many more ways the holiness of God is expressed, among them are understanding, knowledge, and wisdom.
For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
We read in Isaiah how God's ways are not like human ways. His ways are to the highest degree. We read in Habakkuk that God's Ways are everlasting.
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts."
He stood and measured the earth; He looked and startled the nations. And the everlasting mountains were scattered, The perpetual hills bowed. His ways are everlasting.
We are to be set apart from those in the world. When we are set apart, we won't want to blend in with the crowd.
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
1 Peter 2:9
Our Holy God is so wondrous, sinners stumble in His ways.
Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them.
For the ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober,
and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;
but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
I Peter 1:13-16
And one cried to another and said: " Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!"
Discussion and Study Questions:
What does God's Word say regarding God's holiness?
Name some holy ways we should strive to attain.
Since we are finite , how can we be holy?
What is the importance of Isaiah 59:1-2?
5. How can we avoid the dangers that happen when one refuses to follow after the example of Jesus Christ?
Here are a few activities which help the application to our lives become evident:
Please prepare a list of standards applicable to the holiness of God.
Please describe how these dangers can affect our soul's salvation.
From Rudolf Otto's mysterium tremendum to Martin Luther's "insanity" and Jonathan Edwards's fiery sermons, Sproul's classic offers an accessible exploration of history and Scripture that will help you understand---and live with---the tension between God's terrifying holiness and his inexplicable grace.
Sproul explains, "How we understand the person and character of God the Father affects every aspect of our lives....God is inescapable. There is no place we can hide from Him. Not only does He penetrate every aspect of our lives, but He penetrates it in his majestic holiness. Therefore we must seek to understand what the holy is. We dare not seek to avoid it. There can be no worship, no spiritual growth, no true obedience without it. It defines our goal as Christians. God has declared, "Be holy, because I am holy" (Lev. 11:44). To reach that goal, we must understand what holiness is."
Allow one of the all-time classic works on God's character to guide you more deeply into the presence of God as you respond to God's holiness. This edition of Sproul's work includes challenging study questions for individuals or small groups.