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What Does The Bible Say About Holiness?

If you ask people about a certain trait or attribute of God, some common answers are that God is good, merciful, gracious, loving, and faithful. These are the common and usual traits of God that we always mention, but usually, we forget that God is Holy. The reason why God is so loving, gracious, and merciful is that He is Holy. Even the angels proclaim that He is holy three times, and when you repeat a certain adjective in Jewish literature three times, it gives serious magnification and emphasis to that adjective even more (Isaiah 6:3). The Bible is very clear that God is holy. He is the absolute and total definition of outright perfection, goodness, flawlessness, and beauty. Describing God’s holiness is hard for humans, as God’s holiness is something that we can never fully grasp; it is like understanding God himself, which is impossible. God’s holiness is so good that it is the reason for every good thing. It is the reason for the beautiful universe that we live in and the good things we have in life. Because God is holy, He does not have a single iota of sin or evil.

Because God is holy and man is not, despite Him being so good, if we ever go into His presence, we who are impure will automatically die. This will not be because God took our life, but because we are sinful; in fact, even if He doesn’t do anything, you will still probably die immediately. God is so holy that anything impure cannot stand God’s holiness. For example, Moses (Exodus 3:5), God told him not to come any closer to the burning bush because he probably could not take the holiness of God’s presence within the burning bush. Another one who experienced this is Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-7). When he encountered God sitting upon the throne, he thought that he was going to perish after seeing the holiness of God and how filthy he was in front of it. Even the Seraphim had three pairs of wings, one pair of wings for them to fly and the other two to cover themselves since the holiness of God was just too great for them. That is how holy God is, and knowing how much of a sinner we all are, how impure we are, thinking of being in God’s presence is obviously an insane thing to consider.

However, that changes with the work of Christ. Because Jesus took our sins and bore them on the cross, by virtue of what He did, if you are in Him, you are made holy and righteous before the eyes of God. Jesus took your sin and was punished so that in exchange He could give you His holiness and righteousness (Hebrews 13:12). Because of that, you become the temple of the Holy Spirit, and God resides within you, empowering you to live a holy life since He is so holy. Living a holy life makes you different from non-believers (1 Peter 1:15-16). Before, going into the presence of God would be a no-no because of our sin since it would cause us to perish, but now, with confidence, we can approach God’s throne, unafraid to perish. Because of His holiness, we ourselves have already been made holy and righteous through Jesus. The Bible says that we become the righteousness of God because Jesus, who knew no sin, was made sin for us(2 Corinthians 5:21). You are holy and set apart for God.

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