The Holiness of God

“Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity” (Habakkuk 1:13).

Introduction

In an age when immorality and false teaching have overtaken the church, it should not surprise us to learn that few believers have a Biblical understanding of who God really is. In Scripture He is seen as absolutely and perfectly holy. In fact, for the Lord to be in any way unholy or defiled, it would mean that He is not truly Almighty God. So why is it that many think that God overlooks their sin? It is not God who is defiled, but that their concept of Him has been defiled by the world and sin.

Christ’s supreme sacrifice

On the cross Jesus took the sin of every man, woman and child. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). No wonder God the Father had to turn His eyes away from His Son. “And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst” (Luke 23:44-45), and no wonder God the Son felt forsaken. “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). The pure eyes of God could not look upon Jesus as He took our sin upon Himself.

The Holy Bible is the word of the Holy God

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:20-21).

The Bible is meant to be more that a collection of wise sayings, proverbs and promises. It is the only holy book God has ever given to man. So why is it that those who claim to uphold it fail to see the Holy God? We cannot have a different concept of who God is than that which is presented in the Scriptures. Unfortunately too many Christians treat it as a supermarket, where they can take what they like, and leave what they dislike. God has never given us the freedom to do this. Our adherence to Biblical truth reflects upon how we see God and live our lives.

The wickedness of sin

No matter what the government says, violence, abortion, and immorality are increasing on every level of society. It is shocking to hear about yet another life taken, but it is even more so when we learn of the sin that some churches engage in. The church is meant to be the light in the darkness, but the darkness has snuffed out its light. The church now tolerates the very things that Christ suffered and died for. Do we think that we are free from the consequences of not honouring the holy God?

Why is it that few preachers speak about the wickedness, evil and sin in society today? All they ever talk about are the things that will not offend anyone. Gone are the days when preachers, like the prophets of old, denounced sin in the world and in the church. Now they are more likely to denounce those calling for holiness as legalists and religious cranks. Back then, God was honoured as being absolutely holy, today He is viewed as a benevolent Father Christmas who showers even the naughtiest of His children with gifts they do not deserve.

The Perfection of God

The prophet Isaiah, in his vision of God throne, said, “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3). He realised that God was perfectly holy, but himself as absolutely sinful, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5). It seems as though the concept is reversed today.

The apostle Paul understood that God is holy and perfect too, but he reveals that the Lord expects His children to separate from the world. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). Our neglect to walk in holiness and strive for perfection corresponds with our failure to comprehend the holiness and perfection of God. “Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16) … “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

Conclusion

How can we be transformed if we see God as anything less than absolutely holy? How can we represent Christ to a fallen world if we refuse to honour the Lord by walking in holiness ourselves? Only if our concept of God’s holiness is correct can we be effectively used by Him to spread the life-changing gospel to the lost. “Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:6-8).

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