We’ve been talking about holiness for a while now. But before we can practice it ourselves, we need to know that it is one of God’s attributes. This makes it even harder for us to comprehend and practice it. How can we practice in ourselves one of God’s characteristics?
It all starts with understanding the holiness of God. The word for holy in the Bible conveys several ideas. The first is one separation. In this example, God is separate from his creation. He is wholly other. He is unlike anything in creation because he is above it.
While we cannot take on this characteristic as God does, for we are by nature his creations, we can be separate in a lesser sense. With God’s help, we can embrace the attribute of uniqueness and separation in our lives as Christians. As we will discuss further, God calls us to be separate from our world.
Holiness also conveys purity. Purity means that nothing is mixed with that substance. God stands alone as the only one like himself. He is not mixed with any part of creation. This is one reason idolatry through images is such a heinous crime against God’s character.
God is pure because he doesn’t mingle with his creation. Unlike the countless gods of other religions past and present God is not part creation and part divine. He is wholly divine. He existed before his creation.
We can practice purity after a fashion. Although it is not on a grand scale as it is with God, every believer must be pure like God. We must not mix with this sinful world. We must not allow sin to be part of our lives.
My best way of illustrating this principle is to take one of those five gallon drinking jugs for water coolers and fill it half full with water. Then I take about a quart of motor oil and pour it into the mix. After putting the cap on, I shake the mixture over and over. But as many know, oil and water do not mix. The oil stays on top of the water no matter how much you try to mix them.
We become separated from God when Jesus makes us his followers and disciples. God calls us to come out from the world and live a separate lifestyle. We think, act, and speak differently than the world. We must not mix with this world system because we don’t belong.
But God has always surprised us because he is so different from us. The Bible says, “Who can know the mind of God” (Romans 11:34)? God has had experiences we could only dream of. He asks Job where he was when God created the universe (Job 38:4).
God contains characteristics and attributes we could only imagine. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere present. Not one human being can do any of these. He is unlike anyone else we will ever know.
We encapsulate his unique person in theological understandings like the Trinity. We can’t even understand how he can be three persons with the same substance. We can’t understand how Jesus could come to earth and be a human being but also be God at the same time.
We can’t comprehend the awesome power of this King of the universe. He who created all of creation with words baffles us. If his words alone have this power, we will never understand his full power.
Not one of us can exist in multiple locations at one time. But God is everywhere all the time. He sees all because he is everywhere. Nothing else in creation exists in time and space in multiple locations. But God is beyond them both!
God is separate from his creation. There is no equivalent for our God. He is unlike anything we will ever know except that we know him. And this is what it means when we talk about the holiness of God.
God created the universe with such flair that everything is unique. Every single thing of its kind stands alone compared to it. Not one human being is like another, even twins.
Every snowflake is unlike any other. God’s incredible mind shows his uniqueness every day.. And he refuses comparison with any part of his creation. His purity is unlike any other in all of creation.
And that brings us to understand what it means to be holy versus common, or profane. To be profane is to take this holy God and compare him with anything else. He deserves his own category. He deserves supremacy over all of creation. Anytime we take him, his things, or his name and use them with other things we know, we are profaning a holy God.
I know this study of God’s holiness bars on worship, but that’s what God deserves. When we realize what the holiness of God means, we have no recourse other than to praise, worship, and serve him all of our days.
Leave a comment and tell me what you think about God’s holiness and what amazes you most about him.