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Day 17 | Holiness Definition

Read Revelation 4

Few biblical terms are more thought-provoking and yet more difficult to grasp than what could be considered the mother of all God’s attributes. It isn’t necessarily superior to the others, just more comprehensive. Because of that, God’s people have understandably had to strain some to get their heads and hearts around the vastness of what we’re told is His holiness.

It’s no surprise that the most vivid biblical encounters with God’s holiness (Isaiah 6; Revelation 4) take place in what is described as His throne room. Everything and everyone mentioned in that environment, besides God, point to this singular attribute which in turn serves to encompass all other attributes God possesses. Holiness is spectacularly true of God while also modifying every other quality bound up within the Great I Am.

To say it another way, the concept of God’s holiness is somewhat of a revelatory catch-all for the pure, infinite, and unfathomable attributes perfectly possessed and displayed by the One who made all things with a word and for whom all things ultimately exist.

It’s no wonder the heavenly creatures inhabiting God’s throne room declare again and again, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, the Almighty …” In addition, the word “holy” is a name of God (Isaiah 57) and the descriptor of His ways (Psalm 77:13). Finally, His holy presence in space and time (i.e., the Old Testament Temple) somehow imparts holiness to His surroundings.

Understandably, this attribute of God emphasizes His otherness and the sense of distance between Him and all He has made. Nevertheless, it could be said that God’s holiness is what most amplifies the overwhelming expressions of grace, mercy, and steadfast love He extends to those who are not like Him; those like us, who have been defiant toward Him.

God’s holiness is an unquestionably cause for pause, reverence, sobriety, and worship. It is also the attribute of God for which we can be most grateful, for it is the foundation upon which the kind intentions of all His promises are made true.

Pray for 10 minutes