The Holiness of God
Still continuing my lesson from the book The Pursuit of Holiness:
1 Peter 1:15-16 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
This call is to everyone. Not just ministers and missionaries. The Christian plumber, housewife and politician are included.
As humans we tend to adapt to the behavior of the people around us. We measure ourselves against other Christians. But, God is our standard. Holiness is nothing less than conformity to the character of God.
Holiness is just one of His attributes, but it’s an essential part of His nature and holy is used more often as a prefix to His name than any other. God never struggles with what’s right to do, or doing it. We, on the other hand, both struggle with what’s right to do AND then doing it because the right action may involve sacrifice or be a blow to our pride.
God always does what is just and right. So His holiness is perfect freedom from all evil.
1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
No darkness, no evil! All of His thoughts and actions are consistent with His holy character. When we look at our Christian life in contrast, we hopefully see that we’re developing a certain degree of Christian character. That we are growing in areas of truthfulness, purity and humility.
But, we’re not always consistent. We still tell a lie. We still have impure thoughts.
This never happens to God. And it’s His standard that we are called to.
That He’s like this should be a real comfort to us because we can be confident that His actions toward us will always be perfect and just. Sometimes when people are in a trial you’ll hear them say that God is unfair. But it’s impossible for God to be unfair. He is holy! Acknowledging His holiness is one of the ways we are to praise God!
And because He is holy He can’t ignore or approve any evil committed. He cannot for one minute relax His standard of holiness.
Habakkuk 1:13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?
Also because of His holiness He will never tempt us to sin. James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
Never feel like God is placing you in a situation where you have no choice.
God hates sin. Every time we sin we are doing something God hates! And hate is a very strong word.
As we grow in holiness, we grow in hatred of sin. Even though as Christians, we are justified solely through the righteousness of Christ we are told by the writer of Hebrews in 12:14 to “make every effort to be holy: without holiness no one will see the Lord.”
God’s standard for our character and actions is “Be Holy because I am holy.”