The holiness of God is a powerful force and fascinating theme to study throughout Scripture. Read on to learn more about God's holiness.
In this video, we explore the paradox that God’s holiness presents to human beings. God is the unique and set-apart Creator of all reality and the author of all goodness. However, that goodness can become dangerous to humans who are mortal and morally corrupt. Ultimately, this paradox is resolved by Jesus, who embodies God’s holiness that came to heal his creation.Video Details
Holiness is about more than being good and morally upstanding.
When referring to the holiness of God, the definition takes on a much richer meaning. God's holiness is his defining characteristic. It's a term used in the Bible to describe both his goodness and his power. It is completely unique and utterly all-powerful, radiating from God like an energy. In fact, God's holiness is so overwhelming that it can actually be dangerous to approach.
What is holiness?
It's helpful to think of God's holiness like the sun. The sun is so bright and powerful that its energy radiates out through the solar system. It's a good, helpful thing to be within the sun's energy, but the sun itself is so powerful that it's dangerous to get too close. We see examples of this metaphor throughout Scripture when humans approach the presence of God.
Take for example the story of Moses and the burning bush. As Moses approaches the burning bush (which is the presence of God), God tells Moses to take off his shoes because he is on holy ground. He then warns him not to come any closer.
It's an intense example of just how overwhelmingly powerful God's holiness is. Other examples of God's holiness in the Bible can be found in verses depicting the holy of holies, the inner room of the Israelite temple where God's presence dwelled. Because the Israelites, and especially the priests that worked within the temple, were in such close proximity to God's holiness, they had to take great care in order to keep themselves pure.
For the Israelites, keeping themselves pure involved not only trying to remain morally pure but also ritually pure. The rituals that the Israelites had to follow in order to stay pure were numerous and include things like staying away from dead animals, certain foods, and bodily fluids. While becoming ritually impure is never defined as being sinful, the problem is that the Israelites were not able to exist within such close proximity to God's holiness if they were ritually impure.
God's Holiness in Jesus.
Later on in the Bible, we see incredible stories of God's holiness expanding out from the temple and purifying things that were otherwise impure. Isaiah, for example, has a vision where he enters the temple impure but is purified by a burning coal—a physical embodiment of God's holiness. Later on, Ezekiel also has a vision where the holiness of God pours out from the temple like a river, revitalizing and purifying all the land it touches.
These examples of God's holiness purifying impure things all lead up to Jesus—God's holiness in human flesh. Jesus heals the sick, raises the dead, and casts out demons. All of these acts are examples of God's holiness purifying the things it comes into contact with.
Through all of these examples, we are able to piece together a compelling picture of the holiness of God. God's holiness is a powerful force that must be treated with the utmost respect. At the same time, God's holiness is a gift that can heal a broken and impure world. As followers of Jesus, a part of God's holiness now resides in us as well, and it’s our mission to go out and spread the holiness of God to all the world.
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Sacrifice & Atonement
How does sacrifice and atonement in the Bible work? Read on to see how Jesus fulfilled this ancient practice and answered for the sins of humanity once and for all.