The word “holy” in Hebrew means “apartness, set-apartness, separateness, sacredness” and I would add that it should also be “otherness, transcendent and totally other” because God is totally above His creation and all created beings, including us. Holy has the idea of heaviness or weight of glory. In the New Testament, the word for holy means set apart, reverend, sacred, and worthy of veneration.” This word applies to God because God Himself is totally other, separate, sacred, transcendent, reverend, and set apart from every created thing. Since God is spirit the Third Person of the Trinity is called the Holy Spirit. He too is fully God and all three Persons of the Trinity are holy and have the weight of glory abounding in them.
Peter writes to believers, “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.'” (1 Peter 1:13-16). Peter is quoting from Leviticus 11:44 and Leviticus 19:2.
First, let’s look at God’s holiness. What does it mean that God is holy? Passages like 1 Samuel 2:2 and Isaiah 6:3 are just two of many examples of passages about God’s holiness. Another way to say it is absolute perfection. God is unlike any other creature (see Hosea 11:9), and His holiness is the essence of that “otherness.” His very being is completely absent of even a trace of sin (James 1:13; Hebrews 6:18). He is high above any other, and no one can compare to Him (Psalm 40:5).
God’s holiness is the essence of His entire being and shapes all His attributes. His love is a holy love, His mercy is holy mercy, and even His anger and wrath are holy anger and holy wrath. Everything about God is perfect holiness. This concept is difficult for humans to grasp, just as God Himself is difficult for us to understand in His entirety. His precepts and commandments are provisions that God makes for us to practice holiness and righteousness just like He is. It’s difficult to really walk with God without some degree of holiness by us. Passages like Galatians 5:22-26 is a good place to start in practicing holiness. The Holy Spirit will lead in His Word to other passages. Christians must be separated from the worldly practices of the faith. Our God is a holly God and we must do everything to be holy for He is holy.
Note: Holiness is a command to all believers in the most high God.
Let’s pray: O Lord, thank You for all Your holy characters. I want to be holy according to Your command. Lord, give me Your power and grace to emulate You so that I deserve You in all of my being through Your holy Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Today’s reading:Ezekiel 46-48; 1 John 1-2
We Should be Holy Before the Lord.