“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty,
who was and who is and who is to come.” (Rev. 4:8)
When I consider the attributes of God’s character, His holiness stands apart. I don’t know about you, but there is something about the holiness of God that immediately arouses awe and wonder in my mind and heart. Noah Webster defined holiness as perfect purity or integrity of moral character. God’s moral character radiates absolute blameless and unblemished perfection and purity.
Living in a world, as we do, where a person’s moral character may range anywhere from slightly imperfect to downright dangerously evil, the realization that the moral character of God never has and never will reflect anything but integrity and the perfect purity of holiness makes me want to step back and gaze in dumfounded awe.
We live in a world that wants to make morality relative. None of us measures up to God’s standard of moral perfection, so we look for ways we can measure ourselves and be assured of a positive assessment. We seem to have an innate drive to find a measure of self-worth in how well we compare. So, we compare ourselves to others, or we slide our definition of what is good and right a little to one side or the other. If we try, we can always find a standard to measure ourselves against that allows us to come out just a little better than the competition.
But God’s standard of morality does not change because He Himself does not change. None of us measures up to God’s standard of moral perfection. But the solution is not to lower the standard or to look for a standard that will make us feel good about ourselves. We have a moral problem we cannot solve on our own, but God has a solution. His solution is to pay for the consequences of our sin with the blood of His own dear Son and to fill us with His Holy Spirit.
In the third chapter of Philippians, the Apostle Paul recounts his own attempts to live up to God’s moral standard. In the eyes of his peers, he was a holy man, a moral giant. But Paul came to realize that his works of righteousness fell far short. He writes,
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith (Phil. 3:7-9).
I am grateful for the holiness of God. Because He is the perfection of holiness, I know that He can do no wrong. Every word that proceeds from His mouth is pure and right. Every purpose of His heart is good. His every action springs from right motives. I stand amazed at the glory of a God who is Holy and secure in the purity of His steadfast love.
From the Series: Nature of God