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God the Holy One

This is the second part of a series called “Who is God?” If you want to know more about who God is, I highly recommend reading A.W. Tozer’s book, “The Knowledge of the Holy.” Go here: The Knowledge of the Holy to find this book on Amazon.com. 

God is holy.

Webster’s Dictionary says that “holy” means: “exalted or worth of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness; divine….” [1]

God is perfect and perfectly righteous, and this is part of His holiness. Holiness also has four other important attributes.

1. First, to be holy means, in part, to have majesty. Many human rulers aspire to have majesty, but they are able to attain only a minor representation of it. Majesty is a characteristic which is fully embodied in God alone. [2] A beautiful depiction of one man’s vision of God’s majesty is found in Isaiah 6:1-4, which states:

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.” [3]

2. According to James Montgomery Boice (one of my favorite authors), “A second element in the idea of holiness is will, the will of a personality.” [4]

God has a specific will for us. His will is for us to be with Him. In his book The Throne Room Company, Shawn Bolz writes: “From the beginning, God’s call to humanity has been to a delightful life within an intimate fellowship.” [5]

Since God wants us to be with Him, it follows that He wants us to be with no other. Our God is a jealous God. In Exodus 34:14, He tells us: “(for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.)” [6] God, in His majesty and holiness, is worthy of our complete and undivided attention, adoration, and obedience.

3. God’s wrath is also a very important part of His holiness.

God’s wrath is not an incidental wrath such as humans have. Instead, it is an unchanging and perfect wrath. It matches the unchanging character of God.

God’s wrath goes out against anything that contradicts His character. [7] The wrath of God against sin is what necessitated Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. Through His death, Jesus Christ paid the penalty of our sin so that we could avoid God’s wrath. What a God we serve! Can you imagine the love He must have for us?

4. God’s righteousness makes up the fourth piece of God’s holiness.

“Righteousness” means that which is perfect and good. Webster’s Dictionary defines “righteous” as “acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin.” [8]

God is completely perfect and good. Since He is the Supreme Being, actions and thoughts that are allowable under moral law are those actions and thoughts which are perfectly in accord with God’s character.

Boice so eloquently explains this concept as follows:

“…when we ask, “What is right? What is moral?” we answer the questions not by appealing to some independent moral standard, as if there could be a standard for anything apart from God, but rather by appealing to the will and nature of God himself. The right is what God is and reveals to us.” [9]

God is holy. He’s majestic; He has a will for us; He has wrath toward sin; and He is righteous.

Perhaps this is why the prophet Isaiah, after seeing God as described in Isaiah chapter 6, cried out: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” [10]

Our God is holy beyond comprehension. Won’t you join me in worshipping Him today?


[1] www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/holy

[2] Boice, Foundations, 127

[3] Isaiah 6:1-4, NKJV

[4] Boice, Foundations, 127

[5] Bolz, The Throne Room Company, 32

[6] Exodus 34:14, NKJV

[7] Boice, Foundations, 128

[8] www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/righteousness, August 18, 2010

[9] Boice, Foundations, 128

[10] Isaiah 6:5, NKJV

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