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The Doctrine of God: Holiness


The Doctrine of God


In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. 2 Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts."

Speaking on this great vision of Isaiah, the late R.C. Sproul said, “Scripture does not say that God is love, love, love, or that He is wrath, wrath, wrath, but that He is holy, holy, holy." But why do the angels not focus on love, wrath, grace, mercy, just, or another attribute of God. Why holy? But before we answer why, we must answer what is holiness?

To be holy means to be set apart or distinct. Since God is the Supreme Being, He is holy from all creation. 1 Kings 8:23 reads, "He said, 'O LORD, the God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth beneath…'" and 1 Samuel 2:2 says, "There is no one holy like the LORD, indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God." If we were to categorize God with all of creation, it would not be God at the top followed by angels, humans etc. Instead, on one side would be all of creation and on the other side would be God in a category of His own. Not only does God have no equal, He has no one to compare Himself to, for He is other. 

To answer the earlier question of why holy and not the other attributes; It is because all of God’s attributes are holy. That is why some have called holiness, God’s chief attribute. God’s love is holy, for there is no love that can compare to His. God’s justice is holy, for who is more righteous than He? His grace is holy, for who else would save guilty criminals by taking their punishment on Himself.

God is holy as the self-existent one, the Almighty, the all-knowing, the all-powerful, the all sufficient one, and the list goes on. And when we truly meditate on the holiness of God, the gospel becomes that much more precious to us. That the Father, who is holy would send His holy Son, to become a little a lower than the angels by taking on human flesh, subjecting Himself to the curse of the Law in order to redeem us from the law, so that we, who are unholy have been made holy by the thrice Holy God.

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