Pilgrim’s Keyboard

January 11, 2015

Attributes of God – The Holiness of God

Filed under: Providence BC — pilgrimskeyboard @ 8:03 pm

The Holiness of God 

 Isaiah 6:1-4 | In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting up 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 host; 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.


Holy/Holiness –


Hebrew | qados – It describes that which is by nature sacred or that which has been admitted to the sphere of the sacred by divine rite. It describes, therefore, that which is distinct or separate from the common or profane. Generally translated as: holy, holy one, saints.[1]


. 1 Samuel 2:2 | There is none holy like the LORD, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.


Greek | hagios – Fundamentally [it] signifies “separated” … hence in Scripture in its moral and spiritual significance, separated from sin and therefore consecrated to God, sacred. [Generally translated as: holy (especially when used with God), saints (when used with believers) or sacred (when used with items set apart unto God)].[2]


. 1 Peter 1:15-16 | [A]s He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” | See Leviticus 19:2.


R. C. Sproul[3]

The Scriptures say that God is holy. The term holy, as it is used in the Bible to describe God, refers to His nature and His character.

Primarily, God’s holiness refers to His greatness and His transcendence [greater than and independent of His creation], to the fact that He is above and beyond anything in the universe. In that regard, the holiness of God is incommunicable [those attributes not shared by creatures]. He alone in His being transcends all created things.

Secondly, the word holy, as it is applied to God, refers to His purity, His moral and ethical excellence. This is what God has in mind when commands holiness from His creatures: “Be holy, for I am holy” (Lev. 11:44); 1 Peter 1:16).



Milburn Cockrell[4]

Just what do I mean when I speak of the holiness of God? I mean that perfection of God by which He eternally wills and maintains His own moral excellence, abhors sin, and demands purity in His moral creatures.

The idea of God’s holiness is twofold.


Positively – it denotes God is absolutely distinct from all His creatures and is exalted above them in majesty.

. Exodus 15:11 | Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods [mighty ones – margin]? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?

. Revelation 15:4 | Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested.

. Leviticus 19:2 | Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, an say to them: You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.

Negatively – it means God is separate from moral evil and sin. … In the virtue of His holiness God can have no communion with sin. … God never has a sinful thought … God cannot be the author of sin. To commit iniquity is contrary to His nature. … All sin is hateful to His sight, and He cannot endure to look upon iniquity with pleasure. Light cannot co-exist with darkness, fire with water, heat with cold, deformity with beauty, foulness with sweetness, nor sin with God. There is an entire contradiction between God and all unholiness.

. Habakkuk 1:13 | Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity. [KJV]

. Psalm 99:3, 5, 9 | Let them praise Your great and awesome name –– He is holy. | Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at His footstool; for He is holy. | Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at His holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy.



T.P. Simmons[5]

The holiness of God is His perfect moral and spiritual excellence. God is perfectly pure, sinless, and righteous in Himself. Holiness is the ground of all other moral attributes in God.

. Joshua 24:19 | … Joshua said to the people … the LORD … He is a holy God.



Wayne Grudem[6]

Holiness – The doctrine that God is separated from sin and devoted to seeking his own honor. This definition contains both a relational quality (separation from) and a moral quality (the separation is from sin or evil, and the devotion is to the good of God’s own honor or glory).



Don Fortner[7]

God is absolute moral purity. He can neither sin nor tolerate sin. All that God is, is holy. He cannot do anything, be anything, associate with, or accept anything short of absolute perfect holiness.

Quoting – R. L. Dabney | God’s holiness is the collective and consummate glory of his nature.

Quoting – A. H. Strong | Infinite, moral perfection is the crown of his Godhead; holiness is the total glory thus crowned.

. Leviticus 20:26 | And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from  the peoples, that you should be Mine.

. Psalm 111:9 | He has sent redemption to His people; He commanded His He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome is ahis name.

A. W. Pink[8]

[God] only is independently, infinitely, immutably holy. In Scripture He is frequently styled “The Holy One”: He is so because the sum of all moral excellency is found in Him. He is absolute Purity.

. Revelation 15:4 | Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. …


. Habakkuk 1:13 | Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity.


1. God’s Holiness is Manifested in His Works

. Psalm 145:17 | The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works

2.God’s Holiness is Manifested in His Law

. Romans 7:12 | The law is holy, and the commandment holy, just, and good.

3. God’s Holiness is Manifested in the Cross

. Psalm 22:3 |  You are holy …


C. D. Cole[9]

The holiness of God is the purity and rectitude of His nature. He is necessarily and essentially holy. His very being is the sole source and standard of right; therefore, whatever He wills is ethically right. There is no standard for God; He Himself is the standard of holiness. God is under no law of holiness; He Himself is the law of holiness.

The attribute of holiness gives glory and harmony to the rest of [God’s] attributes. Without holiness, wisdom, and knowledge would be but craft and cunning. Without holiness, power would be but tyranny, oppression, and cruelty.

There is an emphasis to this attribute above all the other attributes. … In the Bible, the holiness of God has preeminence over all others. (1) no other attribute is spoken of with such solemnity and frequency by the angels (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8). (2) God singles out this perfection to swear by. “Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie to David (Ps. 89:35). … God’s holiness is the beauty and glory of is being.

. Isaiah 5:16 | … God who is holy shall be hallowed in righteousness.

Closing Thot

Who is like unto our God (?) for He alone is –– “Holy, Holy, Holy!”

. Revelation 4:2-8 | “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!

. Isaiah 6:1-5 | “The whole earth is full of His glory!”

[1] Mounce, 337.

[2] Vine, 307 (adapted).

[3] Sproul, 66 (adapted).

[4] Cockrell, 42-48 (adapted).

[5] Simmons, 66-67.

[6] Grudem, 201.

[7] Fortner, 63 (adapted).

[8] Pink, Attributes, 41.

[9] Cole, 144-145.

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