Focal Passage: Psalm 99:1-9
If someone were to ask you to name three characteristics of God, chances are that “holy” would be one of those characteristics. Why? Holiness is one of the most well-known characteristics of God, and is in fact, the most important. If God is not holy, then the gospel would be and void. There would be no need for the cross because God would not be separate from sinners or sin.
Despite holiness being one of the most well-known and important characteristics, it may also be the least understood. As sinners it is hard for us to grasp what is sacred, consecrated, hallowed and set apart. And with the desire to be relevant and relatable in a lot of our American churches today, we seem to bypass the concept of holiness. Yet, God calls the church to “be holy as I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16). Jesus prays for His disciples in John 17 that they would be set apart and sanctified in truth.
Therefore, what should be the proper Christian response to God’s holiness? His holiness calls for reverence, awe and fear. All of these should culminate in worship.
In Psalm 99 we see “the peoples tremble” and “the earth quake” because “Holy is He!” In Isaiah 6, we read about the prophet Isaiah’s vision of the Lord on His throne where the seraphim are repetitively calling out, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!” He even notes that the foundations of the thresholds tremble at the voice of the Lord. And we get another glimpse of the One who is enthroned above through John, the author of Revelation, where the living creatures never cease saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!” These examples show us how to respond to God’s holiness.
How can you live out reverence, awe and fear of our holy God? Remember His holiness causes Him to be separate from our fallen world. Yet, in His great love, He has allowed us to approach His throne not because of our holiness, but because of the righteousness imparted to us through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Let us worship the Holy One, who through grace makes us holy before Him!