In an effort to thoroughly consider this topic, I looked up the definition of holiness on the internet. The only definition that I found on www.dictionary.com was, “the state or quality of being holy.” Obviously, it seems the author of the dictionary does not have suitable words to describe and explain the word holiness. Certainly it is not the fault of the author. Only Holy God can perfectly define His own glorious attributes.
The ground upon which Moses was standing when he encountered the Almighty God in the burning bush was pronounced holy because the presence of God upon the Mount Horeb. “God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:4-5) This indicates that all forms of worldliness and fleshly practices that are the core characteristics of human beings are not admissible in the presence of Holy God.
We read in the Bible, that the primary idea of holiness is when something is set apart, unique, or different for a divine and glorious purposes. Because He is Holy God Almighty, He sets Himself apart in Heaven from the sinful pollution of this world. His thoughts are far apart from our thoughts. So also, His ways are not our ways. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
In the scripture God commanded Moses saying “And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty.” (Exodus 28:2) The holy garment comprised of “a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle” (Exodus 28:4). Additionally, and most importantly, God further commanded Moses “And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD.” (Exodus 28:36) This holy garment and inscriptions alone do not qualify him to be holy until he is ceremonially cleansed, consecrated, sanctified and anointed specially and the atonement blood of the sacrificial lamb is sprinkled upon him as God commanded Moses in Exodus Chapter 29:1-30. In addition, he must consistently be manifesting holiness both in appearance and character. He must ensure that he is not defiled in order that he may continue to serve the Holy God in holiness in the Holy Temple.
There two compartments in the Old Temple—the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. In the Holy Place, the Altar of Incense, the Table of Show Bread, and the Golden Lamp Stand are arranged in a specified way. In the inner compartment of the tabernacle called the Holy of Holies, only the Ark of the Covenant is placed there. In the outer court of the Temple was the Altar of Burnt Offering and the Lavers. Only the holy priests can offer sacrifice unto the Lord in the Temple. The High Priest goes into the Holy of Holies once in a year to make sacrifice unto the Lord. Ordinarily, items of the temple are not holy until they are made holy by process of consecration. The process includes setting them apart for glorious use, consecrating them, anointing the items with specially prepared anointing oil and the atonement blood sprinkled upon them as specified by the commandment of God. All the items in the tabernacle, the Ark of Covenant, the Altar of Incense, The Golden Lamp Stand, the Table of Showbread and Altar of Burnt Offering as well as the Holy Temple of God are made holy through the commanded processes.
PURITY AND UNDEFILED
Purity is the hallmark attribute of the Holy God. The scripture tells us that, “[Jesus Christ] was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:9, 4-5) There is no darkness in Lord God Almighty. He is the light of the world. “… he lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach him.” (1 Timothy 6:16 NLT) The light mentioned in the passages above is symbolizing the purity of the Holy God. He is immaculately clean both in various Spiritual works and in the glorious union of the Trinity. In the brilliant light of His glory, He can approach the corrupt and sinful impurities of mankind and yet be not defiled by it. He is our High Priest that touched sinners, lepers and dead bodies and yet not defiled by them. People that seek the Lord are admonished to seek Him with clean hands. “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.” (Psalm 24:3-4)
COMPASSION AND MERCY
Compassion and mercy belongs unto Holy Almighty God. It is only God that can overlook all the moral, physical, spiritual weakness and general vulnerability of mankind and still deal with man in His mercy and compassion. “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” (Lamentation 3:22-23) If God is to judge mankind according to our sins, no man will be on the surface of the earth today. But because His mercy endures forever and because His compassions do not fail, His grace continues to carry us along in the journey of our lives.
Love is an invisible attribute of Almighty God. Reading through the 1 Corinthians 13:1-7, you will discover that the inspired author was able to paint a beautiful portrait of love in the passage. He gave “love” a merciful face, caring hands, loving heart, and thoughtful character. You can even imagine the form, the shape, attractive demeanor and glorious shining color of love in the rendition of the passage that says, “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-7 NLT) Only Holy God can perfectly fit in into that wonderful portrait of love in the passage.
BALANCED RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT
Man is inherently irrational in his judgment. Prophet Nathan came to King David and tactically discussed the sin of a rich man who used his power and his position to take the only little lamb of a poor man in Jerusalem to entertain his visitor. King David was enraged and said the rich man who had done this in his city must surely put to death. After the utterance of the King, Prophet Nathan disclosed to David, “You are the man.” He further narrated the way he had engaged in adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, his faithful servant, and ended up in arranging that the poor faithful man be killed in the hottest battle front to cover king’s sin. Immediately King David who had boasted earlier that the sinful man must surely die broke down and said, “I have sinned against the LORD.” (2 Samuel 12:13a)The same Prophet told King David, “The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.” (2 Samuel 12:13b) It is only Holy God with balanced righteous judgment can truly forgive the horrendous sin of King David.
Only a holy person set apart for the glory of God can be going about to do good and mighty works of miracles without commercializing it. “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38) That was why Apostle Paul was admonishing the brethren in Colossae to walk worthy as holy people set apart for the good work of the ministry of Jesus Christ. “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossian 1:10) Preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, praying and interceding for others that the mercy of God may manifest in their lives and extending hands of fellowship toward others in ministration of selfless acts of kindness and love are part of good works expected of the holy children of God.
COURTEOUS AND HUMILITY
The high people in this world generally look down on people. Many of them may pretend to be humble but deep down, they are often arrogant and proud. Only Holy God Almighty is really high above all nations, glorious above the heavens and yet He humbles Himself to behold, communicate and even die for creatures He created on the earth. “The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!” (Psalm 113:4-6) Even more, The Holy and Humble God Almighty always approaches His servants with humility! He came down upon Mount Horeb in His glory to approach Moses in humility. Although He is the Creator, He has to introduce Himself to Moses, saying, “I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Exodus 3:6. Humbly, He humbly and patiently persuaded Moses to fully engage in the ministry He had called him into. The Sovereign God Almighty the Creator of heaven and earth will not execute anything on earth without first disclosing His plans to His servants. “Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7) Did God need any man’s permission before doing anything on earth? Only Holy Almighty God perfects His glory in humility by courteously approaching humanity to teach us His ways. If you sense arrogance and pride in your Christian life, perhaps it is important to consider the way the Most Holy God always approaches the humanity He created with courtesy and humility.
If peaceful means “a state of pleasant quietness and freedom from every form of disturbance and agitation,’ I believe that definition perfectly describe the relationship of the Triune God. The aura of peace around the holy deity of God is synonymous to holiness. Our Lord Jesus Christ always revered His Father in Heaven throughout His ministry on earth. At the point of His baptism by John the Baptist, we beheld the manifestation of this peaceful unity and the unparalleled cooperation of the Trinity. A dove in the person of Holy Spirit alighted upon Him and a Voice from the Heavenly Father above acknowledged Him saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17) In the same manner at the Transfiguration, a bright cloud overshadowed them [disciples]: and behold a Voice out of the cloud, endorsed our Lord Jesus Christ saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” (Matthew 17:5) Scripture reveals to us that even at the hint of Lucifer’s attempt to manifest in chaos through rebellion against God, he was instantly cast out from heaven. “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Revelation 12:9) That is why in our Lord’s Prayer, one of the earliest prayer points is that ‘the will of God may be accomplished on earth as it is in Heaven.’ Our prayer should always be that the will of peace and desire to yield to the blessed will of the Holy God may be accomplished among the His children on earth. No wonder the scripture admonished us, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:18).
In our days as children of God, we do not need to put on the prescribed physical holy garments like the temple priests but we can put on the spiritual garment of holiness and righteousness. The blood of animal is not needed to be sprinkled upon us today to be holy because the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ had perfected our cleansing and position us for His salvation. We may not need to be anointed with specially prepared anointing oil to be holy, the imparted anointing of Holy Spirit that enhances spiritual sanctification for all believers is sufficient. In addition, we can consistently remain holy by manifesting in the component of holiness which includes: love, good works, compassion and mercy, balanced righteous judgment, courteous humility and endeavor to dwell in peace with all people for the glory of God in this chaotic world. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14) Perhaps we wonder whether we can attain this in our time, brethren let us rest assure upon the grace of God. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)
Prayer: O Lord, impart your Holy Spirit upon me, let me walk with you in holiness all the days of my life, in Jesus name, Amen