Holiness is God’s essence (Isa. 57:15); it is the heart of everything the Bible declares about Him. His justice is holy justice; His wisdom is holy wisdom; His power is holy power; His grace is holy grace. Among God’s attributes, only His holiness is celebrated before the throne of heaven. In the prophet Isaiah’s vision of the heavenly throne room, the seraphim cry, “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts” (Isa. 6:3). Isaiah calls God “the Holy One” twenty-six times. Stephen Charnock notes that the word holy precedes God’s name more than any other attribute (Ps. 99). God’s holiness is “a transcendental attribute that, as it were, runs through the rest, and casts lustre upon them,” John Howe writes. “It is an attribute of attributes … and so it is the very lustre and glory of His other perfections.” God reveals majestic holiness in His works (Ps. 145:17), in His law (Ps. 19:8-9), and especially at the cross of Christ (Matt. 27:46). Holiness is His permanent crown, His glory, His beauty. Holiness is “more than a mere attribute of God,” says Jonathan Edwards. “It is the sum of all His attributes, the outshining of all that God is.”‘ God’s holiness suggests two truths about Him. First, it shows the separateness of God from all His creation and from all that is evil. God’s holiness testifies of His purity, His absolute moral perfection, His separateness from everything outside of Himself, and His complete freedom from sin (Job 34:10; Isa. 5:16; 40:18; Hab. 1:13).
Adapted from Joel R. Beeke, Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism (Kindle Edition)