There are many ways that we can describe God, but one of the most important is this: He is holy. This word refers to His uniqueness and “set apart”-ness from all He has created. He is separate from all He has made in that He was not made and exists outside of creation. But it also refers to His moral character. Holy, in this sense, refers to His moral purity. In a word, He is perfect:
- He is perfectly faithful. He will always keep His word and fulfill His promises, notably His promise to rescue and redeem those who trust in Jesus (1 Thess. 5:24).
- His judgments are always right, uncompromised, and in accordance with His righteous standards (Ps. 119:137). 39
- He is trustworthy because in Him there is no falsehood (Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:18), and He is the embodiment of truth, being the source of truth (John 14:6).
- His love is a reflection of His very essence, the perfect love that resides and resonates within the Trinity—Father, Son, and Spirit (John 5:20; 2 Cor. 13:13).
- His grace and mercy are perfect, rooted in His holiness. God delights in giving unmerited favor (grace) and showing compassion to undeserving people like you and me (Eph. 2:8-9), withholding punishment for sin and providing forgiveness for our sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
If God were not holy, we couldn’t have any kind of confidence in who He is, what He does, and His ability to rescue us from sin. We could only live in fear. And that’s not the kind of God that’s worthy of praise. Only a holy God is worthy.
Adapted from Devotional Doctrine: Delighting in God, His Word, and His World (38-39)