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December 09, 2019

Five Attributes of God’s Holiness

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The holiness of God distinguishes God as God, and reveals how we are not. It communicates His transcendent sovereignty and flawless purity, His overwhelming right to rule, and His stainless character.

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. (Psalm 145:3)

Human beings cannot begin to measure God’s holiness, and yet, God has revealed His glory and holiness to us in His Word (John 1:14; Hebrews 1:3; 2 Corinthians 4:6).

Because of Jesus, Christians can know God through His attributes, and God’s holiness is the crown of His attributes. In this article, we’re going to unpack five attributes of God’s holiness.

1. God’s Holiness is Providential

First, God is holy in His omniscience, or providential knowledge.

Because God is light, nothing is hidden from Him (1 John 1:5). The Lord rules on high as the perfect judge, and no one can measure the depths of His understanding. All things, past, present, and future are fully known by our God.

Human understanding is limited and like walking in a poorly lit parking lot at night. But God rules over all things and sees all things in perfect light. God’s omniscience is like the light of a sports stadium which illuminates everything as if it were day.

All of creation is full of the glory of God, because of His omniscience; thus, “no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).

Our holy God sees all, knows all, and orchestrates all things in complete and perfect clarity.

2. God’s Holiness is Present

Second, God is holy in His overwhelming presence.

When Solomon built and dedicated the temple, he desired that it would be a place of God’s dwelling just as the Tabernacle had been for Israel in the wilderness. Solomon fully recognized that unlike idols, the God of Israel cannot be contained.

He prayed, “Will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built?” (1 Kings 8:27).

God’s immensity stretches beyond human ability to measure. God is present here at the Unlocking the Bible offices in Illinois as well as in Bangladesh. More than that, He is at the center of the universe, and His presence extends beyond the limits of the cosmos. His holy presence is weighty and potent.

3. God’s Holiness is Powerful

Thirdly, the holiness of God also applies to His power. He is powerful beyond comparison!

God is the Creator and Sustainer of everyone and everything, He is omnipotent (all powerful) (Colossians 1:16), and His power extends over all things, both visible and invisible. Galaxies, stars, and planets did not come into being by accident. Conception of human life is nothing less than a miracle. All of creation sings of the mighty power of God!

Presidents, prime ministers, queens, and supreme leaders all may claim some form of authority, but none of these can stand next to the true sovereign, the King of kings and Lord over all lords. No matter the uncertainty of our times, the Lord remains exalted upon His throne.

4. God’s Holiness is Infinite

Fourth, the holiness of God is infinite.

More than being immortal, God’s eternal nature also means that He does not change. God’s holiness sets Him apart from all else. Because He exists in perfect purity and is eternally consistent with Himself.

People grow, mature, and age, but God remains the same. He is morally pure, without the slightest hint of evil, and the Lord is faithful and true (Revelation 19:11). He will not commit evil for He cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13). For this reason, God’s wisdom, justice, and beauty are perfect.

Out of this fact comes a final point:

5. God’s Holiness is Incomparable

When my wife and I were first thinking about marriage, we went ring shopping. We found an amazing jeweler. He was great because he didn’t just try to just sell us a shiny rock and metal band. Instead, he took the time to show us what makes a great diamond. I learned a lot, and then gave him a lot of my money.

Gemologists measure the quality of diamonds by cut, color, clarity and carat weight. And, they grade gems by their various degrees of imperfections, with the perfect stone representing flawlessness.

Any honest jeweler will admit that there are no truly ‘flawless’ diamonds out there. However, Christians can say of our Holy God, that He is “Flawless! Flawless! Flawless!”

Everything about His incomprehensible nature and character is supreme. And because of God’s infinite nature and character, He is worthy of eternal praise!

The Promise

God’s holiness is His crown, and it makes God himself, the treasure of all treasures. Angels in heaven sing praise to God for all that He is and all He has done, and God desires men and women to join with the heavenly choir.

An excellent way to do this is by reading the Psalms, for they invite us to “worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth” (Psalm 96:9).

Whenever people in the Bible saw the LORD in His awesome holiness, they trembled with fear (Isaiah 6:5; Revelation 1:17). Those moments made people realize how absolutely unholy they truly were because of sin. However, Christians have confidence to approach God’s holy throne through faith in Christ.

When the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, people saw the glory of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

Jesus reveals the holy God to sinners. When you open the Bible, you can behold the holy God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18; 4:6).

Best of all, when you put faith in Jesus Christ, the God crowned in awesome holiness, promises to crown you with His steadfast love and mercy (Psalm 103:4). Thus we can say:

“Bless the LORD oh my soul…worship His holy name.” (Psalm 103:1)



Go deeper on the topic of God’s holiness and how it moves us to service in the course Watch Your Doctrine taught by Pastor Colin Smith. 

David Tank

David is the pastor of Crossroads Community Church in Sheldon, Iowa, and a former Pastoral Resident of Unlocking the Bible at The Orchard Evangelical Free Church. David holds a B.A. from Sterling College in Kansas, and a M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He and his wife, Sarah, have one son.
David is the pastor of Crossroads Community Church in Sheldon, Iowa, and a former Pastoral Resident of Unlocking the Bible at The Orchard Evangelical Free Church. David holds a B.A. from Sterling College in Kansas, and a M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He and his wife, Sarah, have one son.