Theology: GOD IS HOLY

GOD IS GOOD

Goodness is often equated with the benevolence of God. Goodness is “…..the quality or state of being good…..” (By permission. From Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary copyright 1991 by Merriam- Webster Inc., publisher of the Merriam-Webster (registered) Dictionaries.) Benevolence is the “…..disposition to do good…..an act of kindness…..” (By permission. From Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary copyright 1991 by Merriam-Webster Inc., publisher of the Merriam- Webster (registered) Dictionaries.)

Again the definition is limited, because in God there is not a state of being good (which holds forth the possibility of not being good), He is good by nature and is never anything else. He is incapable of anything else. Within the definition of Benevolence there is also a problem if applied to God. Disposition gives the idea of maybe good, maybe not good. He is GOOD.

The use of benevolence, if it is to be understood in light of the Dictionary definition, is not appropriate for God. God is “GOOD,” and there is no possibility of disposition, because with Him there is no maybe. Psalm 25:8, “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore will he teach sinners in the way.” (Read also the following texts: Psalm 33:5, Psalm 52:1, Psalm 103, Mark 10:18, Romans 2:4, Romans 11:22.)

Goodness covers two areas, what God is in and of Himself, and what God is to His creatures. In other words goodness covers His character and the expression of His character.

His Character: Holy, True, Love

His Relation To Others: Righteous, Faithful, Merciful, mercy, tender mercy, kind, kindness, loving kindness, pity, pitiful, good, goodness, compassion, grace, gracious, and longsuffering.

There is no opposite for this side of God. He is Good, and He cannot be bad.

Some might question this concept in relation to the fact that He will judge and condemn the lost to hell. There is no divine attribute of wrath. Wrath is the logical and needed result of the attributes of holiness, truth, love and justice. The violators of His ways will feel this wrath. Within all of this is the fact that He is doing good. He is preparing the creation for eternity. This includes the removal of all evil.

Does this study bring new meaning to the idea that all things work together for good? He is in the process of doing good in your life, no matter how bad things seem to get. His work in you can only result in good.

God Is Holy

Before moving on, please read Leviticus 10:1-7 and Acts 5:1-11. He IS to be reverenced. Sin is not allowable.

Oehler observed of God, “Holiness is glory concealed; glory is holiness revealed.” (Quoted in Pardington. Pardington, Revelation George P. Ph.D.; “Outline Studies In Christian Doctrine”; Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1926, p 79)

 

The term holy originally comes from the idea of “whole” or complete. Thus holy is, wholly given to a purpose.

 

The Hebrew term is “kadesh” which means separateness. The term really had nothing to do with holiness at first. The term harlot in Genesis 38:21 is “kadesh” — set apart for a purpose.

 

The Greek term is “hagios” which means set apart. Strong mentions, “Holiness is self-affirming purity. In virtue of this attribute of His nature, God eternally wills and maintains His own moral excellence. This definition contains three elements: first, purity: secondly, purity willing: thirdly, purity willing itself.” (Strong, Augustus H.. “Systematic Theology”; Valley Forge, PA: The Judson Press, 1907. This same quote is found on p 77 of Bancroft’s Christian Theology.)

 

There Are Several Areas Which Relate To God And Holy:

 

God’s people are to be holy. Leviticus 11:41-45; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; 1 Peter 1:15,16. Not sometimes holy, as many believers live today, but all the time holy. Unholiness is unacceptable. It is easy to talk about the little sins we allow, but term it as it is, UNHOLY, and it sounds a bit worse.

 

 

Things dedicated to Him are holy. Leviticus 27:28 If we have given ourselves to Him, then we should also be holy. That is the standard, whether or not we like it, accept it, or live by it.

 

His habitation is holy. Deuteronomy 26:15; Psalm 99:9; Isaiah 57:15. Think of it, we will one day share that habitation with Him. A holy habitation with no evil.

 

His throne is holy. Psalm 47:8 Is it any wonder Isaiah said when viewing the throne that he was undone and of unclean lips?

 

The Spirit of God is holy. Psalm 51:11 He is resident in you. He is another reason for us to remain sinless. Our “little sins” offend Him greatly.

 

Let me just list some other areas of His holiness: God swears by His holiness Psalm 89: 34-36; His arm is holy Psalm 98:1; God is holy and His name is holy Psalm 99:1-9; His promise to Abraham was holy Psalm 105:42; His name is holy Isaiah 57:15.

 

IN WHAT WAY IS GOD SET APART?

 

God is absolutely separate from all that is earthly or human. (Psalm 99:1- 3, Isaiah 57:15) This is seen often in the Old Testament.

 

God is absolutely separate from all that is unclean. This would be deemed His moral holiness. (Psalm 99:4-9, Psalm 24:3,4) This thought seems to be the prevalent thought of the New Testament. Both ideas are found in Isaiah 6:1-5. He is lifted up and pure.

 

Is Love, or Holiness more prominent in His listing of attributes? The social gospel people seem to hold love as the prime attribute. Fundamentalists tend to hold holiness as the prime attribute. It has been said that Scripture states “Holy, holy, holy” not “Love, love, love.” Dwell on that thought for a time.

 

One final point. The thought of God being holy and objects being holy may be difficult for some to understand. Holy has the idea of set apart, and in this sense anything can be holy.

 

 

APPLICATION

 

1. We will naturally see our own unholiness as we view His holiness. Isaiah 6:1ff is a prime example of this concept. Isaiah realized his uncleanness. Cambron states, “When we think not of god’s holiness, we think light of sin.” (Cambron, Mark G. D.D.; “Bible Doctrines”; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1954, pp 48-49)

 

2. The basis of his covenants is His holiness; they WILL come to pass. Psalm 89:34-36 (David); Psalm 105:42 (Abraham); John 17:11.

 

3. The holiness of God demands a similar holiness in the lives of His people. 1 Peter 1:15-16, “But, as he who hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of life, Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am Holy.” (see Psalm 99; Hebrews 12:10 which tells us that we can partake in HIS holiness — contemplate that for awhile.)

 

4. His holiness is always in the background of all of His judgments. The following texts picture the scene of God’s throne that Isaiah beheld. (Revelation 4, Revelation 20)

 

5. Our works, or life style can profane God’s holy name. Amos 2:6,7 6. Our salvation is provided by a Holy God. If we remember our previous destination we will think more highly of His holiness and from what He has saved us. His holiness demanded that we be separated from Him thus Christ’s righteousness allows us to approach Him.

 

6. His holiness is the only standard for our life and lifestyle. If we wonder if something is right, all we need to do is ask if it is holy.[1]

 


[1] Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. B.A. (n.d.). DERICKSON’S NOTES ON THEOLOGY: A STUDY BOOK IN THEOLOGY.

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