God is absolutely holy (Ps. 22:3; Isa. 6:3; 1 Pet. 1:15-16; Rev. 4:8). As such, God is incomparable (Ex. 15:11; 1 Sam. 2:2). The truth that God is holy is the foundational truth of the Bible (Ps. 47:8). The most prominent feature of God’s revelations concerning Himself is His holiness. God says even His name is holy (Isa. 57:15). God is holy—a fact of which many, who claim to know God, are ignorant, overlook or ignore it!


When we say that “God is holy,” we mean that He is absolutely clean and pure and perfect and free from all defilement (Job 34:10; 1 Jn. 1:5) in His character and in His actions (Gen. 18:25; Job 8:3; Rom. 3:5-6).


In Old Testament times, the fundamental truth that God is unapproachably holy was burned into the minds and hearts of the Israelites by the Mosaic Law. For example:

(1) The boundaries set about Mt. Sinai and the cleansing ritual associated with Moses bringing “forth the people out of the camp to meet God”  and the giving of the Law (Ex. 19:10-25);

(2) The Tabernacle with its Holy of Holies which was entered but ONCE a year (Lev. 16);

(3) The ceremonial baptisms (Num. 19; 31:21-24);

(4) The division between the people and the Priest, who alone represented the people before God (Lev. 8-10);

(5) The sacrifices as necessary to any approach to God (Lev. 1-7; 16);

(6) The Feast Days (Lev. 23);

(7) The Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1-17);

(8) The “clean and unclean” laws (Lev. 11-15);

(9) The punishment of Nadab and Abihu (Lev. 10:1-3), Korah (Num. 16:1-33) and King Uzziah (2 Chron. 26:16-26); and

(10) The separation of Israel from the Gentiles (Num. 23:9).

In the Dispensation of Grace, God illustrates His holiness for us by calling our attention to the finished work of Jesus Christ on Calvary’s Cross. There we see the “propitiation” for our sins. The holy demands of God are satisfied, and God has “at this time” declared “His righteousness,” that He might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Rom. 3:21-26, cf. 1 Tim. 1:8-10).

The Bible illustrates clearly the holiness, perfection, purity and absolute sanctity of God’s nature.


God reveals His holiness to us in many ways, such as: (1) In His words (Ps. 60:6; Jer. 23:9); (2) In His works (Ps. 145:17); (3) In His hatred of sin (Eph. 5:3-10); (4) His love for righteousness (Ps. 146:8-9; Prov. 15:9); (5) His separation from sinners (Heb. 7:26; Eph. 2:13). Herein God is “just”; but in grace, (6) He provided a substitute for sinners (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 3:18) and now God is free to “justify” those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.


There are at least six important things that we learn from the fact that God is holy! (1) We need to worship God with reverential fear (Ex. 3:4-5; Eccl. 5:1-3; Rev. 15:3-4). True, we are invited to come into the Throne Room with “boldness” (confidence—Eph. 3:12; Heb. 4:16; 10:19), but we are not given license to come with careless frivolity or reckless abandon. (2) He is worthy of all our praise (Isa. 6:1-3). (3)  We are to imitate Him (Lev. 11:43-45; Deut. 23:14; 1 Pet. 1:15-16). Every thought, feeling, decision, and action must be brought into “captivity” (2 Cor. 10:5) and our “vessels” made holy, “fit for the Master’s use” (2 Tim. 2:19-21). (4) God’s holiness must be magnified (1 Chron. 16:10). The holiness of God is a fact, which needs to be emphasized today in view of the tendency to deny both the  reality and awfulness of sin. A right view of God’s holiness reveals the blackness of sin. If a man thinks too well of himself, he has never met God (Job 40:3-5; Isa. 6:5-7). (5) The need of salvation through Christ (Rom. 3:23) and not through our own self-righteous effort (Titus 3:5).