WHAT IS HOLINESS?

What do we mean when we say God is holy? It can't mean he is full of holes! It also doesn't mean that God is really well behaved. In the book of Isaiah the angels sing, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty." They did not sing, "God has cleaned his room, been polite to his mother and finished his homework!" Rather, they were singing about God's separateness. To be holy means to be separate from something. In God's case it points to his separateness from his creation and particularly from the sin in creation.

To know God's holiness is scary. He is just so different to us, so pure, so majestic. He is above all other people and all things. When Isaiah encounters the holiness of God he is filled with the realization that he is a sinner. He cries out, "woe to me! I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips." It wasn't that he had been kissing dirt, but that he couldn't worship. His lips could not join with the angels because of his sin.

Our problem is not how bad our sin is, but how holy God is. When we realise how holy he is we realize how sinful we are. But God's holiness can be applied to us. He can make us holy. An angel comes to Isaiah, touches his lips with a hot coal (youch!) and tells him that his sin has been dealt with. This makes Isaiah able to worship God.

God makes us separate. Not in exactly the same way he is, but he separates us from sin so that we can be like him. He makes us holy. He does this through atoning for our sin on the cross. Jesus died to put us right, to make us holy.

Today, think about God's holiness, just how separate he is from us and our sin. Then remember that Jesus has paid the price for our sin, he has been punished in our place on the cross. You have been made holy and can join with the angels in worshiping the Lord.