God is Holy

Of all the words used to describe God, “holy” speaks most directly to His deity. “For I am God, and not man — the Holy One among you” (Hosea 11:9). “The holy God will show himself holy by his righteousness” (Is. 5:16). “He is exalted over all the nations” (vs. 2). As the Holy One who lives above and beyond all creation, He is also separate from all evil and moral pollution that defiles His creation. The fact that God is morally perfect flows from the meaning that God is separate (transcendent) as the Creator from the rest of His creation, which is fallen and sinful. “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1 Jn. 1:5).

It is humanly impossible for us to grasp the glory of God since no man has fully seen Him. Apparently we will need a resurrected body before we can see Him face to face. Moses said to God, “Show me your glory” (Ex. 33:18), and the Lord put him in the cleft of a rock and the glory of God passed before Moses while God covered his face so as not to have full exposure. When Moses came down from the mountain, his face radiated the glory of God (Ex. 34:29), which slowly faded away.

No mortal can fully look upon God because of His holiness, not even New Testament saints. Isaiah was given a vision of God seated on a throne and above Him were seraphs calling out to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory” (Is. 6:3). Realizing God’s holiness caused Isaiah to immediately cry out: “‘Woe to me! I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty” (Is. 6:5). Such would be the reaction of anyone if they were suddenly confronted with a fuller manifestation of God’s glory. When Peter realized who was in the boat with him, “he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man’” (Lu. 5:8). If we were made fully aware of God’s glorious presence, the only sin we would be aware of is our own. Those who point out other people’s sins are not practicing God’s presence in their own lives, because love covers a multitude of sins, it doesn’t expose them.

The glory of God is the manifestation of His presence. Jesus said, “By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples” (Jn. 15: 8). That may seem like Jesus is putting a lot of pressure on us to bear fruit, but that is not the case. We don’t have to bear fruit, we have to abide in Christ. The fruit of the Spirit and the fruit of reproducing new converts are the results of abiding in Christ. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5). We are called to “do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31), and when true disciples of Jesus do that they are manifesting His presence all over the world.

Dr. Neil

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