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  • Writer's pictureDarrell Stetler II

What is the Holiness of God?

Updated: 2 days ago

Welcome to the 40 Days of Holiness Bible study! If you don't have a workbook, and you want to download one, click here.

What does it mean that God is Holy?

Welcome to 40 Days of Holiness, Day 1!

Today, we're beginning where every single discussion of holiness should begin: The Holiness of God. God is the source, the fountainhead, the definition of holiness. But what is God's holiness? Watch the video for teaching, fill in the blanks in your Pursuing Holiness workbook, then take time to do the meditation questions on holiness. God's sanctifying work in you is worth the time!

5 Minute Video teaching on the Holiness of God:

The Holiness of God In Scripture

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;

    the whole earth is full of his glory.”  Isaiah 6:3


Revelation 4:8 Each of the four living creatures.... Day and night they never stop saying: “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”

All holiness is built on God’s character. God is holy love, at his core and essence. 


In heaven, scenes from the Bible tell us that special creations like angels around the Throne of God call out "Holy, holy, holy," continually.  This Trinitarian repetition of HOLY is significant, because it's 3 in 1, and also because it's the only thing that's repeated around God's throne in this way.  He is faithful, he is powerful, he is knowledgeable, but in his essence -- he is Holy.  


What is God's Holiness?

God's holiness means he is separate, other, not like. He is untouched by the faults and weakness and dependence of all other things. He is completely other than His creation.  There are only 2 things in all existence: God & the Creation. God & everything else. That utter unique, separate purity is his holiness.  


Out of God's holiness, flow his other attributes:

  • Everything else is unfaithful eventually, but God is faithfulness unmixed.  

  • Everything else is dependent & needy, God is completely un-needy, utterly independent.  

  • Everything else has a spot of corruption, but God is purity unmixed.

  • Everything else has it's light and darkness, its "yin and yang" -- but God is completely unmixed, completely single and whole,  utterly alone in his degree of perfection.

"The Beauty of Holiness"

This holiness is often expressed as incomprehensible, utterly blinding, terrifying light in Scripture.  To be in the presence of God's complete holiness would literally kill your physical body, as if you had been suddenly transported to 100 miles away from the sun.  You couldn't physically or spiritually take the glory of his holiness.  

I don't mean to suggest that God's holiness is a negative thing, as though it was a source of pain and fear.  

On the contrary, the holiness of God is so glorious, so joyful, so explosively brilliant, that its beauty and goodness is overwhelming. The Bible tells us to "worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness."  Humans have often recognized that there is a place where joy is so overwhelming that it gets close to something like terror.  Like the sheer terror as you're about to descend the world's tallest, fastest roller coaster, the joyous terror of his holiness would simply overwhelm you in every way, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  


It's not that it's so bad it's scary, it's that God's holiness so good it's marvelously scary.


So where does God get his holiness?


God's holiness doesn't COME from anywhere.  It is "underived."  It isn't received from anywhere or anything.  God is the fountainhead, the source, the DEFINITION of holiness.  Biblically, the word "holy" only means someone who is rightly related to God in some way.  


  • Any holiness in the world -- came from God. 

  • Any holiness in an item -- came from God.

  • Any holiness in a person -- came from God. 

  • If you achieve any holiness -- you can be sure you didn't create it.  It came from God.


So God is holy, He's the source of all holiness.


And starting today, we're going to spend 40 days journeying deep into that holiness, chasing the joy and beauty of His holiness, and letting that seep down into us.

Today's Meditation Questions on Holiness: 

  • What is God's holiness like?  

  • What metaphors for God's holiness can I think of? 

  • Why & how does God's holiness give joy?

Guided Prayer for Holiness: Day 1

Prayer:  Father, you are holy, and I see what that means.  Your goodness, uniqueness, and glory are so pure.  You are unlike anything, you are purity unmixed, and I am in awe of you. The angels are right to continually call out “Holy, Holy, Holy!” I join them in worshiping your holiness! Help me to always have a joyful trembling before the beauty of your holiness. Just let me know you and let your holiness soak down into my heart and life all throughout this 40 days. Amen.

About the Guided Prayer experience: Each day of the 40 Days of Holiness journey will contain not only a written prayer in your Pursuing Holiness workbook, but a 5-minute video prayer time for seeking God's holiness in our hearts. This prayer time is designed to be an anchor, a specific time of seeking the Holiness of God in your life and heart. 

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