Monday, January 12, 2015

An Unchanging Standard of Holiness

Holiness is the most often mentioned attribute of God in the Bible. The word holy is used 546 times, with holiness adding another 24 times. (in the KJV) It even out paces love (used 442 times) by over 100 mentions. 

God is holy, holy, holy.

And God sets the standard of holiness. 

Be ye holy as I am holy.

God is the one who says, this is what I expect. This is my standard. And the standard is Him.

We do not look to those around us to set the standard of holiness. We don't look to those around us to define holiness. We look to God. Holiness is not something that changes from culture to culture, generation to generation, because God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, forever.

The final chapter of the book of Exodus and the first chapter of Leviticus vividly illustrates this fact. 

Moses and the children of Israel built The Tabernacle. After it was all put together, the cloud covered the tent and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. The Shekinah glory, symbolizing the very presence of God, was smack dab in the center of the Israelites' encampment.

This event, at the close of Exodus, followed by the very next verses taking up the idea of offerings and sacrifices for sin and atonement.


Because whenever we are in the presence of God, in His light and holiness, our sin becomes oh so apparent. 

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world and men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. For everyone that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God. (John 3:19-21)

Our sin is apparent in the light of God's glory and holiness, but it has been atoned for. Leviticus is full of sacrifices and laws that emphasize the holiness of God, the standards of God, and the way an unholy people can live in the presence of a holy God. It's all in the blood.

If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)

Walking in the light reveals our sinfulness and the only real option we have for cleansing.

Thus, believers shouldn't shy away from the topic of God's holiness. We should not apologize for it. We should not try to amend God's standards to fit with current trends. 

We should walk in the light. 

Come let us walk in the light of the Lord. (Isaiah 2:5)

God's presence is not a burden. It is a blessing. It provides protection, direction, relationship.

Have you worshipped God for His holiness lately?