Holiness of God

God is holy


His holiness is his divine essence, His is an absolute purity that sets him apart from all the rest.

The holiness of God embodies divine perfection and offers a moral guide for man. It is an ideal to which we must aspire to seek a life full of meaning and purpose.

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Holiness of God

The narration of these times tends to present the Almighty with almost human characteristics, like a hero who accepts everything out of love and saves everyone. God's qualities are somewhat diminished, as if He were one of us with whom we can discuss what is right and wrong. But is it really so? God is the only one who possesses immortality and dwells in an inaccessible light: "no one among men has ever seen him nor can see him".
(1 Timothy 6:1).

Here is what the Lord says to Moses: "'But you will not be able to see my face, because no man can see me and remain alive'. The Lord added: “Here is a place near me. You will stand on the rock: when my glory passes, I will place you in the hollow of the rock and cover you with my hand, until I pass. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my shoulders, but my face cannot be seen".
(Exodus 33, 20-23).

Moses did not see the face of God, he only glimpsed the back of God's glory, but when Moses came down from Mount Sinai he did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant, for he had conversed with Him. Aaron and all the Israelites, seeing that the skin of his face was radiant, they were afraid to go near him. Moses' face was illuminated by that holy light, by the reflected glory of God.

Isaiah also had a shocking experience and here is what he related when, going to the temple that day to pray, he found himself unprepared for what he saw: "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne high and lofty; the edges of his mantle filled the temple. Around him stood seraphim, each having six wings; with two of them he covered his face, with two of them he covered his feet, and with two he flew.

They proclaimed to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is filled with his glory." The doorposts rattled at the voice of the one who cried out, while the temple filled with smoke. And I said, “Oh dear! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips and among a people of unclean lips I dwell; yet my eyes have seen the king, the Lord of hosts.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me; he held in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth and said, "Behold, this has touched your lips, therefore your iniquity is gone, and your sin is atoned for." Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send and who will go for us?" And I replied: "Here I am, send me!". He said: 'Go and report to this people [...]'" (Isaiah 6:1-8). Isaiah was shocked because he saw himself as he was, but he also saw the glory, omnipotence and holiness of God.

No one like John had the opportunity to see the greatness and omnipotence of God. And here is what he says: «I was enraptured by the Spirit on the day of the Lord, and behind me I heard a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet [...] . I turned to see who was speaking to me [...], in the midst of the candlesticks, one like a son of man, dressed in a long robe down to his feet and girded with a golden belt at chest level.

His head and his hair were white as white wool, like snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire; his feet were like incandescent bronze, red-hot in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of great waters ... from his mouth came a sharp, double-edged sword, and his face was like the sun when it shines in full force. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead".
(Rev 1:10-17).

Paul too had an encounter with God, described in detail by himself: «As I was traveling and was approaching Damascus, towards noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me; fell to the ground […]. And since I could no longer see, because of the splendor of that light, led by the hand of my companions I reached Damascus [...].

A certain Ananias, a devout observer of the Law and esteemed by all the Jews residing there, came to me, approached me and said: "Saul, brother, go back and see!". And in that instant I saw it. He added: "The God of our fathers has predestined you to know his will, to see the Just One and to hear a word from his own mouth, because you will be his witness before all men of the things you have seen and heard"»
(Acts 22:6-15).

Paul had gone blind as if his eyes had been dazzled by the infinite splendor of the Savior. His life changed and through that experience "Saul of Tarsus" became the apostle Paul.

The Bible tells us that all those who have met God, seen his omnipotence and his holiness, have reacted incredibly in the same way: they have trembled, recoiled, some of them have fallen silent, those who have managed to speak have expressed their despair because they were convinced they were going to die. In the Old Testament, the atmosphere of praise that emerges from the contemplation of God's perfections, among which his holiness stands out, is striking.

This is why, in the book of Revelation, the cry of the heavenly army can only be "Holy, Holy, Holy!". God is called Holy, because he has no taint of sin in his person and never will. His Beauty, that splendid radiance, unbearable to the eye, which all those who have had experience describe it, derives from his holiness, which will enchant us when we see him as He is. God's holiness is presented as a model: "be holy, as your Father is holy".
(Mt 5:48).

Until then, the way to attain holiness was precluded because it was unattainable; Jesus, through his infinite love of him, gave us an extraordinary gift, he went to the cross and went there as the spotless lamb of God. Upon him, that day, all the sins of the world gathered, he gave his life so that the punishment of our sin could finally be paid. How can we forget the words of Christ on the cross "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?".

When God the Father looked from heaven at his son hanging on the cross in that place, with the sin of the whole world upon him, he could not bear the putrefaction and iniquity of all mankind reflected in his son: the Almighty is the One that his "eyes are too pure to bear the sight of evil" and that "he cannot tolerate the sight of iniquity"
(Hab 1:13).

With his sacrifice, Jesus opened the way to salvation for us! The blood of the Lamb of God, shed on the cross, is the only means that makes us "holy" before God and it is also the only remedy to return repented to the Father and not be condemned because of our sins.

Therefore the children of God are exhorted, as a consequence of their love for the Lord, to resemble their heavenly Father, living a life of justice in everyday life and a real separation from all that is profane. If we cannot be holy as God is and cannot resemble his perfection in the slightest, let us not give up on the idea of cultivating holiness in our lives: it is the comparison with absolute perfection that frightens and intimidates us, but we must not allow such fears to make us give up on achieving the goal.

Holiness means physical, moral and behavioral purity in total and complete belonging to God and absolute distance from all that is sinful. So what's stopping us from setting out right now, without hesitation? Our Savior wants us all in Heaven, but reaching the goal depends on us: we need to make that fundamental decision to follow his teachings and recognize him as God. He wants to take us with him: let him do it!.