God is Spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth.

God is not just holy; he is thrice holy.

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3 (see also Revelation 4:8).

Holiness refers to God’s separateness. That is what the word ‘holy’ literally means. He is different, distinct, separate to all other beings. This holiness is God’s glory.

Thomas Watson says “Holiness is the most sparkling jewel of [God’s] crown.”

God’s holiness is often related to his hatred of sin. He is so pure in his righteousness that he cannot accept sin. Sin cannot exist in his presence. God’s justice and wrath flow out of his holiness.

We view people as “good people” if they are nice and don’t do anything too bad like killing someone. God’s righteousness is so holy that he looks at every action, thought, word, even motivation, no matter how small and can only accept a person as “good” if he or she is utterly spotless at every level at every moment.

But even the angels in heaven who are perfectly free of sin cover their faces and their feet as they proclaim the holiness of God. God’s holy righteousness is so great that his purity causes angels to hide their faces. God’s righteousness is completely superior to that of the sinless angels.

However, God’s holiness goes beyond his righteousness. God is holy in every single one of his attributes and characteristics.

For example, God is holy in his power as well. God is powerful like no created being is powerful. He is worlds above the angels in his power. He is more powerful than the hottest and largest star. Imagine God’s power represented by the distance from the earth to the sun. Take all created power– the angels, man, stars, planets, weapons, animals – and roll it all into one. This bundle of created strength and power would not even form a visible dot on the line of God’s power. God’s power is in a league of its own.

Now take that principle of holy difference and extend it to his wisdom, his knowledge, his existence in time and space, his justice, his goodness and his truth. In every attribute and characteristic God is utterly unlike the angels, the demons, men and women, animals, even the whole cosmos and everything in it. So we should fall down and worship him for it.

God is holy, holy, holy.

  • Tom Eglinton