Feb 17, 2023 Holiness: A Beautiful Word – Words of Grace Blog – February 17, 2023
Does anyone really think of beauty when they hear the word “holiness”? Not unless they have thought about God and what he is making his children to be.
“Holy” is not an adjective for a cow, or a reference to a sanctimonious person. Holiness is real and beautiful. It applies to God and to those who belong to him by faith in Jesus Christ.
God is holy. Words are not adequate, nor are there enough of them, to give a complete picture of the holiness of God. Here is one sentence that may help you start to think about the incomprehensible: God’s holiness is the perfection of all his attributes combined into a single description of his nature.
Every attribute of God is good, perfectly good. Perfect goodness is the greatest beauty that exists. God’s holiness is beautiful.
No wonder Isaiah was immediately aware of his own unholiness when we saw the vision of the Lord sitting on his throne (Isaiah 6). Peter, too, knew himself to be a sinner when he saw Jesus’ holiness displayed on the lake one day (Luke 5:8). The beauty of God’s holiness, and that of Jesus Christ the Son, is beyond all other creatures. It is totally other than all others. It reveals the other’s unholiness.
Amazingly, God calls his people to be holy. In 1 Peter 1 the believers in Jesus Christ, who have been born again to a living hope and still live on this earth as sojourners, are told to be holy in all their conduct. In the second chapter of 1 Peter, they are called a holy nation that is to proclaim the excellencies of God. How can this be?
God, by his grace, saves sinners. Through the death of Jesus Christ that was a ransom paid for their sins, he redeems sinners to be his people. Then, from that point on, he is making these people to be more and more like Jesus his Son. God is making sinners holy in conduct by calling them to be holy. He shows them how to be holy and he gives them the power to pursue holiness.
The essence of holiness in the life of a Christian is Christlikeness. Christ formed in us is our beauty. Christ in his people, the church, is her beauty. Holy, Christlike, and beautiful, is what God is making and commanding us to be.
Let’s be done with irreverent, belittling, and light uses of the words “holy” and “holiness”. Holiness is the reality into which God is making us. To be holy is a beautiful thing. Let’s pursue this holiness that we may see God (Hebrews 12:14).
Spend some time in 1 Peter this weekend. Pray for Grace Community Church as we prepare to worship God on Sunday. Reach out to someone who needs prayer or encouragement today.