Grace Bible Church

Preaching the Living Word through the Written Word











E.††† Communicable Attributes Of God


1.†††† Holiness


a)††† We will begin the Communicable Attributes with the attribute of holiness. As was previously stated, the Communicable Attributes of God are those attributes, which can be found in man, albeit with an imperfect and finite resemblance. Holiness is a communicable attribute.

b)††† Definitions

(1)†† Gibson defines the holiness of God as, set apart from all uncleanness, impurity and is completely moral in all things.

(2)†† Ryrie defines the holiness of God as, not only that he is separate from all that is unclean and evil but also that He is positively pure and thus distinct from all others.

(3)†† Berkhof defines the holiness of God as, that divine perfection by which He is absolutely distinct from all His creatures, and exalted above them in infinite majesty. But it denotes in the second place that He is free from all moral impurity or sin, and is therefore morally perfect. In the presence of the holy God man is deeply conscious of his sin. (Berkhof, Summary of Christian Doctrine)

c)†††† God is absolutely holy in His nature and being (Ex 15:11; Is 57:15; Is 6:1-4; Re 4:8)

(1)†† The Hebrew word for holy is qadosh and carries the literal meaning of ďcutĒ or ďseparate.Ē In this sense, God is transcendent and separate from all others because He alone is perfect in holiness (Ex 15:11; Is 57:15).

(2)†† The Greek word for holy is hagios and reflects the same meaning as qadosh in the LXX and NT (Re 4:8 cf. Is 6:1-4).

(3)†† Because God is holy, everything He does is done in holiness (Ps 77:13). His name is holy (Le 22:2; Ps 105:3) as is His word (Ps 105:42; Ro 1:2).

d)††† God is absolutely without sin in His nature and being (1Jn 1:5; Job 34:10; Hab 1:13)

(1)†† In another sense, qadosh suggests that God is separate from all that is sinful and unholy. Godís nature is completely holy so that there is no sin or darkness in Him (1Jn 1:5).

(2)†† In fact, since Godís nature is holy, it is impossible for God to sin (sometimes called Impeccability) (Job 34:10) or even to be tempted by sin (Jm 1:13).

e)†††† God is the very standard of holiness (Le 11:44; 19:2; 20:7 cf. 1Pe 1:15-16)

(1)†† Since God is holy, the moral standard placed upon man must be holiness. If God is holy, man is not permitted to be less than holy (Le 19:2 cf. 1Pe 1:15-16).

(2)†† God reigns over man in judgment according to His standard of holiness (Ps 47:8; Eze 28:22).

(3)†† Godís Law is holy (Ro 7:9-12) and the righteous requirements (morality) are written upon manís heart (Ro 2:14-15).

f)†††† Godís holiness serves to expose manís sinfulness (Is 6:5) Ex 3:4-5; Is 1:4

(1)†† Though God possess all attributes perfectly and equally, His holiness is vigorously stressed in the Bible (Isa 6:3; Rev 4:8). It is emphasized because sinful man must grasp how far short he has fallen from Godís glory (Ro 3:23; Is 6:5).

(2)†† God continuously had to reveal His holiness to sinful man. He revealed to Moses that he was standing on ďholy groundĒ (Ex 3:5). Israel was not permitted to touch the holy mountain (Ex 19:12-13). The priest could not enter the holy place at any time, but only on the Day of Atonement (Le 16:2).

g)†††† Godís holiness separates Him from sinful man (Hab 1:13; Is 59:1-2)

(1)†† God cannot even look upon sin (Hab 1:13). Though omnipresent and omniscient, God obviously observes manís sin. However, it is impossible for God to even remotely view it with acceptance, agreement, or the possibility of fellowship.

(2)†† Sin separates all mankind from fellowship with God (Is 59:1-2). God does not hear the prayer of the unholy (Ps 66:18; Pr 28:9; Is 1:15).

h)††† Christ shares the perfect attribute of holiness (Lk 1:35; Jn 6:69; He 7:26; He 4:15), as does the Holy Spirit (Ro 1:4; Jud 1:20).

i)††††† Observations and Applications

(1)†† Since sin separates sinful man from the holiness of God, atonement is required in order to enter into a relationship with God (Le 16:11, 16). Christ provided that atonement for the believer (He 9:12; 10:19).

(2)†† Believers have been made holy through Christ (Ep 1:4; Ep 4:24), they are a holy priesthood and nation unto the Lord (1Pe 1:15; 2:5, 9), and therefore are to live holy lives (2Pe 3:11).

(3)†† When a believer sins, his relationship with God is secure. However, to remain in fellowship with God, the believer is to ďconfessĒ his sins and he is promised forgiveness (1Jn 1:9).




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