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The God who Is God Is Holy

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God Is Holy

THE LIVING GOD

THE HOLINESS OF GOD from A. W. Pink -The Attributes of God

Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? for Thou only art holy” ( Rev 15:4 ).

Revelation 15:4 KJV 1900
4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

He only is independently, infinitely, immutably holy. In Scripture He is frequently styled “The Holy One”: He is so because the sum of all moral excellency is found in Him.

He is absolute Purity, unsullied even by the shadow of sin. “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all”

(1 John 1:5). Holiness is the very excellency of the Divine nature: the great God is “glorious in holiness” (Ex. 15:11).

1 John 1:5 KJV 1900
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
Exodus 15:11 KJV 1900
11 Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?

Therefore do we read, “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity” (Hab. 1:13).

Habakkuk 1:13 KJV 1900
13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, And canst not look on iniquity: Wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, And holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?

As God’s power is the opposite of the native weakness of the creature, as His wisdom is in complete contrast from the least defect of understanding or folly, so His holiness is the very antithesis of all moral blemish or defilement.

Of old God appointed singers in Israel “that they should praise the beauty of holiness” (2 Chron. 20:21).

2 Chronicles 20:21 KJV 1900
21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever.

“Power is God’s hand or arm, omniscience His eye, mercy His bowels, eternity His duration, but holiness is His beauty” (Stephen Charnock). It is this, supremely, which renders Him lovely to those who are delivered from sin’s dominion.

“A chief emphasis is placed upon this perfection of God:

God is oftener styled Holy than Almighty, and set forth by this part of His dignity more than by any other.

This is more fixed on as an epithet to His name than any other. You never find it expressed “His mighty name” or “His wise name,” but His great name, and most of all, His holy name.

This is the greatest title of honour; in this latter doth the majesty and venerableness of His name appear (Stephen Charnock).

This perfection, as none other, is solemnly celebrated before the Throne of Heaven, the seraphim crying, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts ’ (Isa. 6:3).

Isaiah 6:3 KJV 1900
3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: The whole earth is full of his glory.

God Himself singles out this perfection, “Once have I sworn by My holiness” (Ps. 89:35).

Psalm 89:35 KJV 1900
35 Once have I sworn by my holiness That I will not lie unto David.

God swears by His “holiness” because that is a fuller expression of Himself than anything else. Therefore are we exhorted, “Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness” (Ps. 30:4).

Psalm 30:4 KJV 1900
4 Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, And give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

“This may be said to be a transcendental attribute, that, as it were, runs through the rest, and casts lustre upon them. It is an attribute of attributes” (John Howe, 1670).

Thus we read of “the beauty of the Lord”

(Ps. 27:4) , which is none other than “the beauty of holiness” (Ps. 110:3).

Psalm 27:4 KJV 1900
4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.
Psalm 110:3 KJV 1900
3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness From the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.

As it seems to challenge an excellency above all His other perfections, so it is the glory of all the rest:

as it is the glory of the Godhead, so it is the glory of every perfection in the Godhead; as His power is the strength of them,

so His holiness is the beauty of them; as all would be weak without almightiness to back them, so all would be uncomely without holiness to adorn them.

Should this be sullied, all the rest would lose their honour; as at the same instant the sun should lose its light, it would lose its heat, its strength, its generative and quickening virtue.

As sincerity is the lustre of every grace in a Christian, so is purity the splendour of every attribute in the Godhead.

His justice is a holy justice, His wisdom a holy wisdom, His arm of power a “holy arm” (Ps. 98:1), His truth or promise a “holy promise” (Ps. 105:42).

Psalm 98:1 KJV 1900
1 O sing unto the Lord a new song; For he hath done marvellous things: His right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.
Psalm 105:42 KJV 1900
42 For he remembered his holy promise, And Abraham his servant.

His name, which signifies all His attributes in conjunction, “is holy,” Ps. 103:1(Stephen Charnock).

Psalm 103:1 KJV 1900
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul: And all that is within me, bless his holy name.

God’s holiness is manifested in His works. “The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works” (Ps. 145:17).

Psalm 145:17 KJV 1900
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways, And holy in all his works.

Nothing but that which is excellent can proceed from Him.

Holiness is the rule of all His actions. At the beginning He pronounced all that He made “very good” (Gen. 1:31), which He could not have done had there been anything imperfect or unholy in them.

Genesis 1:31 KJV 1900
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Man was made “upright” (Eccl. 7:29), in the image and likeness of his Creator.

Ecclesiastes 7:29 KJV 1900
29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

The angels that fell were created holy, for we are told that they “kept not their first habitation” (Jude 6).

Jude 6 KJV 1900
6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

Of Satan it is written, “Thou west perfect in thy ways from the day that thou west created, till iniquity was found in thee” (Ezek. 28:15).

Ezekiel 28:15 KJV 1900
15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

God’s holiness is manifested in His law. That law forbids sin in all of its modifications: in its most refined as well as its grossest forms, the intent of the mind as well as the pollution of the body, the secret desire as well as the overt act.

Therefore do we read, “The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good” (Rom. 7:12).

Romans 7:12 KJV 1900
12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

Yes, “the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether” (Ps. 19:8, 9).

Psalm 19:8 KJV 1900
8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Psalm 19:9 KJV 1900
9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

God’s holiness is manifested at the Cross. Wondrously and yet most solemnly does the Atonement display God’s infinite holiness and abhorrence of sin.

How hateful must sin be to God for Him to punish it to its utmost deserts when it was imputed to His Son!

Not all the vials of judgment that have or shall be poured out upon the wicked world, nor the flaming furnace of a sinner’s conscience, nor the irreversible sentence pronounced against the rebellious demons, nor the groans of the damned creatures, give such a demonstration of God’s hatred of sin, as the wrath of God let loose upon His Son.

Never did Divine holiness appear more beautiful and lovely than at the time our Saviour’s countenance was most marred in the midst of His dying groans.

This He Himself acknowledges in Ps. 22:1.

Psalm 22:1 KJV 1900
1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

When God had turned His smiling face from Him, and thrust His sharp knife into His heart, which forced that terrible cry from Him, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” He adores this perfection—”Thou art holy,” v. 3(Stephen Charnock).

Because God is holy He hates all sin.

He loves everything which is in conformity to His law, and loathes everything which is contrary to it. His Word plainly declares, “The froward is an abomination to the Lord” (Prov. 3:32).

Proverbs 3:32 KJV 1900
32 For the froward is abomination to the Lord: But his secret is with the righteous.

And again, “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord” (Prov. 15:26).

Proverbs 15:26 KJV 1900
26 The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord: But the words of the pure are pleasant words.

It follows, therefore, that He must necessarily punish sin.

Sin can no more exist without demanding His punishment than without requiring His hatred of it. God has often forgiven sinners, but He never forgives sin; and the sinner is only forgiven on the ground of Another having borne his punishment; for “without shedding of blood is no remission” (Heb. 9:22).

Hebrews 9:22 KJV 1900
22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Therefore we are told, “The Lord will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserveth wrath for His enemies” (Nahum 1:2).

Nahum 1:2 KJV 1900
2 God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth; The Lord revengeth, and is furious; The Lord will take vengeance on his adversaries, And he reserveth wrath for his enemies.

For one sin God banished our first parents from Eden. For one sin all the posterity of Canaan, a son of Ham, fell under a curse which remains over them to this day (Gen. 9:21).

Genesis 9:21 KJV 1900
21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.

For one sin Moses was excluded from Canaan, Elisha’s servant smitten with leprosy, Ananias and Sapphira cut off out of the land of the living.

Unregenerate sinners cannot conceive of God’s holiness, much less begin to believe in it.

Many, then, presume that God’s character is one-sided, that His merciful disposition will override everything else, and thus there is no cause for much alarm.

“Thou thoughtest that I was altogether as thyself” (Ps. 50:21) is God’s charge against them. They think only of a “god” patterned after their own evil hearts.

Psalm 50:21 KJV 1900
21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: But I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.

Hence their continuance in a course of mad folly. Such is the holiness ascribed to the Divine nature and character in the Scriptures that it clearly demonstrates their superhuman origin.

The character attributed to the “gods” of the ancients and of modern non-Christians is the very reverse of that immaculate purity which pertains to the true God.

An ineffably holy God, who has the utmost abhorrence of all sin, was never invented by any of Adam’s fallen descendants!

The fact is that nothing makes more manifest the terrible depravity of man’s heart and his enmity against the living God than to have set before him One who is infinitely and immutably holy.

His own idea of sin is practically limited to what the world calls “crime.” Anything short of that man palliates as “defects,” “mistakes,” “infirmities,” etc.

And even where sin is owned at all, excuses and justifications are made for it.

The “god” which the vast majority of professing Christians “love” is looked upon very much like an indulgent old man, who himself has no relish for folly, but leniently winks at the “indiscretions” of youth. But the Word says, “Thou hatest all workers of iniquity” (Ps. 5:5).

Psalm 5:5 KJV 1900
5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: Thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

And again, “God is angry with the wicked every day” (Ps. 7:11).

Psalm 7:11 KJV 1900
11 God judgeth the righteous, And God is angry with the wicked every day.

But men refuse to believe in this God, and gnash their teeth when His hatred of sin is faithfully pressed upon their attention.

No, sinful man was no more likely to devise a holy God than to create the Lake of fire in which he will be tormented for ever and ever.

Because God is holy, acceptance with Him on the ground of creature-doings is utterly impossible.

A fallen creature could sooner create a world than produce that which would meet the approval of infinite Purity.

Can darkness dwell with Light? Can the Immaculate One take pleasure in “filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6)?

Isaiah 64:6 KJV 1900
6 But we are all as an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; And we all do fade as a leaf; And our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

The best that sinful man brings forth is defiled. A corrupt tree cannot bear good fruit.

God would deny Himself, vilify His perfections, were He to account as righteous and holy that which is not so in itself; and nothing is so which has the least stain upon it contrary to the nature of God.

But blessed be His name, that which His holiness demanded His grace has provided in Christ Jesus our Lord. Every poor sinner who has fled to Him for refuge stands “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6). Hallelujah.

Ephesians 1:6 KJV 1900
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Because God is holy the utmost reverence becomes our approaches unto Him.

“God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all about Him” (Ps. 89:7).

Psalm 89:7 KJV 1900
7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, And to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.

Then “Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at His footstool; He is holy” (Ps. 99:5). Yes, “at His footstool,” in the lowest posture of humility, prostrate before Him.

Psalm 99:5 KJV 1900
5 Exalt ye the Lord our God, And worship at his footstool; For he is holy.

When Moses would approach unto the burning bush, God said, “put off thy shoes from off thy feet” (Ex. 3:5).

Exodus 3:5 KJV 1900
5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

He is to be served “with fear” (Ps. 2:11).

Psalm 2:11 KJV 1900
11 Serve the Lord with fear, And rejoice with trembling.

Of Israel His demand was, “I will be sanctified in them that come nigh Me, and before all the people I will be glorified” (Lev. 10:3).

Leviticus 10:3 KJV 1900
3 Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.

The more our hearts are awed by His ineffable holiness, the more acceptable will be our approaches unto Him.

Because God is holy we should desire to be conformed to Him. His command is, “Be ye holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).

1 Peter 1:16 KJV 1900
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

We are not bidden to be omnipotent or omniscient as God is, but we are to be holy, and that “in all manner of deportment” (1 Peter 1:15).

1 Peter 1:15 KJV 1900
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

This is the prime way of honouring God. We do not so glorify God by elevated admirations, or eloquent expressions, or pompous services of Him, as when we aspire to a conversing with Him with unstained spirits, and live to Him in living like Him (Stephen Charnock).

Then as God alone is the Source and Fount of holiness, let us earnestly seek holiness from Him; let our daily prayer be that He may “sanctify us wholly; and our whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:23)

1 Thessalonians 5:23 KJV 1900
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

THE MEANING OF HOLY

The word “holy” comes from the Hebrew word qadosh, which means, “separated, marked off, placed apart, or withdrawn from common use.”

With regard to God, the word has two important meanings: God is transcendent above His creation and above His creation’s corruption.

God Is Transcendent Above His Creation

The word “transcendence” comes from the Latin verb transcendere (trans = over + scandere = to climb), which means, “to go beyond, rise above, or exceed.”

As Creator, God is above His creation and totally distinct from every created being.

The distinction between God and the rest of His creation is not merely quantitative (the same, but greater), but qualitative (God is a completely different Being).

Regardless of their splendor, all other beings on earth and in heaven are mere creatures. God alone is God—separate, transcendent, and unapproachable.

Holiness is the preeminent attribute of God and the greatest truth that we can ever learn about Him.

Every other divine attribute that we have studied and will study is simply an expression of His holiness in that it demonstrates that He is distinct from His creation and absolutely separate—a completely different Being.

The triune nature of God is an expression of His holiness—is there any created being so incomprehensible, mysterious, and wonderful?

To say that God is spirit is to express another aspect of His holiness—is there any created being so free and unhindered?

God’s perfection, eternal nature, self-existence, immutability, omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience are all expressions of His holiness—is there any created being so great and worthy of reverence?

As we continue our study of the attributes of God and as we walk before Him, we must keep in mind this one great truth—God is holy, and all that He is and does is an expression of His holiness!

God Is Transcendent Above Creation’s Corruption

The holiness of God means that He transcends the moral corruption of His creation and is separated from all that is profane and sinful.

God cannot sin, cannot take pleasure in sin, and cannot have fellowship with sin.

It is impossible to overemphasize the importance of God’s holiness.

What we understand about this attribute will influence every aspect of our relationship with God.

As the Scriptures declare in Proverbs 9:10, “The knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

Proverbs 9:10 KJV 1900
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: And the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

THE HOLINESS OF GOD

It is important to understand that God’s holiness is intrinsic or inherent (i.e. inward, essential, or belonging to His nature).

Holiness is not merely something that God decides to be or do; it is essential to who He is—He is holy.

God would have to cease to be God in order to be unholy. He would have to deny His own nature to do something that is unholy.

This is a wonderful truth that inspires great confidence in God.

1. In the Scriptures, a name has great significance and communicates something about the person who bears it.

What are the names given to God in the following Scriptures, and what do they communicate to us about His holiness?

a. I A______ That I A______ (Exodus 3:14). God is holy, separate, and distinct from all other beings and things.

Exodus 3:14 KJV 1900
14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

There is no adequate illustration or example to communicate who He truly is.

If we ask another man to describe himself to us, he can point to other human beings and say, “I am like him” or “I am like her.”

In contrast, God is incomparable.

Not even the greatest archangel in heaven is an adequate example of who He is.

When Moses asked God, “Who are You?” God could only point to Himself and declare: “I AM WHO I AM.”

This truth helps us to understand the great importance of the revelation of God in Christ.

Jesus is God in the flesh and the only true image or example of who God is (John 14:9; Colossians 1:15).

John 14:9 KJV 1900
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
Colossians 1:15 KJV 1900
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
John 14:9 KJV 1900
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
Colossians 1:15 KJV 1900
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

God now answers every question about Himself by pointing to His Son and declaring, “I am like Him!”

b. H___________ and R_________________ is His name (Psalm 111:9).

Psalm 111:9 KJV 1900
9 He sent redemption unto his people: He hath commanded his covenant for ever: Holy and reverend is his name.

The word “Reverend” comes from the Hebrew verb yare, which means, “to fear.”

In this context, it denotes that God inspires awe and reverence.

A proper understanding of the holiness of God will always result in a profound reverence before God.

c. The H_________ and L________________ One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is H_________ (Isaiah 57:15).

Isaiah 57:15 KJV 1900
15 For thus saith the high and lofty One That inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, With him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

d. In the preceding verses, words such as “holy,” “Reverend,” and “Lofty” were used to describe God.

What do these words communicate to you about the holiness of God?

2. In the Scriptures, we find that the holiness of God is both preeminent and transcendent.

It is preeminent in that no other divine attribute is so often declared and explained in the Scriptures.

It is transcendent in that there is simply no comparison between the holiness of God and that of any other being or thing.

a. God’s holiness is preeminent [Latin: prae = before + eminere = to project].

It is impossible to understand the character of God apart from His holiness.

Above all things, God is holy!

How is this truth demonstrated in Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8?

Isaiah 6:3 KJV 1900
3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: The whole earth is full of his glory.
Revelation 4:8 KJV 1900
8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

NOTES: In Hebrew literature, repetition is used to give emphasis to what is being said.

That God’s holiness is declared three times (called the trihagion [Greek: tri = thrice + hagios = holy]) denotes that God is absolutely and infinitely holy.

No other divine attribute is proclaimed with greater emphasis.

We never read in the Scriptures that God is “love, love, love” or “merciful, merciful, merciful”; but we do read that He is “holy, holy, holy.”

Holiness is the foundation of all that God is and does.

b. God’s holiness is transcendent [Latin: trans = across or beyond + scandere = to climb].

God’s holiness infinitely surpasses all others. There is none holy like the Lord! What do the following Scriptures teach us with regard to this truth?

(1) Exodus 15:11

(2) I Samuel 2:2

(3) Job 15:15

Job 15:15 KJV 1900
15 Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; Yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.
1 Samuel 2:2 KJV 1900
2 There is none holy as the Lord: For there is none beside thee: Neither is there any rock like our God.
Exodus 15:11 KJV 1900
11 Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?

NOTES: This does not mean that there is sin or corruption in heaven but communicates two great truths:

(1) nothing, not even the heavens themselves or those who dwell there,is holy like God; and

(2) God’s holiness alone is intrinsic or inherent (i.e. inward, essential, belonging to His nature).

Holiness is not merely something that God decides to be or do; it is essential to who He is—He is holy.

In contrast, all other beings and things (even heaven and its holy angels) derive their holiness from God.

They are not holy in themselves, but their holiness flows from God as a gift of grace to them.

If God turned away from them and withdrew His grace, they would fall from their holy state into sin and corruption.

(4) Isaiah 40:25

Isaiah 40:25 KJV 1900
25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.

3. The holiness of God means not only that He is unique among all His creation, but also that He is separated from all that is sinful.

God cannot sin, cannot take pleasure in sin, and cannot have fellowship with sin.

There is no possibility that God could be tempted or that His nature could be defiled.

He always remains as He is—holy and incorruptible.

What do the following Scriptures teach us about this truth?

a. Psalm 5:4

Psalm 5:4 KJV 1900
4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: Neither shall evil dwell with thee.
NOTES: The word “dwells” is translated from the Hebrew word gur, which literally means, “to sojourn.” God has nothing to do with evil or wickedness. He has no fellowship with that which is morally unclean.
b. Job 34:10
Job 34:10 KJV 1900
10 Therefore hearken unto me, ye men of understanding: Far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; And from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity.
c. Isaiah 59:1-2
Isaiah 59:1–2 KJV 1900
1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; Neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, And your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

NOTES: Here the intolerance of God toward sin is revealed. Because God is holy and righteous, outstanding sin will always lead to separation between God and the sinner. It is for this reason that God sent His only Son to pay our sin debt that He might have unbroken fellowship with us through faith (Romans 5:1).

Romans 5:1 KJV 1900
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

d. Habakkuk 1:13a

Habakkuk 1:13a KJV 1900
13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, And canst not look on iniquity: Wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, And holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?

e. James 1:13

James 1:13 KJV 1900
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

NOTES: To say that God cannot be tempted does not mean merely that God has the moral fortitude to resist all temptation to evil; rather, it means that when evil presents itself to God there is nothing to resist.

Because He is inherently and absolutely holy, all evil is an abomination to Him and does not appeal to Him in any way.

He is not drawn to evil, nor does He have any need to resist it, because He abhors it through and through.

f. James 1:17

James 1:17 KJV 1900
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

NOTES: No matter how long one observes God’s person, Word, or works—even under the strictest standard of holiness and righteousness—not even the minutest flaw will ever be found.

He dwells in unapproachable light in which there is not even the slightest tint or shadow of evil.

g. I John 1:5
1 John 1:5 KJV 1900
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

4. The holiness of God means not only that He is unique among all His creation and that

He is separated from all that contradicts His nature (i.e. sin), but also that He cannot take pleasure in sin.

God is not neutral or apathetic about evil; it is an abomination (i.e. a loathsome thing that evokes hatred or disgust) to Him.

He hates all that is evil with a holy passion.

What do the following Scriptures teach us about this truth?

a. Deuteronomy 25:16

Deuteronomy 25:16 KJV 1900
16 For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the Lord thy God.

NOTES: The word “abomination” in this passage is from the Hebrew word toeba, which refers to something or someone who is repugnant (i.e. offensive), disgusting, revolting, or obscene.

In Psalm 88:8, the word is translated, “object of loathing.”

Psalm 88:8 KJV 1900
8 Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; Thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.

b. Psalm 5:4-5

Psalm 5:4–5 KJV 1900
4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: Neither shall evil dwell with thee. 5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: Thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

NOTES: The popular saying, “God loves the sinner but hates the sin,” must be interpreted in light of Psalm 5:5.

Psalm 5:5 KJV 1900
5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: Thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

God not only hates the sin, but His hatred is also manifested against those who practice it!

How can this truth be reconciled with other passages of Scripture that speak of God’s love for sinners?

Though God’s wrath is revealed against the sinner (John 3:36), He has demonstrated His love by sending His Son to die for the very people who deserve only judgment (Romans 5:8, 10).

John 3:36 KJV 1900
36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Romans 5:8 KJV 1900
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:10 KJV 1900
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

There is a genuine love of God toward all men, and this love is manifested in innumerable ways.

Nevertheless, God is holy and His wrath (i.e. holy and just displeasure) will eventually be manifested toward all who reject salvation through Christ’s atoning sacrifice.

c. Proverbs 15:8-9

Proverbs 15:8–9 KJV 1900
8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: But the prayer of the upright is his delight. 9 The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the Lord: But he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.

NOTES: The word “abomination” in this passage is from the Hebrew word toeba, as in Deuteronomy 25:16 above.

Deuteronomy 25:16 KJV 1900
16 For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the Lord thy God.
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