What Does God’s Holiness Mean?

Jon Naron

March 03, 2020

​I am grateful to have grown up in a religious Filipino culture. It made me keenly aware of the fact that God is holy and just, must be feared, and cannot be approached carelessly. It was for this very reason that I tried my best to be religious in high school; yet, I have never been certain of whether I was acceptable in God’s sight or not.

In Moses’s encounter with the burning bush, God revealed His unapproachable holiness:

Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”

Exodus 3:5

Yet despite this, Moses’s feet had an opportunity to be in contact with holy ground. Why is that?

​The reality is God is holy, and this word means “sacred and separate” from man—in substance, morality, and distance. This attribute defines all His other characteristics.

His holy love is so perfect and utterly different from man’s ability to love. His holy justice is so strong and fierce that man’s sense of justice could not even begin to compare. His holy wisdom is so above us that man’s best inventions seem like folly.

​This is both good and bad news.

It presents God as one very capable of being in-charge, yet it also means that everyone will have to give an account to Him because there is no escaping His judgment, especially for those who have chosen to ignore Him. This conveys that God is way better than we imagined, but all our efforts to come near Him and impress Him will always fall short.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

Romans 3:23 (NLT)

When I was growing up, my effort at trying to please God was through my religiosity and my inconsistent attempts to change.

But these efforts actually made no difference from those who gave up and chose to immerse themselves in sin because they got tired of trying to change or following God. In the end, both the “religious” and the “sinners” will be judged as having fallen short of God’s holy standard.

​Yet God allowed Moses’s feet to touch holy ground.

One reason could be that his sandals were man-made, but his feet were God’s creation. This gives insight to the idea that despite God’s unapproachable holiness, He wants man to draw near to Him.

Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin . . . 

Romans 3:24,25 (NLT)

​God’s holiness demands justice. The penalty for sin is death, and we have all been sentenced to it. I experienced the death of a close relative this past week, so this is immensely real to me.

Yet God, in His grace, sent His Son Jesus to die on our behalf, showing His great love by doing whatever it takes to draw us near.

How will you respond to His great love?

. . . People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.

Romans 3:25 (NLT)

Jesus is the only one capable of making this sacrifice to save us from our sins. When He died, He had no sin and, therefore, could die in our place. When you believe in who Jesus is and receive His sacrifice for you, you are completely forgiven of your sins and can approach the holy God, because you have been made right in His sight. You could experience this God who is way better than we imagined!

​Being made right in God’s sight means having fully met His glorious standard of holiness as an enduring status. And take note, this is not something we accomplished ourselves!

After graduating from college as a physical therapist, I had to face the dreaded board exam. When I eventually passed and received my license, it was an enduring status that “made me acceptable” as a professional.

After having believed in Jesus, you are, now and forever, holy in God’s sight, and Jesus’ perfect life has been imparted to you. This is why you no longer need to live in guilt, shame, or condemnation. As you live by faith, you are acceptable in His sight and can freely draw near to enjoy a relationship with Him.

​Moreover, His holiness rubs off on the manner in which you live your life. As you draw near to Him through reading the Word, in prayer, and in worship, and as you walk in relationship with Him in all the details of your life, your feet touch holy ground repeatedly and you’ll begin to walk differently!

Your life transforms into who God made you to be, and you’ll grow into the leadership and influence that He has planned for you. In the end, you will have enjoyed a life-long relationship with God and have fulfilled His purpose for you.

​My prayer is that you’ll receive God’s invitation to believe in Jesus’ work for you so that you could be made right with Him. May your life experience transformation into the likeness of this holy God, that the people around you may see and desire to draw near to Him, too.

 

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The Author

Jon Naron

Jon Naron serves as Director for Victory Provincial Churches. He previously served as a pastor in Victory Imus and as a campus missionary in Victory Malate, hence his continuing passion to reach students in any capacity. He is married to Let and together they have four children: Gab, Kate, Albert & Alyanna. Jon feels called to disciple the youth and families, and to help raise leaders for the Philippines.

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