Friday, February 15, 2008

Holy, Holy, Holy a neglected Bible truth"

A theme on my heart lately has been Holiness and Holy Spirit.

Holiness is up there as one of the most misunderstood subjects among Christians.

True Biblical holiness is not hardness, legalism, or mean-spirited people making everyone miserable with their own list of concocted standards.

God is a trinity of FATHER, SON and HOLY SPIRIT.


We must see he is the HOLY Spirit. God wants us to know He is the HOLY SPIRIT.

Holy is used in various forms over 650 times in the Bible.

The Greek noun hagiasmos, “holines,” “consecration,” or “sanctification,” [1] is from the root hagios which means holy or sacred.

Two ideas on Holiness:

One of the meanings of holiness is the idea of being "set apart". God is apart from us . . . He is in a class by Himself. "There is a profound difference between Him and those He has created. When the Bible speaks of holy objects or holy people or holy time, it refers to things that have been set apart, consecrated, or made different by the touch of God upon them. It was the nearness of the divine that made the ordinary suddenly extraordinary and the common, uncommon." [Sproul ibid.] Holiness means that God is transcendent (or unique and superior) in His greatness. (by R.C. Sproul)

The second aspect of holiness (and the one we generally think of first) is the idea of purity. God is good. He does what is right and never does what is wrong. God is unstained by, and uncompromising with sin. God does not "bend a little" when it comes to wrong-doing. God always acts in a righteous manner because His nature is holiness. He is both great and good.
(by R.C. Sproul)

Holiness is to be separated from sin AND, therefore, consecrated to God. Jerry Bridges

Isaiah 6:3 "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 "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."

You will note what the angels sing is holy, holy, holy. It's not just Holy. It's not even Holy, Holy. They proclaim "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts".

Why holy 3 times ?

Similarly to our bold, italic, and underline, a Hebrew emphasis was repetition.
So the angels are not content with, “Holy!” And they are not even content with the emphasis of, “Holy! Holy!” They must say it three times—“Holy! Holy! Holy!” They take it to the third degree—the unmatched degree. No other attribute of God is praised like this. Not love or mercy or justice or sovereignty. Just Holy. RC Sproul

And they are affirming in this trihagion, this repetition of the word holy, the complete character of God. No scripture says, love, love, love, goodness, goodness, goodness, mercy, mercy, mercy, grace, grace, grace. While God is those things, never a thrice use of it when speaking of the consummate nature of God, He is holy, holy, holy.

Though our study and pursuit of holiness must never end, this devotion needs to come to a conclusion. So let me make several final observations.

First, it should be obvious, that there is no better way to use our time than to use it for God's glory. There is nothing better. There is no one greater than the Lord. He is our life, our hope, our joy. To run after and serve anything other than the Lord is foolishness. Look at your own heart and turn away from the trivial pursuits that so often occupy our energy.

Second, we need to take personal holiness seriously. We spend a good deal of our lives trifling with sin. I know I find myself battling with the unholy all the time. We push God off to the side when we feel He is getting in the way of our enjoyment or of our "entertainment".

Look, I know that taking holiness seriously means significant change in our lives. And like you . . . I resist it.

However, if we understand God's mercy and grace at all (even a little bit). If we have any sense of God's holiness (which is becoming more and more rare) we will want to purge all that is profane from our lives.

It is time to do a personal inventory and to make changes:

in your entertainment
your use of your time
the way you spend your money
the way you talk
the way you do your job
the way you treat others
the way you worship

Finally, we need to stop comparing ourselves to others and start measuring ourselves by the correct standard. When we measure our lives by God's standards we truly see ourselves.

Yes, it often hurts, and facing the truth is painful. We must accept responsibility for our own behavior. But the amazing thing about the gospel is that it tells us that because of what Christ has done on our behalf, if we admit our sin and turn to Him for mercy . . . we will find it. Our Holy God will cover us with the righteousness or goodness of Christ.

Indeed, God is great and He is good, and He is HOLY. Let us devote the rest of our lives to Him! AMEN!

Until next time, be blessed and be a blessing,
Jim (

Two great books on the subject of Holiness.
"The Holiness of God" and "The Pursuit of Holiness"
Available at for $10.39 each