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Lesson 3: God’s Holiness

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In Lessons One and Two, we learned about God’s sovereignty and His omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience (His Omnis).

  • God is the sovereign ruler of His creation. He rules it with supreme authority and power.
  • God’s power is more powerful than anything or anyone else in the entire universe. God’s presence is everywhere at the same time. God knows everything there is to know.

This lesson is about God’s HOLINESS.

Attribute #3: Holiness

“Your eyes are too pure to look on evil. You cannot tolerate wrongdoing.” (Habakkuk 1:13a NIV)

1. When I say the word “holiness,” what comes to your mind?

Holiness is the state or quality of being holy. “Holy” is used more than any other word in the Bible to describe God so it must be very important. The word “holy” by itself means, “to set apart.” That means one thing is totally separated from something else. So, holiness means “to be set apart.” God is also set apart from something. In the Bible, God is called “the Holy One of Israel” and “the Holy God.” So, He is totally set apart, but from what?

The Bible teaches that our God is set apart from these:

  • Set apart from any other name. God’s name is holy. His name is set apart from any other name in the entire universe. That includes the names of other gods that people want to worship instead of the one true God.
  • Set apart from His creation. God is not like anything or anyone He has created. That includes angels and people. God is set apart from His creation.
  • Set apart from anything that is sinful or evil. In fact, this is what is stressed the most about God in the Bible. He is the most “holy,” and no one is as “holy” as He is. He is perfect.

“The word holy calls attention to all that God is. It reminds us that His love is holy love, His justice is holy justice, His mercy is holy mercy, His knowledge is holy knowledge, His spirit is holy spirit.” (R. C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, p. 57)

2. Read Habakkuk 1:13. Habakkuk lived at the time of the Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem (~600 BC). How does Habakkuk describe God at the beginning of the verse?

In God’s holiness, He cannot even look on evil or wrongdoing. It is a unique part of His character—who He is. God’s holiness sets him apart from anything that is sinful or evil.

3. If God is perfectly good all the time, what are some things that God cannot do?

4. Read James 1:13. What is something else that God will not do?

5. It is very comforting to know that our God can be trusted to be good all the time. Can human beings be perfectly good all the time?

6. Evil and wrongdoing that people do are called “sin” in the Bible. Give some examples of human sins.

When God created Adam and Eve, God designed people to have a relationship with Him. Because Adam and Eve disobeyed Him, sin entered the world. You can read about this in Genesis chapter 3. Adam and Eve became separated from the perfect fellowship they had with God. And, all people born after them were born sinners. What a bummer!

But, if human beings are sinful, this creates a problem because God is set apart from sin. That’s His holiness. He hates sin and must judge it. The Bible tells us that our sins separate us from Him. God doesn’t want us to be separated from Him forever. So He made a way to bring us back to Him. But, this meant getting rid of our sin.

God had a marvelous plan. His own Son would come to earth to be born as a baby, grow up to live as a human just like us, and die for our sins so we could be forgiven of them. That’s the wonder of Christmas. At Christmas, we celebrate God’s absolutely marvelous plan. When we trust in Jesus, He will remove our sin from us so we are no longer separated from Him. Amazing gift!

7. Read Isaiah 1:18. What is God’s promise to us?

During your school days, did you have a teacher who marked wrong answers with red ink? Red usually says, “That’s wrong. That’s not acceptable.” When God says our sins are bright red, He is saying the wrong things we do are not acceptable to a holy God.

8. What do you think the phrase “white as snow” means?

Freshly fallen snow looks so pristine, doesn’t it? Pure and clean. The phrase “white like wool” refers to freshly prepared sheep’s wool that is perfectly clean and hasn’t been dyed with any colors yet. It’s also pure and clean. That’s what God does to our sin the moment we trust in Jesus so we can get close to Him as our Father God.

And, here is the absolutely even-more-wonderful part: as we live each day as believers in Jesus, God continues to cleanse our sin from us so we can be close to Him.

We can enjoy our relationship with a holy God who loves us dearly, the kind of relationship that He created us to enjoy.

9. Read 2 Corinthians 5:21. What does God do to our sin? What do we get from Christ?

When God looks at us, He doesn’t see sin in our lives. Jesus takes away our sin. We are no longer separated from our holy God. He sees Jesus’ righteousness instead. Our sins are washed white as snow. This is called, “The Great Exchange.” Jesus takes our sin; we receive His righteousness. We can only marvel at God’s goodness to us in this gift.

10. Read 1 Peter 1:14-16. What does God desire for us?

Holiness means “to be set apart.” God desires that we would choose to live set apart from anything that is sinful or evil. Then, we would reflect His character in our own lives.

11. Read 1 Corinthians 10:13. What does God promise to us when we are tempted?

12. What confidence does knowing this give you?

Temptation to do wrong is part of life here on earth. Those temptations are not coming from God. Instead, He provides a way of escape for every temptation. That’s His promise.

God’s holiness means He is set apart from anything that is sinful or evil. God cleanses us from sin when we trust in Jesus so that we are no longer separated from Him.

Through His Spirit inside us He also helps us live as holy people, set apart from sin in our own lives.

Trusting Your Father God

1) Bible verse to learn:

“Your eyes are too pure to look on evil. You cannot tolerate wrongdoing.” (Habakkuk 1:13a NIV)

2) Response in prayer & praise:

As you approach your Father God, you can thank Him for His marvelous plan and for continuing to cleanse you of sin so you aren’t separated from Him ever again. You can trust Him to always be good to you and those you love. Reverence your Father God in your heart as the Holy One. Grasping His holiness will lead you to desire to be like Him in hating and avoiding evil. You can trust Him to never tempt you to do anything wrong.

3) Discover God the Father:

Spend a few minutes reading and reflecting on what Habakkuk’s prayers reveal about his understanding of and trust in God. Get to know Him well—this One who loves you dearly.

  • Read Habakkuk chapter 1. Reflect on what you read.
  • Read Habakkuk chapter 2. Reflect on what you read.
  • Read Habakkuk chapter 3. Reflect on what you read.

Related Topics: Character of God, Women's Articles

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