Breakdown on God's Greatness

“God is great, God is good…let us thank Him for this food!” Many of you probably remember that child’s prayer. But there’s actually some good theological truth in that prayer: God is great and God is good. And those are two separate attributes of His character. God is great (the attributes of God’s being…who He is); and God is good (the attributes of God’s morality…what God does because of who He is). Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve discussed the greatness of God. Today, we’ll start delving into the goodness of God.

3 Attributes of God’s Goodness:

1. The Holiness of God

God is holy, which means He is completely set apart. “Holy” literally means “to cut” or “to be separate.” So, when you are holy, you are a “cut above.” God is certainly that!!! In fact, the Old Testament says that God is “holy, holy, holy” (Isaiah 6:3). Then, in the New Testament, the heavenly creatures described in the book of Revelation cry out, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8). The three-fold repetition was the Jewish way of expressing the superlative. In other words, “holy, holy, holy” means “the holiest.” It doesn’t mean that God is a little holier than we are; it means that there is no one or nothing that is holy like Him. No one comes close. God is the perfectly holy God. 

That means He is absolutely pure. 

Absolute purity means God is untouched by sin. Habakuk 1:13 says, “You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong.” Think about that…God has never, will never, and can never, sin. He is not even tempted by sin and evil. God is, from His core nature, untouched by sin. 

It also means God is intolerable of sin. Hebrews 12:14 says, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” 

So, what should our response be to the holy-holy-holy God?

1. A separation FROM sin and evil

“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:14-16). Because the God we serve and worship is holy, we should be separate from the world, sin and evil. 

2. A devotion TO God and His glory

Being holy, being set apart, does not just describe what we DON’T do; it describes what we DO. It describes our devotion to God, how we live, and whom we live for. Holiness is our faithful response to the beautiful God. Our holiness should be our response to our holy God. As the songwriter wrote, 

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.

Holy, holy, holy! though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

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