God is universally holy in His name, nature, works, and law (Psalm 145:17; Hab 1:13; Luke 1:49; Rom 7:12). He is the original of all holiness in humans and angels. He is the only reason they are not as unholy as the demons. But what human or angel is comparable to God in holiness?
Swinnock cites Exodus 15:11 and Job 15:15 and observes:
We are a sink of sin – covered from head to foot with the leprosy of sin (Gen 6:5). Instead of comparing ourselves to God we ought to abhor ourselves for our lack of holiness.
God told Israel to be holy because He is holy (Lev 11:44-45, 19:2). The same applies to us. How many of us seek to be holy? I’m guilty of not prioritizing it in my daily life. In eras gone by holiness was one of the many things Christians neglected. J. C. Ryle (1816-1900) wrote a book addressing the importance of Holiness in the Christian’s life. You can download it for free HERE. Sadly, today, not only do we still neglect holiness, but many professing Christian leaders are advocating behavior which is sinful.
The phrase “holy, holy, holy” appears twice in the Bible, once in the Old Testament (Isaiah 6:3) and once in the New (Revelation 4:8). Both times, the phrase is spoken or sung by heavenly creatures, and both times it occurs in the vision of a man who was transported to the throne of God: first by the prophet Isaiah and then by the apostle John. Before addressing the three-fold repetition of God’s holiness, it’s important to understand what exactly is meant by God’s holiness.
The holiness of God is the most difficult of all God’s attributes to explain, partly because it is one of His essential attributes that is not shared, inherently, by man. We are created in God’s image, and we can share many of His attributes, to a much lesser extent, of course—love, mercy, faithfulness, etc. But some of God’s attributes, such as omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence, will never be shared by created beings. Similarly, holiness is not something that we will possess as an inherent part of our nature; we only become holy in relationship to Christ. It is an imputed holiness. Only in Christ do we “become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). God’s holiness is what separates Him from all other beings, what makes Him separate and distinct from everything else. God’s holiness is more than just His perfection or sinless purity; it is the essence of His “other-ness,” His transcendence. God’s holiness embodies the mystery of His awesomeness and causes us to gaze in wonder at Him as we begin to comprehend just a little of His majesty…keep reading
For I am Yahweh, who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God, so you must be holy because I am holy. Lev 11:45
Speak to the entire Israelite community and tell them: Be holy because I, Yahweh your God, am holy Lev 19:2