Doctrine of God 0002 - Lesson 4

  1. THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD (Continued)
    1. His Goodness
      1. A trinity of God’s goodness
        1. It could be argued that the highest level of God's glory as God is to be seen in the attributes of His goodness. That means that His moral attributes of goodness are more central to His being than are the powerful attributes of greatness. That is, God is not good because He is great but He is great because He is good. Perhaps God could have absolute greatness without absolute goodness, but He could not have absolute goodness without absolute greatness. Therefore, we will look at the attributes of goodness as the central attributes of God.
          1. “Oh how great is thy goodness” – Psalm 31:19
          2. “the memory of thy great goodness” – Psalm 145:7
          3. “For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty!” – Zechariah 9:17
        2. Of the attributes of God’s goodness, three (a trinity) seem to be central to all the others: holiness, truth, and love. Although the Bible does not directly declare these three to be central, there are many evidences.
          1. The other attributes of goodness proceed from one of these three attributes (compare 2 Timothy 1:7).
            1. Holiness: righteousness, justice, and beauty. Note: power and glory, even though they are attributes of God’s greatness, also proceed from God’s holiness).
            2. Truth: wisdom and faithfulness.
            3. Love: mercy and grace.
          2. All three attributes are specifically related to each of the three persons of the trinity [see notes below].
        3. Of the three central attributes of God’s goodness, His holiness seems to be the central attribute of God [see notes below]. If there is only one thing we could say about God, we should say that He is holy!
      2. Holiness
        1. The central position of God’s holiness
          1. The only trait of God that is given a triple declaration: holy, holy, holy.
            1. In Isaiah’s vision (Isaiah 6:3)
            2. The heavenly vision of John (Revelation 4:8)
          2. A central trait of all three persons of the Godhead
            1. The Father is holy. He is often called the Holy One or the Holy One of Israel in scripture (2 Kings 19:22; Job 6:10; Psalm 71:22; Psalm 78:41; Isaiah 43:3, 14, 15; Habakkuk 1:12).
            2. The Son is holy.
              1. The holy thing born of Mary (Luke 1:35)
              2. The holy child Jesus (Acts 4:27, 30)
              3. The Holy One of God (Mark 1:24)
              4. The Holy One not to see corruption (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:27)
              5. The holy high priest (Hebrews 7:26)
              6. The most Holy who will be anointed (Daniel 9:24)
              7. He that is holy (Revelation 3:7)
            3. The Spirit is holy.
              1. The Holy Spirit (Isaiah 63:10; Luke 11:13; Ephesians 4:30)
              2. The Holy Ghost (Matthew 1:18; Luke 4:1; Romans 14:17)
              3. The spirit of holiness (Romans 1:4)
            4. The title of service to God
              1. For the priesthood (Exodus 39:30-31)
              2. For the kingdom age: even the bells on the horses and the pots in the houses (Zechariah 14:20-21)
            5. The name of the Lord, which is the revelation of His essence, is holy (1 Chronicles 16:10; Psalm 103:1; Psalm 111:9; Luke 1:49). The “holy name” in reference to God is used twenty times in the Bible.
            6. God alone is truly holy (1 Samuel 2:2; Revelation 15:4).
            7. God swears by His holiness (Psalm 89:35; Amos 4:2).
            8. The beauty of God is seen in His holiness (1 Chronicles 16:29; Psalm 96:9).
        2. The meaning of holiness
          1. Holiness in humans and earthly objects. Although earthly things are a poor example of holiness, we must begin here if we hope to have any real understanding of God’s holiness. Earthly holiness has both a positive and a negative aspect.
            1. Negative: that which is holy must be separated from the world; from other things. As such, holiness indicates purity from the defiling things of this world. That which is holy is clean and pure from defilement.
            2. Positive: that which is holy must be set apart unto God. This is the idea of consecration and is the fullest meaning of sanctification. Notice the importance of the order. We cannot set apart unto God’s use that which is still defiled. Separation must come first; then sanctification can follow (Exodus 28:1 before Exodus 28:40-41; Leviticus 10:10 before Leviticus 20:7; 2 Timothy 2:20-21; Romans 12:1-2 – “be not conformed” before “be ye transformed”).
          2. The holiness of God
            1. Negative: God is absolutely pure. There is no uncleanness, no sin, and no defilement of any kind in Him. He is so pure that He cannot look on iniquity (Habakkuk 1:13).
            2. Positive: God is completely set apart from this world and its fallen nature. He has been called Wholly Other. He is the “high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy” (Isaiah 57:15).
          3. The two aspects of the holiness of God are revealed to us through two aspects of His greatness. This links the goodness of God with the greatness of God.
            1. Because of God’s holiness, He is set apart from the world. This set apart nature is revealed in His glory. He is high and lofty because He is holy.
              1. God is “glorious in holiness” (Exodus 15:11)
              2. His holiness is displayed on earth in His glory (Isaiah 6:3)
            2. Because of God’s holiness, He is pure from all defilement.  This purity is revealed to us in His power.
              1. The power of judgment proceeds from His holiness (1 Samuel 6:20).
              2. The power of resurrection proceeds from His holiness (Romans 1:3-4).
              3. The power of miracles proceeds from His holiness (Acts 3:12).
        3. The response of the saints to the holiness of God
          1. Initially, the holiness of God repels us.
            1. The experience of Job (Job 40:1-5; Job 42:5-6)
            2. The experience of Isaiah (Isaiah 6:5)
            3. The experience of Daniel (Daniel 10:5-8)
            4. The experience of John (Revelation 1:17)
          2. Then, the holiness of God draws us.
            1. We are drawn to its beauty (1 Chronicles 16:29; 2 Chronicles 20:21; Psalm 29:2; Psalm 96:9).
            2. We desire to behold the beauty of the Lord (Psalm 27:4).
            3. The see the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).
            4. God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3).
          3. Finally, the holiness of God transforms us.
            1. We are to be holy as He is holy (Leviticus 11:44-45; Leviticus 19:2; Leviticus 20:7, 26; Leviticus 21:8; 1 Peter 1:15-16).
            2. While beholding His glory, we are transformed from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).
            3. We are to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord (2 Corinthians 7:1); compare to the pattern of holiness repelling us, drawing us, and then transforming us.
            4. We are to make a living sacrifice that is holy unto God (Romans 12:1).
            5. Our righteousness is to lead to holiness (Romans 6:19, 22; 1 Thessalonians 4:7).
            6. The new man is created in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24).
            7. We are to be partakers of His own holiness (Hebrews 12:10).
David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 11:1

A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.