God is holy with an absolute holiness that knows no degrees, and this He cannot impart to His creatures. But there is a relative and contingent holiness that He shares with angels and seraphim in heaven and with redeemed men on earth as their preparation for heaven. This holiness God can and does impart to His children. He shares it with them by imputation and by impartation, and because He has made it available to them through the blood of the Lamb, He requires it of them. To Israel first and later to His Church God spoke, saying, “Be ye holy; for I am holy.” He did not say “Be ye as holy as I am holy,” for that would be to demand of us absolute holiness, something that belongs to God alone. Before the uncreated fire of God’s holiness angels veil their faces. Yea, the heavens are not clean, and the stars are not pure in His sight. No honest man can say “I am holy,” but neither is any honest man willing to ignore the solemn words of the inspired writer, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”
Because God’s first concern for His universe is its moral health, that is, its holiness, whatever is contrary to this is necessarily under His eternal displeasure. To preserve His creation God must destroy whatever would destroy it. When He arises to put down iniquity and save the world from irreparable moral collapse, He is said to be angry. Every wrathful judgment in the history of the world has been a holy act of preservation. The holiness of God, the wrath of God, and the health of the creation are inseparably united. God’s wrath is His utter intolerance of whatever degrades and destroys. He hates iniquity as a mother hates the polio that would take the life of her child.
Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14
God’s wrath is His utter intolerance of whatever degrades and destroys. He hates iniquity as a mother hates the polio that would take the life of her child.
Help us to strive for holiness, Lord, for without holiness we will not see You.