What Does Holiness Look Like: 3 Characteristics of Holiness

It’s hard to imagine what holiness looks like when we live in a world scarred by the marks of sin, yet the Christian’s call to live a life of holiness is frequent within the New Testament. So what does holiness look like? Let’s talk about it three characteristics of holiness.

What does holiness look like? 3 characteristics of holiness. | Faith | Devotional | Christian lifestyle | Christian Women

3 Characteristics of Holiness

Read It

1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and His robe filled the temple. 2 Seraphim were standing above Him; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another:

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts; His glory fills the whole earth.

4 The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke.

Isaiah 6:1-4 (HCSB)

You might recognize these verses if you’ve spent any amount of time reading past writing of mine. Even though I frequently mention my struggles with the actual book of Isaiah, I do love the first passage of Isaiah 6 (which extends past this). It’s poignant, powerful, and there are so many lessons to be learned.

So what’s actually going on in this passage?

Isaiah is explaining his call to ministry (you know, after five chapters of sharing his ministry with us). So he shares this vision of the throne room of God. I can think of no better portrait of what holiness looks like then these verses.

Learn It

Holiness Leaves No Room

…and His robe filled the temple.

Isaiah 6:1 (HCSB)

A very wise preacher once noted that God fills up whatever He occupies. We see in this verse with the robes, we see in God’s demand for our all, and we also see this at work when the Philistines tried to move the Ark of the Covenant into their temple (1 Samuel 5). Okay, full disclosure so I don’t get sued for plagiarism, that wise preacher happens to be my father.

God, who is holiness, doesn’t leave room. Period.

When we’re face-to-face with holiness, we will become aware of our flaws. Why? Because holiness leaves no space for the sin hiding within our hearts. The demand for all means that the junk in our lives and within our souls must be evicted.

So while I 100% believe in God’s mercy and forgiveness, I also 100% believe that we must take sin seriously.

There’s always a choice to disobey God’s will for our lives. But to do that, we have to metaphorically turn our gaze away from Christ.

Holiness Demands Adoration

2 Seraphim were standing above Him; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another:

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts; His glory fills the whole earth.

Isaiah 6:2-3 (HCSB)

There are two characteristics that define the Biblical encounters with holiness:

  • repentance of sin
  • adoration

We can see the adoration in everything the seraphim do in this moment. Their very pose is one of humbleness.

And – of course – they are calling back and forth about the holiness of God.

What’s most interesting about this is that, traditionally, we view the definition of holiness as “without sin.” Because of this, we tend to think of all heavenly beings as being pure and holy. After all, sin cannot be present in the eyes of God, right?

But in this passage we have two beings who – as far as we know – have not sinned, yet they still worship God’s holiness. So what does that tell us about God’s holiness?

While we are called to strive against sin in our lives so that we can live a holy life, there will never become God. The most blameless of men and of angels still bow before Him. God’s holiness demands adoration and praise, no matter what.

Holiness is Powerful

4 The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke.

Isaiah 6:4 (HCSB)

Okay, so this one is cheating a little bit since this is the seraphim causing the doorways to shake. However, the power of these creatures were enough to make the foundations of the door shake.

Can we just stop and think about that for a moment? There is some debate on if this was 100% a vision of the throne room of God, or some vision imposed upon the actual temple of God. Either way, this is not a cheaply made building.

Two creatures shouting back-and-forth shook the doorway.

If that’s not power, then I don’t know what is. And yet these creatures are beneath God. “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God almighty!”

There are so many verses that describe God’s voice as being like thunder and lightning. This is one of the few passages that describes the actual effect that these heavenly voices can have on surroundings. And this isn’t even God’s voice shaking the thresholds!

Holiness is powerful. This is why so many in the Bible collapsed to their knees and exclaimed, “I’m going to die!”

Apply It

Ask: “Have I been allowing God’s holiness to take control of my life?”

Do: Stop trying to hide that one thing deep in the back of your heart. Turn it over to God instead. There’s no such thing as an innocent sin.

Pray: “Dear God, help me to better understand holiness so that I can model my life after your will. Convict me of any improper conduct in my life, and please forgive me of my sin. Amen.”

Please share with your friends!

More about Lauren C. Moye

Lauren has had a lifelong passion for both writing and for helping people. Once upon a time, she would have laughed if somebody suggested she write nonfiction to achieve those goals. A couple of years ago, she would have scoffed if somebody suggested she write for her peer groups. Today she's writing to "HELP BUSY CHRISTIAN MOMS MANAGE LIFE."

Leave a Reply