3.1.3 God, the Holy One

In the Old Testament God is repeatedly described as "the Holy One" (Isaiah 43: 3; Jeremiah 50: 29; Habakkuk 1: 12). The holiness which is part of God's nature, being, and rule, refers to the fact that He is majestic, untouchable, and separate from the profane. This is also attested in Revelation 4: 8 with the words: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come" (Isaiah 6: 3). His word and His will are equally holy.


The nearness of God, the presence of the Holy One, which has been repeatedly experienced throughout the history of salvation, commands reverence for Him. That the presence of God is holy and that it demands reverence was experienced by Moses when he saw the burning bush and heard the voice of God: "Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground" (Exodus 3: 5). The holiness of God sanctifies the place where He reveals Himself.


Participation in God's holiness is both a gift and a duty: "You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy" (Leviticus 19: 2; cf. 1 Peter 1: 15-16). Thus every believer is called upon to strive for holiness, which derives from the holiness of God. Thereby the name of God is "hallowed", which is also expressed in the Lord's Prayer: "Hallowed be Your name" (Matthew 6: 9).