If you ask ten different people at church what the word holy means, you’ll probably get ten different answers. It’s important to understand the definition, though, because that word is going to be a big part of our future. Revelation 4:8 tells us that four creatures will stand in front of God’s throne in heaven and say, “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come”—for all eternity.

We cannot understand God without understanding his holiness. To be holy is to be completely separate from sin. It’s more than just taking a strong stand against sin. It’s more than just judging people who do evil. The fact that God is holy means sin cannot exist where he is—just as darkness cannot exist where the sun is.

God’s holiness is what makes salvation necessary. Anyone who is guilty of sin cannot be in God’s presence. And since we’re all guilty of sin, we need Jesus’ perfect sacrifice to make us pure and reconnect us with God.

Praising God for his holiness should be a big part of our worship. Thanking him for his gift of salvation should be a big part of our praise. — Christopher D. Hudson, Once-a-Day at the Table Family Devotional: 365 Daily Readings and Conversation Starters for Your Family (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012).

I have just completed a seven-part Bible Study called Ancient Words. It explores seven key Hebrew words we need to understand in order to really understand the gospel. This article is an excerpt from this Bible study. The Bible Study is available on Amazon. It is also avail as well as part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking subscription service.

This service is like Netflix for Bible Lessons. You pay a low monthly, quarterly or annual fee and get access to all the lessons. New lessons that correspond with three of Lifeway’s outlines are automatically included, as well as a backlog of thousands of lessons. Each lesson consists of 20 or so ready-to-use questions that get groups talking, as well as answers from well-known authors such as David Jeremiah, Charles Swindoll and Max Lucado. For more information, or to sign up, click here.