Holy And Righteous God

In order for us to believe and trust God, we have to know Him. In order for us to have a relationship with God, we have to know Him. In order to worship and glorify God the right and pleasing way, we have to know Him. In order for us to change for God's glory, we have to know Him.
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Our theme message for this series is "That I May Know Him." And before we go on to our topic for today, let us first read our main verse for the series: Hebrews 1:3 ESV

"He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,"

This Scripture proclaims the truth about Jesus Christ's nature being one with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. To add up to this, Jesus said in John 14:6-7, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him."

So confirming our theme for this series, Jesus is the exact way to know God the Father.

In order for us to believe and trust God, we have to know Him.

In order for us to have a relationship with God, we have to know Him.

In order to worship and glorify God the right and pleasing way, we have to know Him.

In order for us to change for God's glory, we have to know Him.

A good way to start knowing God is identifying His character or attributes. The Bible shows a long list of God's character:

God is Holy, Righteous and Just.

God is loving, merciful, gracious and kind.

God is omnipotent (all powerful).

God is omniscient (all knowing).

God is omnipresent (ever present).

God is Faithful...

... and many more.

But for tonight's devotion, we will be talking about God's holiness and righteousness through Jesus Christ, and how this knowledge about God can greatly help us in our relationship with Him and in our pursuit of the genuine Christian Life.


The word holy is often defined as being related to a god or religion. Another definition is being religious or morally good.

The word righteous, on the other hand, is being morally good, or acting in accord with a divine or moral law.

But the Bible actually showcases these words in a vastly rich and much meaningful manner. And I believe it's the best way to fully understand God's holiness and righteousness. (Merriam-Webster)

Let's see how the Bible first illustrated God's holiness and righteousness in the Old Testament.

■ THE FALL OF MAN (Genesis)

Going back to the Genesis story of The Fall of Man, Adam and Eve disobeyed God's commandment about not eating the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, lest they will surely die. God, being sovereign, has the will and power to just let it go. But because God is righteous, He has to do the right thing and has to punish Adam and Eve for what they have done. That very moment, they received death which they deserved. Death not in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense. Spiritual death means they were drawn out of the Garden of Eden and were eternally separated from God, who Himself was their source of life.

The aftermath of Adam and Eve's disobedience also illustrates God's holiness. God is holy (pure and without blemish; without a hint of evil). Adam and Eve were dirtied by sin, and staying close to God will get them killed. It's because they were stained by evil and God is so good that they will surely die in His very presence. This is actually what God meant when He said, "of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:17) Adam and Eve (who are now smeared by evil) had to be separated from God (the Holy One who was the source of their life). It was their disobedience to God that led them, and eventually all mankind, to death.


Another illustration of God's holiness is the story of Moses and the burning bush in the Book of Exodus. When Moses was keeping his flock on Mt. Horeb (which was then known as the mountain of God), the Angel of the Lord appeared to Him through a burning bush. God said to Him, "Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." (Exodus 3:5) Have Moses approached the burning bush too close, he would have been killed because God is Holy and Righteous, and Moses was not. Moses was fully aware of God's attributes that he hid his face for he was afraid to see God and get killed. If you are getting the idea, God's holiness becomes more intense the closer you come to His presence. That's why God told Moses, "don't come any closer."

■ THE TEMPLE (Leviticus)

The same intensity of holiness is shown in the Jewish temple in the Book of Leviticus. The temple is where God's holy presence dwelled, and in the temple are located the holy place and the most holy place where the arch of the covenant is located, the hotspot of God's presence. So whether an Israelite was inside the temple or just in the land where the temple is, they are in God's proximity and they had to be pure as well, for being impure in God's presence is very dangerous for them. Again, not because it's bad, but because it's just so good and they just can't come close to God while they are in an impure state. Being in an impure state here means being morally and ritually unclean. They get morally unclean when they disobey God's commandments. They get ritually unclean when they touch certain things related to death; such as skin with disease like leprosy, or dead bodies, or even certain bodily fluids. A woman in menstruation is also considered ritually unclean, and everyone was not even allowed to touch a woman with menstrual discharge. So God gave them very clear instructions on how they would know when they are impure, and steps to become pure, so they could once again come into God's holy presence without getting destroyed.

As we continue to read the Bible, we will actually become more aware of God's characteristics. Now in just the first three chapters of the Bible, we can see the intensity of God's holiness and righteousness. We are all dirty sinners, God is holy and righteous. And so we are really separated from God and it's impossible to approach Him in our impure state.

But we know in the Gospel that although God is Holy, Righteous and Just, He is also compassionate, loving and full of mercy and grace. And even before Jesus came in the New Testament, God has been giving us clues in the Old Testament through His prophecies shown to the prophets. Let's go to the Book of the Prophet Isaiah.


In the Book of Isaiah, the prophet Isaiah saw a vision about the Lord. He was in the temple and he saw the Lord sitting on the throne. And this is what he said,

"Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!" (Isaiah 6:5)

Isaiah was greatly terrified; even more terrified than when Moses saw the burning bush in Mt. Horeb. Isaiah knew that he was unclean and he was not even supposed to be inside the temple. What happened next is interesting.

It says in verses 6-7:

"Then one of the seraphin flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: 'Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for." (Isaiah 6.6-7)

This is something new. Why? As you remember in our previous examples, particularly the example in the Jewish temple, when someone touches something unholy (like something related to death) they become unclean. So basically, the unholy things (or persons) pass it's unholiness to those who touch them. But now in Isaiah's vision, the coal from the altar (which was pure and holy) touched Isaiah's lips which were unholy. And the seraphin said: "this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and sin atoned for."

It never happened before that the holiness of something holy is passed on to something unholy. Isaiah was not destroyed by the burning coal's holiness, but he was transformed by its holiness.


Now let's move on to another prophet, the prophet Ezekiel. Ezekiel had another vision on the temple. He was brought by God to the temple. Now standing by the door of the temple, Ezekiel saw water trickling from the temple's threshold. Following the flow, the stream eventually grew wider and deeper until it turned into a river flowing towards the Dead Sea. The track of the river reintroduced vegetations for food and the sea water became fresh for sea creatures to live in. The water flowing from the temple eventually brought life and refreshment to wherever it flows through.

So.. instead of being pure and holy first before going into the temple, the prophets saw visions of God's holiness and purity coming out of the temple making things holy, pure and alive.


This prophetic visions were fulfilled by the Man Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Jesus started going from place to place touching everyone impure and unholy... people with diseases, women who had been bleeding for years, and even the dead people. Instead of their impurities and unholiness transferring to Jesus, Jesus's holiness and purity transferred into them, bringing healing to them.. and even bringing the dead back to life.

Jesus was the pure and holy coal in Isaiah's vision, taking everyone's guilt away and atoning for their sins.

In John 14:6-7 that we have read, Jesus claimed that He is the way, the truth, and the life, and that He is the human embodiment of God the Father Himself.


What's in Ezekiel's vision at the temple? The Bible said that Jesus, together with his followers, is the temple where streams of living water come from, giving life to wherever it flows through.

That is why Jesus is sending His followers to the rest of the world to share the light and life of the Gospel. Jesus came not just for physical healing, but most importantly, for spiritual healing of the world.


"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" 2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV

"But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it — the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for fall has sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."

Romans 3:21-26


"Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh."

Romans 13:14 NIV

"Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1:13-21 ESV

Photo by: Lot Caquejo