The Beauty Of Holiness
We don*t often think of holiness as beautiful. We think of it as harsh. But the Bible calls holiness beautiful and so should we. This kind of beauty cannot be seen by the naked eye, nor can it be perceived by an unregenerate heart. We can perceive that God in His holiness is beautiful when He has done beautiful things for us and to us and we have experienced them personally.1 Chronicles 16:29: Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
Psalms 29:2: Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.John 3:3: Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
The King of the Kingdom is Holy. Until we become born again we cannot perceive the Kingdom of God, nor its King nor the beauty of His holiness. It will be helpful to us to know the Biblical definitions of the word holy. There is holiness that is attributable only to God. That is the kind of holiness that is beautiful.Acts 2:27: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Strong*s Concordance of Holy (hosios) in the passage above: Proper, right (by intrinsic or divine character; thus distinguished from dikaios, which refers rather to human statutes and relations; from hieros, which denotes formal consecration; and from hagios, which relates to purity from defilement).1 Peter 1:15-16: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
All 4 of the words holy in this passage are hagios, which relates to purity from defilement).Acts 15:8-9: And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
The word purifying means this: to cleanse (literally or figuratively): to make clean, to cleanse, to purge or to purify. When we receive Christ we are given holiness by an act of God. And then we are to live in it and maintain it by avoiding sin.2 Chronicles 20:21: And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.
John Wesley*s Notes on 2 Chronicles 20:21.
It was resolved, to appoint singers to go out before the army, who had nothing to do, but to praise God, to praise his holiness, which is his beauty, to praise him as they did in the temple, that beauty of holiness.Psalms 96:9: O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.
Treasury of David on Psalms 96:9:
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. This is the only beauty which he cares for in our public services, and it is one for which no other can compensate. Beauty of architecture and apparel he does not regard; moral and spiritual beauty is that in which his soul delighteth. Worship must not be rendered to God in a slovenly, sinful, superficial manner; we must be reverent, sincere, earnest, and pure in heart both in our prayers and praises.
Holiness in each of the above passages is connected with worship. God*s holiness is beautiful and our worshipping His holiness is beautiful. We worship the beauty of His holiness by appreciating it and by keeping ourselves in it and undefiled.Psalms 119:1: Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.