God is perfect, pure, and undefiled. He does not sin.
As God’s image-bearers, we’re called to reflect His holiness. God says, “You are to be holy to me because I, the LORD, am holy” (Leviticus 20:26). It is a seemingly impossible task. We have all been stained by sin and bear on our backs the weight of a sinful nature. Try as we might, we all “fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
When confronted with God’s holiness in the heavenly throne room, Isaiah’s response was nothing short of terror: “Woe is me for I am ruined because I am a man of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5). That’s how stark the contrast is between God’s perfect, holy nature and our utter lack of holiness. It’s not even close.
To be holy is to be set apart, uncommon, and raised up. God is all of these things, and we are not. But His response to Isaiah’s woeful plea was not to leave Isaiah ruined before the throne. Instead, He extended mercy and made atonement for Isaiah’s sin (Isaiah 6:6–7). God, in His perfection, has made a way for His people to be holy, for nothing is impossible with Him (Luke 1:37).
Because of Jesus’s sacrifice for us on the cross, all things are being made new (Revelation 21:5). We have been given God’s Spirit to walk with Him and practice holiness daily. Someday, all who know Christ will be perfected in Him. On that day, we will reflect God’s holiness to all creation, just as God designed it to be from the beginning.
In the meantime, God has given us the righteousness of His Son, making us holy in His sight. We are now set apart as His “holy nation” (1 Peter 2:9) and a temple for His Spirit. The holy presence of God that once made Isaiah tremble lives inside of believers. Our hope in Christ is so sure that God already regards us as people who no longer fall short, who have become holy, just as He is holy.