The Holiness and Sovereignty of God

God’s holiness refers to His uniqueness, His separateness. There is no one like Him. His sovereignty refers to His rightful authority and rule over all things. These are the last two attributes covered in this series on The Attributes of God.

The Holiness of God

God’s holiness is generally understood with respect to two aspects: His uniqueness and His purity. God being holy means that He is wholly set apart from all of creation and evil. 

There is no one like God. He is before all things, created all things, and upholds all things. He is utterly unique. The mother of the prophet Samuel, Hannah, in her prayer of thanksgiving to the LORD said the following:

There is no one holy like the Lord,
Indeed, there is no one besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God. (1 Samuel 2:2)

There is no one like our God. The LORD speaks of His holiness and his desire for the children of Israel to be like Him in holiness,

For I am the Lord who brought you up from the land of Egypt, to be your God; so you shall be holy, because I am holy. (Leviticus 11:45)

God is set apart and pure, and we are called to be like Him in holiness (1 Peter 1:16).

The Sovereignty of God

God’s sovereignty refers to His sovereign dominion and right to rule over all creation. God’s sovereignty may more correctly be understood as an activity of God in relation to the created universe. When we consider the nature of God and His other attributes, we see that He is absolutely sovereign.  

God is all-knowing (Isaiah 46:10), all-powerful (Genesis 18:14; Matthew 19:26), and is absolutely free (Psalm 115:3). God is before all things (Colossians 1:17), created all things (John 1:3), sustains all things (Hebrews 1:3), and transcends all things (Ephesians 4:6, Psalm 57:5). The biblical picture of God is of One whose power and majesty exceed description. There is no one like God, and all things depend on Him. God rightfully rules over all things, for He is the creator and sustainer of all things.

Our Response

The wonderful mystery of God’s holiness is that despite knowing all the evil we’d do, God made the sovereign choice to count those who are in Christ as holy. God decreed from eternity past that those who trust and believe in His good provision through Jesus Christ would be set apart and declared righteous (Romans 5:1–11). God is holy and sovereign, and He freely loves us. 


This study is based on A.W. Tozer’s book The Knowledge of the Holy and J. I. Packer’s Knowing God.

Missed a part in this series? You can catch up here.

The Holiness and Sovereignty of God

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