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The absolute holiness of the Lord Jesus in equality with the Father

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Below is a list of passages (by no means an exhaustive one) concerning the holiness of the Lord Jesus.

1. He has innocent blood (Matthew 27:4).

2. He is the Holy One of God (Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34; John 6:69).
3. He is the Holy Child (Luke 1:35).

4. He has done nothing wrong (Luke 23:41).
5. He always did the things that are pleasing to the Father (John 8:29).
6. Not even His fiercest enemies could convict Him of sin (John 8:46).
7. He is the Holy and Righteous One (Acts 2:27; 3:14; 4:27, 30; 7:52; 13:35; 22:14; 1 John 2:20).[*1]

8. He went about doing good[*2] (Acts 10:38).

9. He knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 9:14; 1 Peter 1:19; 2:22; 1 John 3:5).

10. He is the Righteous Judge (2 Timothy 4:8[*3]; cf. 1 John 2:1, 29; 3:7).

11. He is holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners (Hebrews 7:26).[*4]

12. He is the Just (1 Peter 3:18).

13. He is pure (1 John 3:3).
14. He is Holy and True (Revelation 3:7[*5]; 6:10; cf. 4:8[*6])


[*1] I think it is interesting that when reading 1 John that one notices the pronouns (He, Him, His) are oftentimes not clearly specific in identifying to whom they refer to (the Father or the Son, or even to both). This would only make sense if the Lord Jesus is God.

1 John 2:20

But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. (NASB)

Concerning the word "the Holy One":

1. BDAG (3rd Edition): of God 1 John 2:20 (hagios, page 11).
2. Joseph Thayer: of Christ 1 John 2:20 (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, hagios).


[*2] Mark 10:18 does not teach that the Lord Jesus denied being "good" in equality with the Father.



[*3] 2 Timothy 4:8

in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. (NASB)

 When defining kritēs in Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament it refers to "Christ returning to sit in judgment."
 However, when defining "righteous" (dikaios) the BDAG (3rd Edition) affirms that it is used of "God" (page 246), but when defining "appearing" (epiphaneia) it reads "of Jesus" (page 386). Not only that, in Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words "righteous" (dikaios) refers to "the judgment of God...of His character as Judge, 2 Timothy 4:8."

But when defining "Judge" (kritēs) it is used "of Christ."


 It is interesting to note that Psalm 7:11 teaches that the "Righteous Judge" refers to God, and yet Paul applies it in reference to the Lord Jesus in 2 Timothy 4:8. 

So when some claim that the Righteous Judge refers to God and others affirm it is in reference to the Lord Jesus and still others apply it to both, it is not a case of an either/or dilemma, but rather a both/and solution. Jesus, being God, is the Righteous Judge.


[*4] The note in the BDAG (3rd Edition) also affirms that absolute holiness of the Lord Jesus in citation of Hebrew 7:26. The verse reads:
For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens. (NASB)
 Concerning "separated" (chōrizō) the BDAG (3rd Edition) affirms the following: In the case of κεχωρισμένος ἀπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν Hb 7:26 the meaning can include not only that Christ has been separated from sinful humans by being exalted to the heavenly world,...but also that because of his attributes (see what precedes in the context: ὅσιος, ἄκακος, ἀμίαντος) he is different from sinful humans (page 1095).
 Since being "holy" is an attribute of the Lord Jesus this demonstrates that He is God. For one must remember that God's very name is "holy" (Psalm 111:9; Isaiah 57:15; Luke 1:49). It is who He is. It is His attribute. Created beings can be holy, but not in the absolute sense that God is. It is because of His supreme holiness that Revelation 15:4 affirms that God alone is the proper recipient of worship. His name is to be hallowed (hagiazō) in worship (Matthew 6:9). Since this same worship (hagiazō) is spoken of in 1 Peter 3:15 in reference to the Lord Jesus demonstrates that the Lord Jesus is equally holy with the absolute holiness of the Father.


[*5] Concerning Revelation 3:7, G. K. Beale affirms the following: "Holy" and "true" are divine attributes elsewhere in Revelation (so 6:10) so their use here suggests Jesus' deity (The Book of Revelation: A Commentary, page 283).


[*6] Revelation 4:8
And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (ESV)
 The Greek word for "holy" in Revelation 4:8 is hagios. A similar passage which refers to God's threefold holiness appears in Isaiah 6:3. It reads: And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (ESV)
 John informs us that the Isaiah passage is in reference to the Lord Jesus (cf. John 12:36, 41). This demonstrates that the Lord Jesus is supremely holy and thus the recipient of ceaseless praise.
      1. Robert Jamieson, Andrew Robert Fausset and David Brown (Isaiah 6:1): I saw also the Lord - here 'Adonaay (Hebrew #136); Yahweh (Hebrew #3068) in Isaiah 6:5. Jesus Christ is meant as speaking in Isaiah 6:10, according to John 12:41...The words of Isaiah 6:10 are attributed by Paul (Acts 28:25-26) to the Holy Spirit. Thus the Trinity, in unity is implied; as also by the thrice "Holy" (Isaiah 6:3). 

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