(Article for publication week of 3-9-2011 AD)
In our current series of articles on the holiness of God, we have pointed out that God's holiness is the only one of His attributes that is elevated to the third degree (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8). We have suggested that there is something very important in this. It appears that God would have it impressed upon our minds that His holiness may be in a sense His chief attribute. Therefore all His other attributes are to be understood in light of His holiness. If God's holiness is not impressed upon our minds we are likely to conjure up in our minds unbiblical, and therefore false ideas about our Thrice Holy God.
Another thing that is readily brought to our minds by the repetition of God's holiness is that he is a Trinity of Persons. His is the Great One in Three. The Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit are One Thrice holy God. Let me show you what I mean.
In John 17:11 our Lord Jesus Christ in His High Priestly prayer prays thusly, "Holy Father, keep through Thine Own Name those whom Thou hast given me." The fact that the Lord Jesus Christ prayed to the Father shows us that there is a plurality of Persons in the Godhead. The fact that God the Father gave an elect people to His Son further proves this. But my main point is to emphasize that the Son called the Father , "Holy Father." This is an appellation that may never be directed to any man. Only God may be addressed as "Holy Father." Though Christ was God and coequal with the Father, in the economy of redemption, the Eternal Son has subjected himself to the Father (see Philippians 2:6-8). As the Father's Divine Subordinate, Christ addresses Him as "Holy Father." If the very Son of God would be so reverent in addressing the Father, how much more should we poor sinners.
Next notice that the Son of God is also said to be holy. For example read in Hebrews 7:26, "for such an High Priest became us, Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens." You see Christ is of the same essence as the Father. Christ has all the attributes of God. His holiness is eternally inherent in Himself, which sets Him apart from His creatures. By God's sovereign grace, elect sinners are made holy, but that holiness is derived from God.
And then we have the Third person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit, and thus he is invariably called throughout the Bible. (See for example John 14:26; II Corinthians 13:14; I John 5:7.) Thus we see the Third Person of the Holy Trinity also has the attributes of God, including holiness.
Thus we often sing with the Church, "Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! .... God in Three Persons, Blessed Trinity!" Don't you just love to worship this Thrice Holy God?!