WEEK FOUR: THE HOLINESS OF GOD
Defining the Holiness of God:
“We know nothing like the divine holiness. It stands apart, unique, unapproachable, incomprehensible and unattainable. The natural man is blind to it. He may fear God’s power and admire His wisdom, but His holiness he cannot even imagine.” - A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy
· Root Word: to divide, to mark off, to set apart from all else; it’s the opposite of profane – or to be common or ordinary – to be holy is to be different, distinct, or unique from the common or ordinary.
· The Holiness of God is that which divides Him from everyone and everything else. It is the quality of God being different, distinct, unique – one of akind.
"Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you -- majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?" (Exodus 15:11)
· God’s Holiness refers to both His majesty and moral. Holiness is the absolute absence of evil (1 John 1:5) and encompasses and defines all that is pure, whole, righteous, and healthy in the universe.
How does God reveal His Holiness to us?
· Through Supernatural Encounters
o Moses’ life (Exodus 3)
o Isaiah’s crisis (Isaiah 6)
· Through Places
o The burning bush (Exodus 3)
o The Red Sea (Exodus 14)
o The Tabernacle (Exodus 25)
o Solomon’s Temple (2 Chronicles 3)
o The Church gathered (Acts 3:23-31)
o Heaven (Revelation 4)
· Through the Law (Exodus 20)
o 10 Commandments (Leviticus, Deuteronomy)
· Through the Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah)
· Through His Wrath and Judgement
o Old Testament: Achan (Joshua 7), Israel’s Diaspora (Nehemiah 1)
o New Testament: Ananias & Sapphira (Acts 5), The Church Disciplined (1 Corinthians 11)
· Through His Son
o a holy birth (Isaiah 7:14)
o a holy life (John 8:46)
o a holy sneak preview (Mark 9:2-10)
o an unholy death (2 Corinthians 5:21)
o a holy resurrection (John 20:26-31)
o a holy ascension (Hebrews 4:14-16)
o a holy priesthood (Hebrews 9:11-28)
· Through His People
o Then: (Isaiah 6:1-6)
o Now: (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)
God’s Holiness raises two important questions:
1. If God is so holy that He cannot even gaze at sin, how can sinful people like us have a relationship with Him?
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man/ though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the earth of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Romans 5:6-10)
2. If trusting in Christ’s work on the cross blots out our sin before God and we are holy in His sight, why do we keep on sinning?
· Justification: positional holiness, Point-In-Time status with God
· Sanctification: progressive holiness, ongoing improvement
· Glorification:permanent holiness, we are finally like Him
How must we respond to the Holiness of God?
· It’s a DECISION we make. (Hebrews 12:14)
· It’s a COMMAND we obey. (1 Peter 1:13-16, Hebrews 13:4)
Prayer for the week:
O Lord God, holy and pure, awesome in majesty, as I consider Your perfection, grant that I might commit to holy ways, think holy thoughts, live in holy obedience, and reject evil with a holy attitude.
Let me hear the tender conviction of Your Spirit and help me remember that You are jealous for Your holiness. Because of Your love, You see the pain our sins will bring us, and You long to rescue us.
So that You name will never be profaned in my life, You have my permission to do whatever You need to do to make me holy.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.