Two sermons about holiness as it relates to God. Is not everyone aware that God is holy? What more needs to be said?
As I mentioned this morning, in our consideration of the attributes of God we must take great care not to emphasize one to the exclusion of another since they all are possessed by God in infinite measure. However, Scripture consistently seems to emphasize His holiness. It is the single attribute that is linked most closely with His name. And it is the only attribute that is declared in heaven in a “triplicate chorus.” So God Himself seems to place a priority on His holiness.
Moreover, in reality, we do not think too much about God in general or His holiness in particular. We think too little of Him. We do not think often enough about Him (too little time) and the thoughts we have of Him are not nearly large enough. Our God is too small.
And in concert with that sin, we also think too much of ourselves — we think too often of ourselves (and our plight or problems) and we think to highly of ourselves (overestimating our significance and ability, worshipping ourselves on our own self-created thrones). This passage addresses both those sins, providing us with a lofty view of God, a realistic appraisal of self, and then — grace upon grace — offering the atoning work of Christ for forgiveness and reconciliation to God (and averting His just wrath), and even equipping us to serve Him!! But the latter two provisions do not happen without the former correctives to our sinful inclinations.
The natural (read: fleshly) tendency is to think of holiness as dull, boring, quenching, and prohibitive. C. S. Lewis was right when he said,
“How little people know who think that holiness is dull. When one meets the real thing, it is irresistible.”
And real holiness is found supremely and infinitely in God and Christ. So let you mind dwell richly and deeply on the great thoughts about God and His holiness.
As an application of that encouragement, I have been interested to note this week just how much has been written and spoken about the holiness of God. You might consider perusing one of the following resources to stimulate your mind about God’s holiness:
- Bethlehem Conference for Pastors: “The holiness of God” (audio sermons)
- Bridges, Jerry. The Pursuit of Holiness
- Charnock, Stephen. “On the Holiness of God” (Discourse XI — over 100 pages on this attribute!)
- MacArthur, John. “Experiencing the Presence of God”
- Piper, John. “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts”
- Ryle, J. C. Holiness
- Sproul, R. C. The Holiness of God
- Words of Grace: “Holiness”