From last week we saw that God’s Holiness is thematic throughout the Bible and is expressed in 4 parts:
1 I AM HOLY,
2 I HATE SIN BECAUSE I AM HOLY
3 JUSTICE WILL BE SERVED ON SIN BECAUSE I AM HOLY
4 I AM ALWAYS HOLY
Remember that God’s holiness has two main ingredients -God’s holy justice and God’s holy mercy. This what God is and how He wants us to be holy too.
John Wesley said that Holiness is the restoration of the moral image of God in us by the Holy Spirit of God so that a person's life becomes characterized by 'justice, mercy, and truth'
-this is echoed in scripture Micah 6:8 NIV 8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
-walking humbly is knowing the truth about who you are and who a holy God is, and that will keep you humble
JUSTICE, MERCY, TRUTH this is our holy God and we are to be holy also - To act justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly
It is interesting that John Wesley had 3 practical rules for holy living?
The rules from Wesley, the founder of Methodism, are simple:
What does it mean to walk in holiness?
Holiness is simply separation. Not separation from the world, but separation from the way the world acts.
Does the world love justice?
True righteous justice where every sinful act, word or thought is punishable - generally speaking -no
-at the heart of Biblical justice is the impartial application of God’s moral law within all realms of society. Our culture is more like Sodom and Gomorrah.
We are to be separate from that, holiness -acting justly at all times
Does the world love mercy?
Mercy is -compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm:
Ephesians 2:3-5 New International Version
3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Our culture is more about getting even, getting ahead of someone else, getting our own selfish way, not showing mercy.
1 Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy (we didn’t deserve mercy) he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
We are to be separate from that, holiness -loving mercy at all times
Does the world love truth?
Men love darkness more then the light or the truth
The truth came into this world and man’s love of darkness killed truth - They hung Jesus on a tree
In an effort to live a holy live we should be deliberate in being distinct from those who do not know Christ.
D.L. Moody once said “A holy life will make the deepest impression. Lighthouses blow no horns, they just shine.”
Let your light shine before people by holy living by acting justly, loving mercy and walking/shining humility.
What I need, what we all need is a fresh understanding of God’s holiness, a new glimpse of this qadosh, holy, qadosh, holy, qadosh, holy one, a broader vista, a higher view of God’s holiness - When we do it will change us. We must never lessen God’s holiness.
If we lessen the view of God, than sin is diminished and “alternative lifestyles” and unholy sins are acceptable. Where God is not holy, there is little incentive to change our behaviour. If God is not holy, there is no gospel. If we forfeit the doctrine of holiness of God, there is a lower level of commitment even among those who would be Christian. In fact, the whole doctrine of God disintegrates if His holiness is diminished.
When the Bible seeks to explain God’s holiness, it says that God is a “consuming fire” (Exodus 24:17; Deuteronomy 4:24; Hebrews 12:29)—a dangerous and terrible presence, but a consuming fire. Turn away! And so the angels do. When Isaiah encounters this God, he cries out, “Woe is me! For I am lost;” (Isaiah 6:5). “I am lost!” or “I am undone!” or “I am ruined!” Something is coming apart in Isaiah in the presence of God. Yet, at the same time, Isaiah and the seraphim don’t flee the terrible presence. The danger is real, but obviously so is the splendor. So terrifying and attractive, so immense and wonderful is our holy God.
Something happens to us when we see God’s holiness
“Woe is me!” cried the Prophet, “I am RUINED!” Whenever we gaze into God’s purity, we begin to feel unworthy and sinful. (God’s justice)
But then we remember His mercy, God’s wonderful saving MERCY is upon us
Exodus 3 Moses and the Burning Bush
1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
And Moses said, “Here I am.”
5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
7 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians
‘At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.’
-Moses hides his face in the presence of a holy God
-Isaiah falls down and exclaims WOE IS ME when he comes into the presence of a holy God
-John falls down as if dead when he comes into the presence of a holy God
-even a demon in the presence of the holy Jesus cried in terror
Mark 1 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
Here’s the kicker, the salient point, the epiphany I had and I hope you have: The Holy Spirit of God is in you right now so you are therefore in the presence of this same Holy God as Isaiah, as John, as Moses. Jesus, the Holy One, said He is with us forever.
-such a sobering thought right now -I am in presence of a Holy God.
In view of that reality of God’s holy and constant presence
HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE
1 Peter 1:
13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace (God’s holy mercy) to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming (Jesus the Holy One is coming back). 14 so As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance (before you believed in Christ). 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
Holy, qadosh, holy God looks at us and looks through us and speaks to each of us BE HOLY.