For the last few months I’ve been doing a deep study on the holiness of God. It started with a reading of Isaiah 6. It’s a familiar passage to me but this summer I read it a number of times and each time I responded with, “hmmm.” I began to ask the question, what does Isaiah understand about the holiness of God that seems to be missed by much of the church?
Isaiah understood the holiness of God. Which led Isaiah to understand his own sinfulness. Which led him to understand the sinfulness of his people. Which led him to understand that he was unworthy to stand in the presence of God. Which led God to removing Isaiah’s guilt and atoning for Isaiah’s sin.
This lead me to a deep dive into Ezekiel 36.
Which lead me to a deep dive of Exodus 15.
Which lead to me a reading through the New Testament gospels.
Which lead me to reading 5 books on the topic.
Which lead to more and more and more.
The holiness of God is everywhere. And the people of God are called to be holy as God is holy.
I’m now walking my Wednesday Night Bible study group through the holiness of God topic. We’ve looked at the holiness of God, the holiness of Jesus, and this week we look at the holiness of the Holy Spirit. Redundant, I know.
In preparation to lead others through my own wrestling I had to answer the question, why does this matter? One day I arrived to a meeting a few minutes early and pulled out my Bible and note pad. I attempted to answer that very question. Within five minutes I scribbled the following answer on a quarter of a page:
If we understand the holiness of God …
Our worship will be more sincere.
Our repentance will be more frequent.
Our obedience will be more passionate.
I think we are on to something here.
If we understand the holiness of God, our worship will be more sincere. No more going through the motions. No more halfhearted praises. No more complaints about song selection and tempo. Rather, sincere honor and glory to God.
If we understand the holiness of God, our repentance will be more frequent. No more dismissal of sin. No more casual acceptance of moral and ethical failure. No more poor Christian witness. Rather, confession of sin, heartbrokenness over sin, and repentance from sin.
If we understand the holiness of God, our obedience will be more passionate. No more resistance to serving. No more shuffling of feet. No more bitterness. Rather, a joyful and passionate “yes” and “amen” to the things of God.