God’s Holiness

Aug 26, 10 God’s Holiness

Appreciating my current read which is “Loving God” by Charles Colson and in his chapter: Be Holy Because I am Holy, he states, “…holiness… is the foundational covenant, a central theme running throughout Scripture (Bible).”

That’s a good insight.  And because the author is already making a comparison between the opposites: Sin versus Holiness, it made me realize that the other central theme throughout Scripture is Sin or really the cost of Sin to mankind and each individual.

Why does it matter? Because the cost of Sin is death.

Everything is dying.  I’m not being dramatic.  It is just a fact of life on this planet.  Look around: NOTHING stays static and that motion is always moving: where?  To decay in every aspect.  Everything is on a road to decay.  It is just an eventuality; a matter of time for any thing and everything.

God’s very nature is the opposite of Sin because God is holy.  Also entwined with Holiness, is the inability to not be holy.  It is intricately part of his nature: he can’t become unholy.  Now on the other hand, we aren’t holy and can’t become holy.  It’s a dilemma: two forces which cannot mix: Holiness and un-holiness.

Why is that the crux of our dilemma?

Because God is life and apart from God, there is no life.  Stated another way, Man has no life apart from God and without life, man dies.  It’s that inability for mixing holiness and un-holiness again.  It’s what has happened to our world.  Solution? Man needs life, therefore, Man needs God. Man eats to sustain his physical life and communes with God to sustain his spiritual life.  Makes you realize that we were made to have relationship with God and the whole world depends on that relationship.

As stated, God’s holiness is central to the Bible and the above paragraphs are a very rudimentary explanation on why that’s important to Mankind.

The other central theme is Sin.  The entire Old Testament (OT) addresses 1) the cost of Sin, which we know is death, spiritual death and eventually physical death, and 2) the brokenness which sin causes in every aspect of creation including our depravity, etc.

So as an answer toward the first point, although God loves us, He cannot change his nature and He cannot nullify the result/cost of our Sin. It was & is a result of our free will.  It will not go away because it is the result of no longer being able to commune with God who is our life-force.  Reading the bible, we see that He finds away: by entering our history and setting up a mode of temporary “payment” which is an atonement sacrificial system.  In this way, a person can make “offerings” so he doesn’t die but something else has to die in his place.  In the OT, the priest would rest his hands on the “offering”, a sacrificial animal, in an act of transference of a person’s sins.

Some OT sacrificial examples are found in Exodus 12:21: “Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb” and in Leviticus 14:10-25.

BUT in our history, mankind still is not convinced that anything is really wrong.  This is point two.  God finds a way to teach us that something is indeed wrong.  We only see the ‘wrongness’ if we view things through his “eyes”.  And the way he shows us how he views things is by teaching us his Law.  The OT is all about the law, and really the point of God’s law is to show us humans that something is indeed broken and then most importantly, that we do not have the power to fix it.

So slowly, slowly, God not only teaches us a temporary atonement system, he also teaches us that we cannot keep his law perfectly, it is beyond our ability.  We still have a dilemma: we are never going to be holy enough to commune again with God.  Plus, there is still the cost of our sin and this law could never replace the atonement system; we can’t place our sin onto it like we can the sacrificial animal.

But again, thankfully, God finds a way.  Throughout the OT, God shares with Mankind, through his prophets that he is unfolding a perfect plan.  One OT prophecy example is in Isaiah 52:13-53:12.  In this way, God readies his people and eventually, he is now able to show Mankind his permanent way to pay the cost of Sin: Jesus, God incarnate, on earth & in human form.  Jesus became the sacrificial animal, the only one who could permanently take away the cost of sin.

John 1:29: Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Never doubt how much God loves you:

John 3:16 ESV: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 14:6 ESV: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

He will love you even as you walk away from him, if that remains your choice.  I pray that it isn’t…

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

He Was Wounded for Our Transgressions

13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely;
he shall be high and lifted up,
and shall be exalted.
14 As many were astonished at you—
his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
15 so shall he sprinkle many nations;
kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which has not been told them they see,
and that which they have not heard they understand.
53:1 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.


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