Summary and further reading:
Throughout the centuries, Christians have asked the question “what is God like?” Theologians have compiled books, listing the many attributes of God. Yet, amidst all of God’s attributes, it is important to note that they are all connected and interrelated first and foremost to his holiness—put simply, the holiness of God is the attribute of attributes! His love is holy love, his justice, holy justice, his power, holy power, his wrath, holy wrath, his Spirit, Holy Spirit!
Maybe R. C. Sproul can help us with a quote from his book, The Holiness of God:
‘The Bible says that God is holy, holy, holy. Not that He is merely holy, or even, holy, holy. He is holy, holy, holy. The Bible never says that God is love, love, love, or mercy, mercy, mercy, or wrath, wrath, wrath, or justice, justice, justice. It does say that He is holy, holy, holy, the whole earth is full of His glory,’ (p.26).
In this sermon we looked at Isaiah’s vision of God (Isaiah 6:1–8) and we learnt that while the death of Uzziah (6:1) might have disheartened Isaiah, a few verses later, Isaiah has a vision of God which changes everything! Where Isaiah had previously fixed his hope on earthly monarchs, his hope would, from this point, not be fixed on the kings of Judah, but on the King of heaven. The true monarch of all creation!
The result of this vision? Isaiah is ruined! A prophet who was used to pronouncing woe upon others, is now pronouncing woe upon himself! But what happens next? Through the symbolism of the coal touching Isaiah’s lips, he is purified, made holy, and able to be in God’s presence (v. 6–7)! You see, God does not reveal himself to destroy us, but rather to redeem us (Revelation 1:12–18; John 6:16–20).
But God’s holiness is missional too! After being cleansed, Isaiah is a new person! He is confident! And when the Trinity asks “who shall we send?” (6:8), out of the crowded throne, Isaiah was the last person who should have volunteered to speak! But Isaiah, feeling like a new person, he shouts “Here I am, send me!”
God is holy, and He wants relationship with us! But since God can’t behold sin (Habbakuk 1:12–13), our sin needs dealing with in order to be in His presence! So through Jesus, God makes us Holy! He loves us that much!
‘The paradox of holiness is that God acts to judge everything that is unholy and yet provides a way of cleansing and sanctification for sinners.’
This trailer for Gravity was shown as part of the preach: