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Holy Holy Holy

I am reading RC Sproul’s book on ‘The Holiness of God’.  He is making me think and he is helping me learn.  I love books like that.  I want to highlight two things that I picked up from the second chapter of the book tonight.

The first one is this:

How do you describe the Holiness of God?

You would probably have to start with defining the word Holy which, in and of itself, is a hard thing.  Just to keep it simple we will use the definition of  ‘set apart’.  God is set apart from humanity in His righteousness, goodness, loving kindness, or any other attribute that you would use to describe Him.  He is set apart.

So how do you describe the degree of His holiness?  Maybe you have heard two children measuring the amount of their love for their parents.  The first one may state that they love their mommy to infinity.  We know that there is no number bigger than infinity because it describes an eternally large number… a number that we could NEVER count BUT that is not a deterrant to the second child.  That second child will non-chalantly state that they love their mommy infinity times infinity thus stating a degree of infinity that their affection reaches.

God’s holiness is described in much the same manner but instead of limiting it to only one repetition of the degree we can go to three degrees of His holiness as we see in Isaiah chapter 6.  God is Holy Holy Holy.

The second thing that I want to highlight is the last couple of paragraphs from that chapter:

I cringe inside when I speak in churches about the holiness of God.  I can anticipate the responses of the people.  They leave the sanctuary convinced that they have just been in the presence of a holy man.  Because they hear me preach about holiness they assume I must be as holy as the message I preach.  That’s when I want to cry, “Woe is me.”

It’s dangerous to assume that because a person is drawn to holiness in his study that he is thereby a holy man.  There is irony here.  I am sure that the reason I have a deep hunger to learn of the holiness of God is precisely because I am not holy.  I am a profane man, a man who spends more time out of the temple than in it.  But I have had just enough of a taste of the majesty of God to want more.  I know what it means to be a forgiven man and what it means to be sent on a mission.  My soul cries for more.  My soul needs more.

~ RC Sproul “The Holiness of God”

Those are a couple of good things to end on today.

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  1. April 7, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    I can understand R.C.’s reluctance he states at the end. I am afraid that many people in churches do look at their pastor as the “holy man” who can do/say/think/act no wrong. Wrong on all counts for me. I am afraid of the pedestal. I feel like Isaiah in chapter 6 way too often. It is a scary place to be.

    • April 7, 2009 at 7:25 pm

      Amen to that. Because I like to read and think about what I read, people call me deep. I have more questions than answers… I think most of the time I walk around confused… 🙂

  2. April 7, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    Tony,

    Definitely worth the time in reading.

    Thank you.

    Camey

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