Summary: God is against my sin because He is for me!
“The Good & Beautiful God:
God Is Holy”
February 20th, 2011
"But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy.""
1 Peter 1:15-16 (NIV)
> Five weeks ago we began a sermon series based on the ideas found in James Bryan Smith’s book, The Good & Beautiful God.
> During this series we have dealt with the following statements…
God is Good — we said that, even in a world that is unfair and unjust, God’s justice prevails and in the end, we will all agree that God is a fair and just God, decidedly good.
God is Trustworthy — Jesus reveals to us that God can be trusted. He is our faithful Father who will care for our greatest spiritual need.
God is Generous — He looks past our inadequacies and weaknesses and mercifully chooses us to be His children. We don’t deserve His mercy and grace but He generously offers it if we call out to Him.
And finally, last week,
God is Love — Exodus 20:6 says…
I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Ex 20:5-6 (NIV)
God chooses to love us, not because of what we have done but because it is His character—Love is who God is, not just something He does!
> We have seen that God most certainly is a good and beautiful God. These truths about God can bring peace to troubled souls who have been brought to believe that God is an angry, judgmental God who desires to punish harshly because of sin. To learn that God is good, trustworthy, generous and loving is a true blessing to those who struggle to have a relationship with God.
> However, there is a tendency today for people to consider God much like they consider Santa Claus. Smith writes that some believe…
God is “a cosmic, benevolent spirit who never judges, does not punish sin and sends no one to hell (pg. 116).”
> It has become fashionable to consider God as all of the collective good feelings and positive vibes in the cosmos—as though God is a giant cosmological “Teddy Bear.”
> The illustration James Bryan Smith gives of the young girl who was thrilled to hear his message about the unconditional love of God and the generous forgiveness of Christ because it liberated her from the guilt she was feeling due to her adulterous relationship with her boyfriend is a great example of this modern thinking. We love the convenience of a God who ignores our sin and lets us do as we wish without any fear of punishment.
Isn’t this a bit like believing in the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. Only adult fools and immature children believe such things really exist.
> A God who completely ignores sin and does nothing about it is definitely not a good God!
> It’s like the time Ronda and I went over to a couples house that we had befriended. While visiting with them, we curiously asked if they had any children. They answered, “yes, we have a six year old and a three year old.” We asked where they were to which they replied, “the six year old is playing with the stove in the kitchen while the three year old is playing with his broken glass collection.” Ronda and I were terrified and said, “what, are you kidding, why don’t you stop them?”
> They laughed and said, “No, we couldn’t do that, it would upset them so much. We want them to like us and think that we are good parents!”
> NO! This didn’t really happen.
NO! Nobody would think that these parents were good parents.
And yet, this is what we want God to be like.
> Truthfully, there is nothing good and beautiful about a God who is not also perfectly Holy and rejects that which is sinful or that which is evil.
> The world has two false narratives about God that are like the extremes of a pendulum.
Either God is an angry, wrathful God who hates us because of our sin that He is ready and waiting to punish us severely when we mess up enough.
Or God is nothing but good vibes and positive energy. There is no bad, sin, or evil according to God. We are free to do as we wish as long as we aren’t mean to others and we don’t hurt anyone else.
> The pendulum swings to one extreme or the other.