Summary: Before we can understand what it means to be holy, we must understand what it means to say that God is Holy. In many ways holiness is God’s Central Attribute
Bishop Wayne A. Lawson
The Word Ministries, OKC
SCRIPTURE: REVELATION 4:8
8And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
TITLE: ALREADY IN PROGRESS
Before we can understand what it means to be holy, we must understand what it means to say that God is Holy. In many ways holiness is God’s Central Attribute . One writer actually defines it this way. "Holiness is that which makes God, God." Dr. Renald Showers calls it "the foundational truth of revelation." How important is it? Holiness is the only attribute of God mentioned in Triplicate.
• Think about that for a moment
• If God says something about his character once, that’s enough to settle it
• When he says it twice, that’s emphasis
• But when he says it three times, that means it’s of supreme importance
• The Bible never says that God is love, love, love or mercy, mercy, mercy, or justice, justice, justice
• But it does say that he is holy, holy, holy
We can go a step farther and say that anything is Holy that is “set apart for God.
• That’s why we call the Bible the Holy Bible - it contains the Word of God
• We call Israel the Holy Land because it is the land He chose for his own people
• The angels are holy angels because they belong to God
• The sabbath is holy because He set it apart for Himself
• And when Moses stood before the burning bush, he was told to take off his shoes because he was standing on "holy ground" - ground that God had set apart for Himself
I am always disturbed when I am in church and hear a Worship leader call the Church to Worship. Or, what I find even more disturbing is when the Praise Team begins to admonish the church for not Worshipping as if Jumping and Shouting excites God. The Premise is the Church needs to be making some noise which in turn signals that we are now in Worship. We have missed a very important ingredient when it comes to worship my brothers and sisters. When we come into the midst of the Sanctuary on Sunday Morning and transition from Praise to Worship we must understand that we are not starting Worship because according to Revelation 4:8 – it is Already In Progress.
Let me see if I can help us to understand this concept this morning. Have you ever been watching one of your favorite TV and it was interrupted or perhaps watching a sporting event that went into overtime. When the game is finally over or in case of watching your TV show that was interrupted by a news Bulletin - When the reporter has concluded or that overtime game has finished you will hear an announcer say – now to the regularly scheduled program already in progress. This tells us that we will not join the program from the beginning, we have missed that part therefore we join the program at some other point. During that Overtime Game or Breaking News Event the program was not Paused for our convenience, rather it started without us.
Well, what are you saying Preacher? I just want to let you know, whether we Worship God or not, we are informed that the Angels Worship God 24/7, so therefore, what we are doing when we enter the sanctuary, or worship at home or wherever we might be, we are not starting Worship, we are just joining in with the Angels who understand and appreciate the value of Worship, so when we get out of self and begin Worshipping God, we need to understand that we are joining worship that is – already in progress.
The holiness of God is the foundation on which the whole plan of salvation sets. If we don’t understand what holiness is, we can never know what sin is and how God relates to it. On the flip side, unless we understand the true awfulness of even the so-called smallest sin, we will not be able to appreciate the majesty and glory of God’s holiness. These days we hear a lot about the fact that God hates the sin but loves the sinner. This is true, but the trouble is we often rush over the first part of the statement to get to the second. In order to be able to appreciate the fact that God loves a sinner, we’ve got to understand how much He hates sin. Unfortunately, our attitude toward sin usually tends to be soft. Our tendency is to play with sin, to rationalize it or discount it.