Summary: Behold Your God - holiness (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: Isaiah chapter 6 verses 1-8.
• Have you ever had to look for the right word to describe something?
• Maybe it was a place (e.g. that’s beautiful, it’s breathtaking),
• Maybe it was a smell e.g. (ugh, that’s awful, it’s horrible),
• Or how about a taste? (e.g. uuumm, good, rich, yummy).
• Sometimes it’s hard to put into words when we want to accurately describe something.
• Let me ask you a tougher question,
• “How would you describe God?”
• e.g. Awesome? Loving? Merciful? Gracious? Just?
• What if you could use just one word to describe Him?
• I wonder if you could you do it?
• I couldn’t!
• And even the Seraphs in verse 3 of our reading could not!
• They got close in they found one word – but then they had to repeat it three times
• Repeating a word in Hebrew is to emphasize something.
• ill: it is kind of like you using a highlighter to mark something.
• The angels were NOT saying God is ‘Holy’,
• They were NOT saying He was ‘Holy’.
• But they WERE saying God is ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’.
There is no other characteristic of God that gets the emphasis that His holiness does.
• e.g. We are never told in scripture that God is wise, wise, wise,
• e.g. And we are never told that God is strong, strong, strong,
• e.g. And we are never told that God is powerful, powerful, powerful,
• e.g. We are not even told that God is love, love, love!
• Only one attribute of God is repeated again and again and again,
• That is his holiness!
• If for example some described to you said a stone saying it was ‘big’,
• It would bring to your mind an image of a large stone.
• If they said to you the stone was ‘big, I mean really big’,
• You would enlarge that image in your mind to a huge stone.
• And if someone said to you it was a ‘big, big, big’ stone;
• You would surely think – they must mean that it was a ‘gigantic boulder’.
• As far as I am aware;
• Only one attribute of God is repeated again and again and again - that is his holiness!
• If you want holiness defined;
• Then R.C. Sproul gives us a simple way to remember the definition of holiness,
• He says; “The first prayer I learned as a child was the simple table grace:
• "God is great, God is good, and we thank Him for this food."
• The two virtues assigned to God in this prayer, greatness and goodness,
• May be captured by the one biblical word, holy”.
SO, THERE ARE TWO IDEAS TO HOLINESS.
The first is the idea of greatness.
• One of the meanings of holiness is the idea of being "set apart".
• God is apart from us - He is in a class by Himself.
• e.g. He has no equal.
• In other words’
• There is a profound difference between Him and those He has created.
• Holiness means that God is transcendent (or unique and superior) in His greatness.
The second aspect of holiness (and the one we generally think of first) - It is the idea of purity:
• God is good;
• That means he does what is right and never does what is wrong.
• God is unstained by, and uncompromising with sin.
• God does not "bend a little" when it comes to wrong-doing.
• God always acts in a righteous manner because His nature is holiness.
• Therefore He is both great and good.
In our reading Isaiah chapter 6:
• We see those truths illustrated for us in call of Isaiah into the service of God,
• We see his divine call into life as a prophet.
Quote: Lenord Ravenhill:
“If you have a vision without a task, you’ll be a visionary,
if you have a task without a vision, it’s drudgery.
But if you get a task wedded to a vision, you’ll be a missionary”.
• Isaiah was a missionary;
• He was called of God!
• And he had a heart to reach out to people and bring them back in touch with God.
• In this short narrative we find 5 principles – with present day applications.
5 RELEVANT PRINCIPLES FROM AN ANCIENT PROPHET
Principle 1: God Uses Circumstances to Make Us Aware of His Presence (vs 1).
In the year that King Uzziah died,
I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple
• In reading these verses it is easy to become so impressed with the vision;