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Summary: The Holiness of God and how it applies to our lives

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GodisHoly 12/4/05 am

SBC Philippi, Jeff Simms

Attributes of God: God is Holy

1 John 1:5-7

Primary Purpose: To examine what it means to us that God is holy.

We come to a primary attribute of God that God is Holy. What does it mean to you personally that God is holy? What difference does it make in your like. I would like to spend some time this morning talking about what does it mean that God is holy. Then, we will look at some of the implications for us and how this applies to our lives. (1 John 1:5-7)

John draws for us a contrast of light and darkness. He tells us that God is light and in Him is no darkness. The idea of light in this context has to do with a moral and spiritual light. It refers to not only the majesty of God, but his purity, his sinlessness, his seperateness from his creation. It refers to both who he is and what God does. R.C. Sproul in his book “The Holiness of God” says this about God’s holiness. “What God does it always consistent with who God is, He always acts according to His holy character. God’s internal righteousness is the moral excellence of His character. It is rooted in His absolute purity. There is no “shadow of turning” in Him. As a holy God, He is utterly incapable of an unholy act. . . .There is a consistency in God, a “straightness” about him.” (Sproul, pg.109)

There are several passages in both Old and New Testament that refer to the holiness of God. In Exodus 3:5, Moses sees a burning bush and then hears God’s voice in the bush. The first thing that God tells him to do is to take off his shoes that he is now standing on “holy” ground.” God was teaching Moses that his presence brought holiness to a place. In Isaiah 6:3, Isaiah sees God in the temple and the seraphs flying about heaven singing to one another “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts,”. This makes Isaiah realize his utter sinfulness in the sight of God in comparison to his holy nature.

It leads him to proclaim that God very name or character is holy in Isaiah 57:15.

The concept of God being holy also carried with it the idea of being “set apart”. Again, R.C. Sproul said it this way about God’s seperateness. “When the Bible calls God holy, it means primarily that God is transcendentally separate. He is so far above and beyond us that He seems almost totally foreign to us. To be holy is to be “other”, to be different in a special way.” We have a tendency to think that God is like us, but the Bible tells us a far different story. In Isaiah 55:8-9 it says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord, For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

This idea of holiness also carries through to the New Testament. It is part of what Jesus meant when he calls himself in John 8:12 the light of the world. He tells us if we follow him we will have too the light of life. Then, again in Revelations 4:8 it says the four living creatures that surround the throne singing day and night “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.” It is said three times for emphasis. The essence of God’s nature is that He is holy and there is nothing that he does or can do that isn’t holy.

Similar to his statements about love, John says that the Lord’s true followers will reflect him. If they are really his followers then they will “walk in” light. Everything about these verses is present tense. Notice how many times the words “we have”. It isn’t that “we might have” or “we will have”, but it is always in the present tense. The person who is a true believer will walk in this manner, they will conduct themselves in this way. They will walk in a moral and ethical purity. If they do not then it proves they really don’t know God at all. For if we know him, then it must have an impact on who we are and what we do.

So, light represents holiness and moral purity. That tells us that because God is not in darkness then he is absolutely pure. The words John uses are emphatic here saying, “there is no darkness at all”. The words “at all” is a compound word that signifies not one little bit. There’s no shadow there, no influence of sin or evil, not tainted one bit.

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