>The Holiness of God – Chapter Five-


Chapter Five. The Insanity of Luther
“Let God be God”
Martin Luther

I really enjoyed this chapter in which Dr. Sproul takes us to Germany, where the seems-insane-monk, Martin  Luther, lived.

Are we surprised that people call us seem-insane-Christians today? We should not. The world abhors those who pursue the Holiness of God. And I have learned through this book that if we are to call ourselves Christians, we should, then, long to pursue God’s holiness.

Isaiah, Peter, the disciples, Martin Luther, all started their journey to heaven at the same place: on their knees before a Holy God.

Today so many are being deceived by the teachings of men; now it seems that you don’t have to be undone before the Holy One to start your journey to heaven; it seems that you all need to do is try to do your best, just as the rich man that approached Jesus.

“And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” Luke 18:12-24

He thought he could come whenever he wanted, standing on his own merits, before the Holy One. Little he knew. I like the way Sproul says it:

“Imagine the arrogance or the ignorance of the man”

But there is always, at least, “one thing” that impedes us to approach the Holy One.

“When Jesus heard this, he said to him, One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.” Luke 18: 22- 24

I want to examine my heart, how do I approach the Holy One? How do I come before Him? Yes, I know, I am a Reformed Christian, I love doctrine, the Five Solas, and TULIP, but truly, how do I approach God? I am proud that I am not walking as others, “enjoying the bliss of ignorance”?

Dr. Sproul compares the response of this rich man with Luther’s response  like this:

“When Jesus met another young man centuries later, He did not have to go through an elaborate object lesson to help the man understand his sin. He never said to Luther, “One thing you lack.” Luther already knew he the demands of a pure holy God, and it was driving him crazy”

We don’t need to go crazy, but we certainly need to be undone.

Isn’t this the right place to start?

Read what other have to say about this great chapter at Challies, where we are Reading the Classics Together.

Today I am thankful for the Reformation in History and the reformation in my own history; without it, I would be walking today away from Jesus, deceived by my own acts of “righteousness”.

The Holiness of God -Chapter Four-
The Holiness of God -Chapter Three-

8 thoughts on “>The Holiness of God – Chapter Five-

  1. >This was, indeed, a great chapter. Way to bring it back to application! Great question: "How do I approach God?" It reminds me of Jerry Bridges' discussion of the good day, bad day scenario. I'm so glad that we don't have to come before God on the basis of our performance, but rather can draw near to the throne of grace with confidence in what Christ has done on the behalf of those whom He has called."Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16, ESV).


  2. >You’re right, Becky, that we shouldn’t be surprised when the world calls Christians insane today. Your question is so on target: How do *I* approach the Holy One? Yes, we do need to be undone. Thanks for your insights. Always helpful!


  3. >"We don't need to go crazy, but we certainly need to be undone." I love these words, Becky. I find the more and more I grow in Christ the more undone I am. I see the depths of my sinfulness, and I'm overcome by God's kindness to me, and I am in awe of His holiness. And I have so, so much to learn.


  4. >Jo, thank you, I am glad we are learning together.Dear Elizabeth, I am SO GLAD you brought that point to the table; yes, I agree, we cannot lament about our sinful nature every time we come before God, because HE has made a way for us to come before Him, He has cleansed us; but we are so prompt to forget about our nature that is important to examine the way we present ourselves before God. You said it well, "there is a place in prayer where we may find Him in all His holiness and majesty that forever reminds us of our utter depravity and His utter mercy."So true.I love the way you used your words to talk about this chapter at Challies; one day, maybe one day, I will learn to use my words as beautifully as you do, meanwhile, I am so glad I can benefit from yours! Thanks for sharing them here, my friend.


  5. >Amen. I do not understand how we cannot (at least initially) be undone in His Presence. It seems to be the only proper response to a Holy God such as He IS.I don't believe God expects or desires us to bemoan ourselves and lament every time we approach Him as much as we are to rejoice that our names are written in Heaven, but I do think there is a place in prayer where we may find Him in all His holiness and majesty that forever reminds us of our utter depravity and His utter mercy."I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." -Isaiah 45:3


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