|Michelangelo Buonarroti ; The Last Judgment (detail 1)|
The same day I read this chapter in Sproul’s book entitled God in the Hand of Angry Sinners, I read Psalm 36; it is clear that Jonathan Edwards knew these verses, he knew how the wicked is not afraid to try to destroy God, the wicked plots in his his bed how to end with a Holy God.
This is an excellent chapter in which Dr. Sproul leads us through the words of Jonathan Edwards, to see clearly that God is Holy and the wicked wants to destroy Him. He doesn’t want a Holy God.
I see this around me all the time in the country where I live in which more and more people are leaving the Catholic Church to join the Evangelical Church; preachers on TV and on stages with lights and live music are promising miracles, happiness, joy, health, and wealth; they preach love and acceptance in Christ, “come as you are and He will receive you openly” they say; no one hears of a Holy God; and maybe it is because the god they had made for themselves is all love but lacks holiness.
Sproul says it well:
“A loving God who has no wrath is no God. He is an idol of our own making as much as if we carved Him out of stone”
The question that rises is this:
“How can we love a holy God? The simplest answer I can give to this vital question is that we can’t. Loving a Holy God is beyond our moral power. The only kind of God we can love by our sinful nature is an unholy god, an idol made by our own hands. Unless we are born of the Spirit of God, unless God sheds His holy love in our hearts, unless He stoops in His grace to change our hearts, we will not love Him. He is the One who takes the initiative to restore our souls. Without Him we can do nothing of righteousness. Without Him we would be doomed to everlasting alienation from His holiness. We can love Him only because He first loved us. To love a Holy God requires grace, grace strong enough to pierce hardened hearts and awaken our morbid souls”
I have heard terrible statements like the one from a woman’s heart when she was confronted with her sin, “If that is your God, a God who does not understand me, and my situation, then I do not want Him” This woman still calls herself Christian, she still goes to her church, where a god who understands every one is worshiped.
Another woman who calls herself Christian, said to me once, “I cannot imagine a God who is trapped in a box of rules; “my god” is not like that; my god is a personal god; his love is greater than lots precepts and statutes”
God, the triune God is Holy; and He is bound to His word, because He is the Word and His Word is Holy.
The more I am transformed by His Word, the more I see my need of Him. I am utterly lost without Him.
The best way to end this entry is the same way Dr. Sproul ends this chapter:
“Yet as we grow in our knowledge of Him, we gain a deeper love for His purity and a sense of deeper dependence on His grace. We learn that He is altogether worthy of our adoration. The fruit of our growing love for Him is the increase of reverence for His name. We love Him now because we see his loveliness. we adore Him because we see His majesty. We obey Him now because His Holy Spirit dwells within us.”
Under His shadow,
You can read what others are saying about this chapter at Challies.
The Holiness of God -Chapter Eight- Be Holy because I am Holy-
The Holiness of God -Chapter Seven- War and Peace with a Holy God
The Holiness of God -Chapter Six- Holy Justice
>"Almost every natural man that hears of hell,flatters himself that he shall escape it." -Johnathan EdwardsThat quote moves me every time. If I'm honest, I've flattered myself many times over throughout my life. I truly believe that when a person is reconciled to God, having come to terms with their utter depravity, His holiness and righteousness, he will no longer impose his notions upon God, dismissing His justice and wrath against sin, but will see Him as He is:"The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:6-7 ESV)Thank you for your thoughts, Becky!-E
>This chapter was so convicting to me. We tend to think that we don't deserve hell, that if God were nice, he wouldn't send us there. But God is HOLY, and all his ways are just and loving. He sets the standards, not us. I'm learning so much from this book and from reading your thoughts, Becky, and the thoughts of others. What a great choice Tim made in choosing this one.
>God is Holy God and a personal God.What we don't want is to acknowledge that we are filthy, we are pretty good, and God should accept us.Once we humble ourselves, we find that His holiness stoops down and lifts us up! Then we are in fellowship with Him, due to His mercy.Great post 🙂