September 28, 2007

The Holiness of God

I am currently reading R.C. Sproul's classic Christian best-seller entitled, "The Holiness of God." This is an awesome book and Dr. Sproul is a superb writer. I have also read his, "Chosen by God," book which deals with the sticky subject (oft misunderstood) of Predestination. He is an easy-to- read writer, nothing like J. Packer, A.W. Pink or other well-known theologians. I love Packer, Piper and Pink, but will admit that I often have to read their books carefully and slowly. Packer's book, "The Sovereignty of God," took me several months to read (reading it nightly). I just couldn't get through a chapter a night (like I normally do). His book is meaty, that is for sure.

But back to Sproul and this topic of holiness. I have always been convicted of this character attribute. I can remember Kay Arthur preaching on 1 peter 1:16 and literally shaking in my skin as she shouted (on tape): "You shall be holy, for I am holy!" I can recall her illustration of "checking every image, every thought, every feeling at the door of one's mind and not allowing anything to enter in that doesn't pass the "holiness" test." Often, I have been convicted and found myself running from the very Holiness of God. I didn't want to admit it but I was living an un-holy life.

This past Sunday, our guest teacher (often a regular Pastor) at our large Bible church, preached on this same passage. He quoted R.C. Sproul (oh, I love that, especially when I am reading the very same book!) and gave them most "damning" message I have ever heard. When I say "damning", I simply mean "fire and brimstone," "cut to the core" type preaching that shakes you and makes you take stock of your viewpoint -- immediately -- without haste.

If you would like to hear this sermon, click here: http://sermons.scottsdalebible.com/sermons/09302007JPolitan.mp3

John Politan is a gifted expository preacher who happens to be a trained lawyer by profession. He is not a full-time pastor, but there is no way to get around the fact that He is called by God to preach the Good News and especially to speak forth on the issues of personal holiness and integrity. I challenge you to listen to this Godly and highly articulate and intellectual man teach on this very subject. It will change your life, I guarantee it.

So, after pulling myself up off the church floor on Sunday and spending some time in reflection on God's Holiness, I have to say that the majority of faith-professing people are living un-holy lives and thinking they can get away with it. Pastor Politan put it this way: the majority of Christian's believe that they can get away with a little bit of sin. They are mistaken. God is Holy and demands Holiness from his children. We are commanded to live holy lives. We are promised rewards for living a holy life. We will suffer correction for choosing unholiness. Let us not suffer regret when we face our Lord and find that we have wasted our life and chosen to live as the world.
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."

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