Holiness of God
THE HOLINESS OF GOD
Because God is holy, acceptance with Him on the ground of creature-doings is utterly impossible. A fallen creature could sooner create a world than produce that which would meet the approval of infinite Purity. Can darkness dwell with Light? Can the Immaculate One take pleasure with "filthy rags" (Isa. 64:6)? The best that sinful man brings forth is defiled. A corrupt tree cannot bear good fruit. God would deny Himself, vilify His perfections, were He to account as righteous and holy that which is not so in itself; and nothing is so which has the least stain upon it contrary to the nature of God. But blessed be His name, that which His holiness demanded His grace has provided in Christ Jesus our Lord. Every poor sinner who has fled to Him for refuge stands "accepted in the Beloved" (Eph. 1:6). Hallelujah!
THE HOLINESS OF GOD
What kind of God is the God whom men shall meet at the judgment and with whom they have to do now? This generation does not know. For the most part it has not heard preaching on the character of God! God is holy! Men do not believe this today. Do we who preach believe God is holy?
admirable patience and meekness of Christ was the fruit of his perfect
holiness. His nature was free from those corruptions that ours groan and
labor under. Take the meek Moses, who excelled all others in this grace
let him be tried, and see how "unadvisedly he may speak with
his lips." (Psalm 106:33). Take a Job, whose patience is resounded
over all the world , "ye have heard of the patience of Job,"
and let him be tried by outward and inward troubles meeting upon him in
one day, and even a Job may curse the day wherein he was born. Envy, revenge,
discontent, despondence, are weeds naturally springing up in the corrupt
soil of our sinful natures. "I saw a little child grow pale with
envy," said Augustin. "The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth
to envy." (James 4:5). The principle of all these evils being in
our nature, they will show themselves in time of trial. Our nature is
fretful and passionate. But it was otherwise with Christ. "The prince
of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me," (John 14:30), no principle
of corruption, as an inlet to temptation. Our High-priest was "holy,
harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners." (Heb. 7:26).
The throne of God is threefold: 1) His throne of glory. Oh, how little I know of that! The majesty, holiness, and awful presence of God is beyond my comprehension. 2) His throne of Justice. I want nothing to do with that! As David lamented, "Do no bring me into judgment with Thee." 3) )His throne of grace, where the Man, Christ Jesus, my forerunner and mediator, sits. To this throne I boldly come and there my sins confess, knowing full well that in Him I shall obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
I can imagine the day of judgment. All are gathered before the throne of God. Those who are robed in the perfect robe of Christ's righteousness are gathered to His right hand. The rest wait to hear His voice of condemnation, "Depart from Me!" Does anyone have anything to say? If there be one who has no sin, let him step forth and say so. Come forth, my friend, and state your case! What about the righteousness and holiness in which you boasted while on earth? Come forward and tell about your works, your gifts, your denomination; you found much comfort in those things once. You who scoffed at substitution, who laughed at free grace, imputed righteousness and covenant mercies ---you are not laughing now! Why is your face so pale? Why do you tremble so? You never trembled before but always had so much confidence in your decision and boasted of being as sure for heaven as if you were already there! Why do you not tell God what you did for Him on earth? It is quite evident that He did nothing for you. But I remember that you said, "God has done all that he could do and salvation is up to you." What a terrible time to discover what you should have known, "SALVATION IS OF THE LORD!" "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us." Why do you not speak? Is it because of the awesome, infinite "HOLINESS, OF HIS PRESENCE"? You clutch your righteous garments about you and they are nothing but filthy rags now, and you know it! You think of your prayers, your religious activities, your debates over doctrine; and they are all so much rubbish in the light of His presence. And now you are praying? What is it that you cry? "O rocks and mountains, fall on me, and hide me from the face of Him that sits upon the throne." I wish that you had cried as fervently for Christ to hide you, cleanse you, and cover you ---HE WOULD HAVE!
Thomas Brooks said, "The preaching of this and that opinion may please a man's fancy, but it is only the preaching of Christ that changes a man's heart."