Who Shall Not Fear the Lord!
Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. NKJV
I want to talk to you this morning about the holiness of God.
Fear is not usually something we associate with God. But maybe that is one of our problems.
Many people have no idea why anyone would fear God. As A.W. Pink put it, “The god of which the vast majority of professing Christians ‘love,’ is looked upon very much like an indulgent old man, who himself has no relish for folly, but leniently winks at the ‘indiscretions’ of youth.” Attributes of God
But think of this, For one sin God banished our first parents from Eden. For one sin Moses was excluded from Canaan. For one sin Elisha’s servant was struck with leprosy. For one sin Ananias and Sapphira were cut off out of the land of the living.
Holiness is the one area men do not naturally aspire to be like God. They would be omnipotent if they could and create new worlds. They would be omniscient if they could and know the secrets of life. But when it comes to God holiness, they do not have a desire for it. They would rather follow hard after the devil in evil and in sin and open rebellion against God.
Those who understand the holiness of God do not cower in a corner. But they do have a healthy respect for God and His Word.
I. We See God’s Holiness In:
A. In creation; in His works
1. "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." (Gen. 1:31).
2. "The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works" (Ps. 145:17)
B. God’s Holiness is reflected in His law
1. "And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy; for I, the Lord your God, am holy" (Lev. 19:1-2).
2. "For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy. . . For I am the Lord Who bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God; ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy." Leviticus 11:44-45:
3. Peter quotes this, "But, as He Who hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of life, Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy" (I Pet. 1:15-16).
4. “the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether” (Psalm 19:8, 9).
C. God’s Holiness is seen at the cross.
1. “Not all the vials of judgment that have or shall be poured out upon the wicked world, nor the flaming furnace of a sinner’s conscience, nor the irreversible sentence pronounced against the rebellious demons, nor the groans of the damned creatures, give such a demonstration of God’s hatred of sin, as the wrath of God let loose upon His Son.” Pink quoting Charnock
2. Our sin so separated us from God that only the blood of the sinless Son of God could take that away.
D. God’s Holiness is seen in His hatred of sin.
1. Ps 5:5 You hate all workers of iniquity. NKJV
2. Ps 7:11 God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day. NKJV
3. We must remember that God often forgives sinners but He has never forgiven sin. It had to be paid for by the blood of Jesus. Heb. 9:22 Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.
4. Nah 1:2-3 God is jealous, and the LORD avenges; The LORD avenges and is furious. The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies; 3 The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, And will not at all acquit the wicked. NKJV
II. Now there are some who deny all of this about God, but the verses are plain.
A. Man’s problem is as God said, “You thought that I was altogether like you; Ps 50:21 NKJV
B. As Pink says of man, “ His own idea of sin is practically limited to what the world calls “crime.” Anything short of that, man palliates as “defects,” “mistakes,” “infirmities,” etc. And even where sin is owned at all, excuses and extenuations are made for it.” Attributes of God
III. How then should we approach this?
A. By reverence God.
B. By giving Him proper place in our lives.
1. The temple of Incas at Cuzco, Peru, consisted of three walls, north, south, and west. The eastern side of the structure was open. The walls were smoothly plastered, and overlaid with finely hammered gold. These people were sun worshippers, and this was the way they worshipped: they would come to the temple just before dawn and stand in the opening to the east, facing the western wall. In front of them and on either side was a golden mirror. The sun would rise at their backs, and long before they could see it directly they could see its reflection in the western wall, and be covered with its golden light. Their faces would be illuminated, and their bodies would be literally bathed in light. Now the Gospel covenant is a mirror into which the believer looks with unveiled face at the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, and ultimately will be entirely conformed to His image.
2. "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (II Cor. 3:18).
3. Occupation with the holiness of the Lord will change us from one degree of holiness to another degree of holiness."And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints" (I Thess. 3:12-13).
4. "For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness" (I Thess. 4:7).
5. "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14) Definitions of Doctrine; C.D. Cole
2 Peter 3:10-15 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation NKJV