We live in a world of compromise. It has become the normal standard of living in our culture. When two worldviews conflict the automatic response is that one side needs to compromise. With little regard to the impact and even less recognition that certain worldviews cannot be reconciled with one another, compromise is still the expectation. This is the status between the current battle cry of inclusiveness and genuine Christianity.
How can it be that these two are irreconcilable? Certainly God would want all people in heaven with Him and that if He was loving then He would not send anyone to hell, or so we are told. However, this view fails to take into account something very important. God is holy.
As R.C. Sproul tells us in chapter 5 of The Holiness of God, if God lowers His standards to accommodate us, He would be compromising His own holiness. God’s holiness is so important that it is the only attribute repeated three times in the same sentence. To compromise it undermines everything that God is and impacts our ability to obey and worship Him.
God is not merely just holy, but He exists in complete purity. He is not merely just sinless, but sin cannot even be in His presence. If it were not so, our Lord would no longer be worthy of our obedience, our worship, our adoration, and so on.
Instead, because God is holy it permeates into every other aspect of God’s activity and attributes. This level of holiness demands a response from us. It stands in stark contrast to who we are and thus should capture are attention of who we are to be. As sons of God, we should be like the Son of God.
This is where Martin Luther is a remarkable example in certain aspects. Overcome with God’s holiness, he was also overcome with his own sinfulness. It was this right outlook that caused Martin Luther’s relationship with God to swell. As he sought God’s holiness, he recognized the need to develop a deeper concern for his own holiness. However, it was obviously not lost on Luther that apart from the work of God, this was nothing he could do of his own work and ambition.
It is the same position that we should find ourselves in. We should gaze upon the holiness of God continuously, being more conscientious of our own lack of holiness. It should cause our worship to be rightly aligned on God alone. Flowing forth from our heart comes a deep appreciation of our Lord.
I have been reading through R.C. Sproul’s The Holiness of God. Join me each week as we read a chapter and reflect on what we have learned. It’s not too late to join! For more information click here. Next week we will read chapter 6.