The Holiness of God vs.
The Nice "God" They Teach At Church

by Kerry Gilliard

"How little is it realized that there is an immeasurable gulf between God and sinner. And little wonder that so few have even the vaguest idea of the same. ... The religion of present-day Christendom is but a studied effort to hide the awful truth that man has forfeited the favor of God and is barred from His holy presence. ... The religion of today proceeds on the assumption that God is favorably disposed even unto those who spend most of their time trampling His commandments beneath their feet."

-- Taken from Arthur Pink's book, The Doctrine of Reconciliation, Chapter 2, "Its Need"

Much of our church world and life today is filled with fluff, self-help talks masquerading as sermons. When was the last time you sat with your Bible open and realized that the same God who created you is not only loving, but also holy? We sing "Holy, Holy, Holy" on Sunday mornings or in praise and worship songs without ever taking into heavy consideration what that word holy really means.

Isaiah came upon this when He saw God in Chapter 6. After first being in awe of the Creator, he dropped to his knees and immediately realized his own sinfulness (Isaiah 6:5) as well as the penalty it deserved. Such humility and brokenness about sin is missing from today's contemporary "worship experiences" where people clamor on about wanting to see God's glory and opening the floodgates of heaven.

What would You do if you stood face to face with the One who is the very standard by which good is measured? He who alone is truly good. How would you excuse yourself as being imperfect before Him? How would you hide and wipe away your transgressions against His law (which also are an offense against Him personally, as David rightly wrote in Psalm 51) so that He would or could not hold you accountable? What would you say to this perfect and absolutely Holiest of Beings in the Universe? How could you ever think that the meager "good deeds" you do here on earth could ever grant you an unrestricted audience into His presence?

It is when you take a look at your own sins and what they truly deserve that you come to love Christ more and realize the true value of the cross and His shed blood on behalf of sinners. It is only here that you realize that your righteousness truly is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) before a holy, just and perfect God. It is only here, at the foot of the cross, that you realize that your attempts to have your "good deeds" outweigh your "bad deeds" is a futile effort. Those who trust in Christ and are known of Him have His perfect righteousness accounted on their behalf (Romans 4). What a beautiful gift from a loving Creator! He saves those who trust in Him from His wrath and justice upon sin by counting the righteousness of His Son on behalf of those with no true "righteousness" of their own.

And in this, you realize daily that your "good days" are never so good that you no longer need Christ's righteousness counted on your behalf, nor are your bad days so bad that you are beyond His grace and forgiveness. Such a realization should bring you, like the prophet Isaiah, bowing before the feet of the Almighty and submitting yourself to Him, asking that your sins be forgiven, yet rejoicing as He, seeing you calling upon Him, graciously says to you, "Your sins are forgiven because you have trusted in My Son. His righteousness will now be counted on your behalf."

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