Friday, December 25, 2009

The Anatomy Of The Gospel (Part 3)


Paul Washer often says that the Gospel should never start with man but always with God. And so it is today as we embark on a journey through what I call the five pillars of the Gospel.

I can never do justice to the subject of the Holiness of God. All I will try to do is scratch the surface and give some basic truths about God’s Holiness to help us with self examination and sharing the Gospel with others.

God is the creator and sustainer of all things. He is so powerful that He spoke the universe into existence (Genesis 1). He is so huge that he measures the entire universe with the span of His Hand (Isaiah 40:12). He is so detailed that he numbers the hairs on our head (Luke 12:7). He is so just and righteous that He must punish all sin against Him (Genesis 18:25, Isaiah 13:11). He is so loving and merciful that He withholds his judgment giving us time to repent (2 Peter 3:9).

Romans 1 tells us that all men are born with the knowledge of God.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse (Romans 1:18-20)

So here we learn that God does not believe in atheists. They know there is a God but they love their sin more. And that’s important to remember when witnessing to an atheist – talk to them about morality, not proof of God’s existence. The creation reveals there must be a creator and we must all one day answer to Him.

God is Holy. He is separate and completely unlike anyone else. And this is where the puny gospel of "Jesus as our example" falls down. Yes, there is an element of truth to it, but if that is the extent of your gospel then you have really missed the heart of the cross. Jesus came precisely because of our inability to be like Him. We required a Divine substitute to fulfill the requirements of a Holy God. How great a God - omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, Sovereign over all things - and yet willing to stoop down to us in human form and pay a price we could never pay to redeem a people incapable of redeeming themselves.

For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy . . . For I am the LORD who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy." (Leviticus 11:44-45)

There is none holy like the LORD; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God. (1 Samuel 2:2)

The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD's throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man. The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. Let him rain coals on the wicked; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup. For the LORD is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face. (Psalm 11:4-7)

And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!" (Revelation 4:8)

Yes, unredeemed man is completely incapable of pleasing a Holy God. And that will lead us onto my next post on Monday: Pillar 2 - The Depravity Of Man

Go On To Part 4
Go Back To Part 2
Go Back To Part 1
Click Here To Read A Biblical Defence Of Pillar 1

1 comment:

Cameron Buettel said...

I totally recommend AW Pink's books "The Sovereignty of God" and "The Attributes of God" as well as Paul Washer's study book "The One True God".