In the past few lesson we’ve been discussing the nature of God. You might think this is a strange place to start a new believers Bible study, but my reason is simple. There is nothing more important in all of the world than knowing God. In fact, that is exactly how Jesus defined eternal life. He said in John 17:3, “Now this is eternal life; that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”So, my first concern for yournew walk with Christis not so much that you know many things “about” God, but that you come to know GodHimself as fully as possible.
As you grow closer to God, you will more clearly see Him as HOLY. If someone asked
you about one of your close friends, you might say, “He’s the most thoughtful person I’ve ever known.” How do you know? Because you have spent enough time with your friend to know he is thoughtful. The same is true of your relationship with God. As you spend more time with Him, loving Him and serving Him, you will realize that He is HOLY.
The Bible tells us over and over again that God is holy.
- The prophet Isaiah writes in Isaiah 6:3, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole world is full of His glory.”
- Similarly, in the book of Revelation (Revelation 4:8) we find these words: “Holy, holy ,holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is , and is to come.”
- Again, consider the words ofHannah. She prayed in 1 Samuel 2:2, “There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.”
- The Bible speaks of God as holy hundreds oftimes.
So, what does that mean? What is the Bible trying to tell us when it speaks of God as
holy? The idea of holiness carries with it two concepts which might seem contradictory, but are not. Holiness means both “separation” and “involvement.” Different and yet still with us.
Hosea the prophet records God as saying in Hosea 11:9, “I AM GOD, AND NOT MAN–THE HOLY ONE AMONG YOU.”
First, we see that GOD IS SEPARATE.
He is not man.
- God does not sin–we sin.
- God is eternal— we are subject to death.
- God is all powerful– We are very limited in power.
- God knows all-man, by comparison, knows very little.
- God is perfectly just in His dealings — we are often unfair in our dealings.
There is a very real sense in which God, by His very nature, is “separate” or “different” from man. As God says through Isaiah in Isaiah 40:25, “To whom will you compare me? Orwho is my equal?’ says the Holy One.”Obviously, no one can be God’s equal because of the vast difference between God and man.
Second, we see that GOD IS INVOLVED.
He describes Himself as “the Holy One among you.” Although God’s nature and God’s ways are so different from ours, God still wants to be involved in the affairs of man. He wants to make us holy! Obviously, for us to be holy, it takes an act of God Himself! There is no way, by our own power, that we can be holy. But praise God! Because He is holy, He came in the form of Jesus Christ to take away our sins so that we might be holy!
At this point, you might ask an important question. “in what way am I really holy?” You are holy in much the same way God is. Your holiness is a shared attribute. God freely shares His holiness with you so that, as Peter says in 2 Peter 1:4,you “mayparticipate in the divine nature”,or as Paul says in Ephesians 5:1, so that you might be “imitators of God.”
This means that you have become SEPARATE or different.
- You now have the promiseof eternal life as we read John 3:16.
- You now have turned away from a sinful way of living as revealed in Romans 6:11-14.
- You now know everything that is necessary for a right relationship with God as we see in 2 Peter 1:3.
In your life and commitment you are now SEPARATE or different from others who do not know God. In this way we follow our heavenly father and as much as is possible demonstrate what it means to be holy.
Just as God’s holiness means that He is INVOLVED in the world, the same goes for you. As one made holy, God calls you to be different than others, but He also calls you to be INVOLVED with others. Jesus said in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before menthat they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
The Christian life, lived in the imitation of God, is not a life of retreating from people, but a life of being involved with others so that they might come to know God as well.
How would you describe your God? He is HOLY! How would you describe your life
since you have come to know Christ as Savior? You are also HOLY! Not because of your own virtue, but because of the goodness of God. Because God is so good, we should live our lives consistently with what God has called us to be–HOLY!
QUESTIONS FOR REVIEW AND STUDY
- 1. How did Jesus define eternal life according to John 17:30?
- 2. What does that Bible repeatedly say that God is? In other words, how does the Bible
- describe God according to Isaiah 6:3 & Revelation 4:8?
- 3. What are the two concepts of holiness according to Hosea 11:8?
- 4. In what ways is God “separate”?
- 5. In what way has God been “involved” in your life?
- 6. Why does God share His holiness with us according to 2 Peter 1:4 & Ephesians 5:1?
- 7. As a person who has been made holy, in what ways are you now “separate” from our culture and world according to John 3:16, Romans 6:11-14 & 2 Peter 1:3?
- 8. As a person who has been made holy, in what ways do you think you can become “involved” in other peoples’ lives so that they might come to know God?