In the centre, round the throne, were four living creatures…. Day and night they never stop saying:
‘ “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,”
who was, and is, and is to come.’Revelation 4
“The proper study of a Christian is the Godhead. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father.”CH Spurgeon
Over this next few weeks we will turn our attention, God-willing, to the nature of our God. A lifetime of study would not allow us to scratch the surface of the question ‘who is God’ and yet even scratching the surface of the surface of the question will, I hope, be helpful!
Firstly, our God is holy.
He is holy in the sense of being morally, perfectly, pure. This is what struck Isaiah as he saw the Lord ‘high and exalted’ in Isaiah 6. The Lord God in Isaiah’s vision was being worshipped and honoured for his holiness and Isaiah says ‘woe to me I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD almighty.’
How thankful we should be that this holy God is merciful and has provided the altar of the cross at which we might find cleansing in Christ. Forgiveness- full and free!
The word holy means ‘set apart’. God’s holiness therefore refers to more than just his moral perfection. Theologians sometimes refer to God as “wholly other”. Though we are created in his image and likeness, there are many ways in which we are utterly unlike him. He is set apart. He is not at the top of a league, he is in a league of his own. He is the self-existent, self-sufficient, eternal, immutable, great and glorious God. We, are not! JI Packer says that we are
‘weak, inadequate, ineffective, a little pathetic. Our personal life is a finite thing; it is limited in every direction, in space, in time, in knowledge, in power. But God is not so limited. He is eternal, infinite and almighty. He has us in his hands; we never have him in ours. Like us he is personal; but unlike us, he is great.’
The finite cannot fully grasp the infinite. We can’t know him fully, but we can know him truly through his self-revelation in Scripture and in the Person of his Son. Not only can we know him truly, but we can know him personally, relationally, through faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ Jesus this holy, great and glorious God- is ours, and we are his forever.
‘Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, Thy great name we praise!’
Yours in Christ Jesus