The Holiness of God Part 1

Pastor Mike will be speaking on The Holiness of God Part 1. He will be reading out of Amos 2:4-16.

The answer is to turn to Jesus Christ for He on the cross has absorbed the judgment of God and now through a relationship with Christ we are brought to a holy God and we are made a holy people and we can stand before our righteous and holy God.

This is Pastor Mike Sanders. We want to open our Bibles and we’re going to be in Amos chapter 2. We’re continuing our study on the holiness of God. Amos comes and he reveals to the people of God how great, awesome, and holy our God is.

You will not walk away without being touched by the powerful words that the Lord has given Amos the prophet and I hope that you’ll be encouraged and strengthened in your faith as you continue to revel in the holiness of God.

Let’s get our Bibles and study together. That’s why ministry can’t be about personalities. It can’t be about politics. It can’t be about preferences. It has to be built upon the principles of truth and the glory of God and the cause of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We cannot let the things of the world and the things that the devil dangles before us to get us off message and off mission for him. There are many problems and there are many trials in this world and personally we deal with many struggles and obstacles but remember this church that God has a purpose and God has a plan and we must stay on mission for him.

We must not get distracted. So in verse 13 through 16 we see the announcement of this judgment. We see what Amos says, behold I am weighed down by you as a cart full of sheaves is weighed down. There’s a heavy to the disappointment of God’s people not following God therefore flight shall perish from the swift the strong shall not strengthen his power nor shall the mighty deliver himself he shall not stand who handles the bow the swift of foot shall not escape nor shall he who rides a horse deliver himself the most courageous men of might shall flee naked in that day says the Lord the nation of Israel had been relying on its prosperity and had been relying on its military strength and had been relying upon its finances and the Bible says that God is going to bring judgment and that the strongest among them the swiftest among them will not be able to survive the judgment of God that is to come upon them that God will allow even the most courageous and strongest among them to be humbled and retreat in shame.

We cannot trust in chariots and horses. We cannot trust in military strength. We cannot trust in the mighty dollar that we think is so powerful. We cannot trust in the resources of this country. We must learn to trust in the Lord our God who is our refuge, who is our strength, who is our stronghold.

And if ever there’s a time for the church to run to God, it is even now. His judgment is imminent. It is upon us. It is the church that needs to rise up. It’s the church in the days in which we live that should not be fearful, but we are called to be a light in the darkness.

We are called to be a chosen generation, and we are called to be a people who are brave and courageous for the cause of the gospel, for we know that the answer to the world’s problems is only Jesus Christ.

That is to have a relationship with Him. There is no building up the military that’ll be enough. There is no political strength that’ll ever be enough. There is no wealth or the rise in the stock market that will ever be enough for what God calls His people to be.

The Apostle Paul said in Romans 2, 24, where as it is written, the name of God is blasphemed. Among the Gentiles because of you. We are called church to be different and distinct. We are called to not blaspheme the name of God.

We are called not to be worldly or fleshly, but we are to be a bright light for the wonderful purposes of God. We read these judgments and we certainly have to ask ourselves the question, what specifically do these charges reveal to each one of us?

They reveal the holiness of God. In these final few minutes that we have together, that’s what I want us to reflect our heart upon is the holiness of God. The first song in Scripture is in Exodus chapter 15.

The last song written in the Bible is Revelation chapter 15. I want you to go there in your Bible or your devices, whatever you’ve got. I want you to go to Revelation chapter 15. After God had delivered…

millions of his people from the grip of Egypt through the ten awesome plagues and then he parted the Red Sea, Moses led the whole nation in a song celebrating the holiness of God. When the Apostle John in the book of Revelation was granted by God to look into the future, he saw a moment in time when the final outpouring of the wrath of God was about to take place.

As we look at this passage of Scripture this morning, there is a gathering in heaven that John shares with us. We see what is taking place on earth and we see what is taking place in heaven and there is a gathering in heaven around the throne of God and people of faith and allegiance to God are surrounding, praising God.

But what is distinct about these people is they are the ones whose lives were martyred during the tribulation period because they refused the mark of the beast, because they refused to follow the way of the world, because they stood strong and their allegiance was to Jesus Christ.

And the Bible says in Revelation chapter 15 verse 1, then I saw another sign in heaven. Great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete. And I saw something like a sea of glass mingle with fire and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name standing on the sea of glass having harps of God.

They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and And the song of the Lamb saying, Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, O King of the Saints. Who shall not fear you, O Lord, and glorify your name?

For you alone are what, church? Holy. For all the nations shall come and worship before you, for your judgments have been manifested. In between Exodus chapter 15, the first song of praise that we see here, and Revelation chapter 15, God’s holiness keeps coming up over and over again.

The holiness of God is the chief attribute of God. Like no other attribute mentioned in the Bible about God, it is repeated. Three times the Bible tells us that the seraphims the angels of God are circling the throne of God and they declare Holy, holy, holy is our God you’ll never find in the scriptures that the attribute of love is repeated in that sequence in that grouping of three together You might feel that the love of God is the supreme attribute of God But I’m here to say to you that the holiness of God is his supreme attribute and the love of God the mercy of God And the grace of God supplement the holiness of God What the people of God once again need is a fresh vision of the holiness of God in their life Moses was so touched and moved By the holiness of God The Bible tells us in Exodus chapter 3 that his he approached the burning bush He recognized that he was in the presence of a holy God and he took his sandals off in great reverence and respect to the manifestation of God So what does it mean?

to say That God is holy. I Think three things for us to consider this morning. Number one to be holy is to be distinct separate and unique The basic meaning of holy in the Bible is to cut away or separate in the New Testament the word holiness denotes separation From everything that is impure R .C.

Sproul who is now in heaven wrote a great book called the holiness of God If you have not read that book, I need you to get that book. I need you to read that book because you will once again recapture the supreme attribute of God, which is His holiness.

He writes in His book about the holiness of God that this word holy conveys the same idea that we express when we find a garment, a golf club, or a piece of merchandise that is outstanding or is superior in excellence.

We might refer to it as being a cut above the rest. This is what we’re saying is that God is a cut above. The holiness of God means that He is utterly unique, incomparable, matchless, without parallel, and without peer.

The Bible says in Isaiah chapter five, 40 in verse 25, to whom then will you liken me? Or shall I be equal, saith the holy one? God is not just a supersized version of you and me. He is transcendently separate and distinct in a class by himself.

He is subject to nothing and he answers to no one. When Hannah prayed for a son, she was rejoicing that God had answered her prayer. And she said in first Samuel chapter two, verse two, there is none holy like the Lord.

There is none besides you. There is no rock like our God. The psalmist filled with confidence, expressing praise and worship in the holiness of God. Said in Psalm 86, eight, among the gods, there is none like you, oh Lord.

Nor are there any works like your works. The first strand of meaning in the Bible about the holiness of God is simply this. He is above us, he is beyond us. He is so different and so rare that no one in the Bible, regardless of how devoted they were, intelligent and humble and repentant, could ever compare to the holiness of God Almighty.

When Habakkuk sensed the presence of a holy God, the Bible says in Habakkuk 3 .16, I heard, and my inner parts trembled. At the sound of my lips quivered. decay entered my bones and in my place I trembled.

When people come into the presence of the Holy God they are awed, overwhelmed. The greatness of God so fills their mind that it literally has a traumatic effect upon their life. You remember when Peter was in the boat he finally realized that Jesus was who he said he was, the true Son of God sent by the Father, the Messiah prophesied by the great prophets and the Bible says that Peter was so fearful that he said Lord I am not worthy to be in your presence.

We are reminded in Hebrews 12 29 that our God is a consuming fire. The mystery of who God is needs to strike at our heart. and once again reset our reverence and respect and adoration to Him. When we talk about the holiness of God, we are also saying, number two, to be holy is to be absolutely pure.

Holiness is being set apart from anything that is impure in order to be completely given over to what God says is pure. The Bible tells us that our God is pure. He is not only pure, but He is perfect.

He is flawless. He is sinless. His purity is a blazing fire that brightens the heavens and brightens the world as we reflect upon it. The third thing I want you to learn about the holiness of God, and perhaps the most important, is that only holy people can see God.

All else fall under the wrath of God. Yes, the Scriptures tell us in Hebrews 12 -14 that we are to pursue holiness. And without it, no one will see the Lord. You may say, Pastor, why would you say such a thing?

Because the Bible says it. We are not only called to pursue peace, but we are called to pursue His holiness. Holy people see a holy God. Unholy people will not see a holy God. The prophet Isaiah said your iniquities have built barriers between you and your God, and your sins have made Him hide His face from you so that He does not listen.

When the Apostle Paul was trying to explain to the Corinthians the holiness of God and the need for them to live separate and distinct, lives, he said to them in 1 Corinthians chapter 3 and verse 17, if anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him.

For God’s temple was holy, and you are that temple. It’s sobering. And it certainly leads us to the question, what hope do we have? Because fundamentally, by nature, each and every one of us is a sinner.

The scripture says, who may ascend into the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart? Who has not set his mind on what is false and who is not sworn deceitfully?

He will receive a blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God. God of his salvation. What is our hope, Mike? How is it that we as impure people and unholy people, how can we see a holy God hanging there with me?

First Peter 3 .18 has the answer. For Christ also suffered for sins once for all. The righteous for the unrighteous that he might bring you to God and being put to death in the fleshly realm, but made alive in the spiritual realm.

What I want you to note this morning is that the greatness of our God and this distinction of his holiness is so overwhelming that it can cause us to be afraid and wonder what are we to do in the midst of this judgment that is to fall upon this world?

The answer, my friend, is to turn to Jesus Christ for he on the cross has absorbed the judgment of God and he has absorbed the wrath of God and now through a relationship with Christ, we are brought to a holy God and we are made a holy people and we can stand before our wonderful, righteous and holy God.

What his holiness demands from each of our lives, his grace has provided in Jesus Christ. He took the initiative and gave his life for us. He stepped up, Jesus did, and he took the heat of the eternal holy wrath of God and judgment and punishment of sin in the single act on Calvary.

And there, my sin, my shame was taken care of. And now, by faith I wear the clothes of holiness Jesus put his sin upon himself but he wrapped the robe of righteousness upon my heart and I stand before God righteous not on my own acts of goodness not on my own achievements not on anything that I have done but everything that Christ has done for me on the cross and now I have been granted forgiveness now I am accepted in the beloved now I am a child of God and I get to enjoy all the privileges of being in the family of God can God’s people say amen now what difference does God’s holiness make in my life two things and I’ll let you go that is first of all saving holiness?

Do you have the holiness of God working for you in Christ? Or is the holiness of God working against you? Have you fled to Christ this morning? Have you personally trusted in Him and the great work that He has done on the cross?

Is your only hope in Christ or how good you are? Are you still trying to carry your sin? And are you still trying to earn points with God? Are you trying to impress God with your religion? Or have you come humbly before Christ Almighty and figuratively at the foot of the cross and say, Lord, I am a sinner in need of a Savior?

Well, my friends, if that’s true, then you have the holiness of God in you. And His holiness is working for you. And as you pursue holiness, it is evidence that you truly are a believer and follower of Christ.

And your trust and your hope in the midst of a world that is experiencing the judgment of God and even the church that is experiencing the judgment of God is that you have the hope and the promise that you are sheltered under the grace of God and you are supported by the loving kindness of God because you have put your faith and your trust in Jesus Christ for your eternal soul to live with God forever, to be in a place that is called heaven.

And it’s all because of what Jesus did for you on the cross. The holiness of God by faith gives me saving holiness, but it also gives me serving holiness. What is the evidence in your life that the Holy Spirit of God is indwelling you?

Is there any manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit in your life? Does your behavior, does your attitudes, your choices, your habits, yes even your language show the world that you are different? We live in times where you are to go the way of the world or you’ll be canceled.

You’re to think like the world or you’ll be canceled. You are to respond like the world or you will be canceled. But God is calling us to be counter -cultural. He is calling us to be different and distinct and to stand out like sore thumbs.

Not that we are obnoxious, not that we are weirdos, but certainly the Bible describes us as being peculiar people. 1 Peter 2, 9 says we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Yeah, you are to serve in this world with a distinction. There’s to be something different about you because the word holy describes the word different. A holy person is not an odd person, but a different person.

A holy person has the quality about their life that is unique. And people notice it. That’s why when Peter encouraged us in chapter 3 to witness for Christ, he first said to separate yourself unto God.

And what he was saying to us is that as we dedicate our lives to live out the holiness that we have been granted through the grace of God and faith in Christ, because of the great work of Christ on the cross, this holiness is to be lived out in our lives on a daily basis through our choices, our language, our behavior and our attitude and it should be so different it should be so distinct that when people ask for the reason of the hope that lies within the within you that you’re not to give them the answer of the world or the flesh you’re not to say well it’s because of what I have done or what others have done but rather the reason you are different is because of Jesus Christ it’s Christ in you the Apostle said to live is Christ and to die his game the Bible wants us to be set apart in our lifestyles so different and distinct that people say what’s up with you why are you so different recently Barna group came out with a new stat that for the first time in America, that there are below 50% number of people who claim to be a member of a church.

Now, their definition of church would probably be a whole lot wider than ours, but the point simply being is that we are in a world and a time and a season where there are more unbelievers than there are believers.

But rather than being afraid about the future and rather than retreating in fear, we are called to stand up and speak up and to reflect the holiness of God. And here is what we are called to do. We are called to be set apart in our lifestyle, but we are called to be sent out in our relationships.

When I am set apart, desiring to reflect the holiness of God and the light of God and to walk in the light of God in this world, that in all my relationships I am sent out to tell people about this marvelous hope that is only found in a relationship with Jesus.

The world is grasping at straws. This is our moment and this is our time to reflect the holiness of God and to promote the hope of Jesus Christ. drawn to Him, and we are very much like Isaiah, that as we see His righteousness, the righteousness of God, and the holiness of God, we recognize just how unholy we are, and just how unrighteous we are, and the desperate need that we have for true salvation and true forgiveness.

And I pray today that as Christ has been lifted up to you, and if you feel that sense of guilt, and that sense of shame, run to the cross, and receive the forgiveness and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, for Jesus lived a sinless life, and went to the cross, and died for our sins, and all who believe in Him, and repent of their sins, can have eternal life.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. This is Pastor Mike reminding you that in Christ there is hope.

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