Holiness and the Grace of God

isa6-holiness-e1361342892229The subject that seems to be the focal point of many Christian authors is grace.  Walk down the aisles of Barnes and Noble and look at the titles on the book shelves, and what do you see?  They are lined with rows of books that outline and discuss the subject of grace.

Evidently, grace sells.  But at what expense?  Does this emphasis on grace debase our perception of the Holiness of God?  If we give too much attention to the grace of God, do we lessen our comprehension of His holiness?

Notice the admonition of the Psalmist, and his focus on the holiness of God:

  • Psalm 29:2: Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
  • Psalm 96:9: Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth.

Read the sixth chapter of Isaiah, and you will have a better understanding of the power of God’s holiness.  When Isaiah witnessed the glory of God, he saw the sinfulness of man—and he repented.

You diminish the beauty of His holiness and you cheapen His grace when you fail to give appropriate attention to your sin.  Grace is God’s righteous response to the unrighteousness of man.  To fully appreciate His grace, you cannot depreciate the magnitude of your sin.

When Paul wrote his first letter to Timothy, he gave a balanced assessment of grace and sin:

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.  And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.  This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

When you get to the place to where you can recognize the prevalence and power of sin, you are at at the point where you will begin to recognize this this truth:  “. . . the grace of our Lord is exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.”

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