Who is God? Quite a daunting question if you take it seriously. I think it is safe to say that the infinity of God is more than any of us can grasp. Yet too often in these times we think of God in terms of what He can do for us, and what He has done for us.
There is really nothing wrong with that, except that it puts us first on the cast list and makes God second, at best.
Before God is our savior, before He is love, before He seeks a relationship with us, He is holy. God doesn’t need us and He certainly has no obligation to do anything for us. He has been from eternity past and will be for eternity future. He always was and always will be completely set apart and utterly independent.
This is the God of the Bible, the God we worship and the God who sent His Son into the world to save sinners. This is why the Bible says over and over again, “Do not be afraid.” God is a God to be feared before He is a God that loves. And fear we must when we look upon our own sin in the light of His holiness.
R.C. Sproul eloquently and accessibly lays out this perspective on God. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord.” It is the only characteristic that the Bible uses in that superlative manner, which says to me that it is the primary attribute of God. God is first and foremost, and it is because of his holiness that He steps out to rescue us from our obscurity in sin.
What else does God’s holiness mean to us? Day in and day out it is far too easy to think that God is not there, and that the worries and stresses of life are representative of chaos. But because God is holy (“set apart”), He has a perspective that is unique in all the universe. If He has adopted you as his son (or daughter), then why should you think that He would not have your best at heart? Even when the medicine is bitter (and perhaps because it is), it is still good for us. It is what Adam and Eve missed: only God knows what is good for us.
Read this book and savor the power of the message of God’s holiness. It is at the same time excellently terrifying and overwhelmingly calming to know that God is above all others and yet reaches out to keep us and make us His own.