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March 16, 2021 12:01 am
The holiness of God established the foundation for R.C. Sproul's decades of ministry in the classroom and in the pulpit. Today, join R.C. Sproul in his living room in the Ligonier Valley Study Center to hear an early message on the majesty of our Creator.
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The greatest saints whether Job Elijah, Habakkuk, Peter, Paul, it doesn't matter universally when the holiness of God is present. Human beings wake and tear. When we encounter God's majesty is perfection is blazing glory. It changes everything. It certainly did for RC scroll and establish the foundation for his five decades of ministry in the classroom, the pulpit and on this program this week on Renewing Your Mind were celebrating Marcy's ministry through the decades bring you some of his most pivotal messages and one were going to hear today is one we've never aired before. It's an early lecture from 1979 recorded in the school's living room there at the regular Valley study center in Pennsylvania. Consider how often the Bible speaks of holiness in one dimension or another almost at the beginning of the book is the commandment you shall be holy, even as I am holy, or God what he calls Israel and sets them apart from the rest of the nations and enters into a unique covenant relationship with them. What does he do, he sanctifies them he consecrate step which means what he makes them holy in the New Testament the believers in the Christian church are called what saints or the Hagy away, which means literally what the holy wants our identity, our call. Our purpose, our roots are destiny. All of those things are wrapped up and enveloped in this biblical concept of holiness. In fact, if I would ask you what was the purpose of creation in the first place. What would you say where's the crowning act. The ultimate point that expresses the purpose of creation first day.
Second, I what day the sixth. I correct you, why would we say the sixth because the six-day we see the crowning act of God's creation.
Why does he create this god look at the six-day and hollow in the whole understanding and administrators is connected with Hebrew numerology, the number system that we find in the Bible with the sevens and the tendons in the 40s in the 60s.
Now that is six ever a good number of what's the good number seven if you want to look for completeness for goals for purpose look at the six-day you look at the second were God creates the Sabbath and consecrate and nothing goes through all of Scripture Sabbath holiness that man is created as an image of God to mirror and reflect the very nature of God himself. That's our goal to rent missing the six-day is the ultimate day of creation, the ultimate is the seventh. I got all wrapped up in this concept of holiness that we ask you with his award-winning gifts for special K, set apart for special purpose is is God's holiness tied up in the fact that he set apart for special purpose.
Israel was favoring the home. They were the holy ones because they were set apart to be what to mirror and reflect God and lowers their consecration itself was on to holiness but to find the real meaning of it would gotta go.
Somehow back to the holiness of God. When I say that God is holy one. Why me morally. What's the difference between God's holiness and his righteousness are they the same thing as his righteousness as part of his.
His righteousness is part of his holiness will come me something about that holiness is not a part of his righteousness: perfection. Okay, now I know it's not getting back to his perfection.
His his essence is holiness.
We tend almost to equate righteousness and holiness.
Almost think of holiness. Particularly, we think of God's holiness is exclusively a moral quality. It includes it.
Some of you have pointed out that God's righteousness is part of his holiness. But his holiness goes beyond his righteousness. Just take a minute then go to my favorite passage of the Bible regarding this and that is the six chapter of Isaiah. In the letter. Listen to what it says here in the year that King Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon the throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim, each one had six wings with two he covered his face with two he covered his feet and was to he did fly and get the picture. Isaiah comes into the temple, and he has a vision of the Lord.
Adam and I the sovereign one of Israel seated on a throne. They realize that the throne of Israel is empty. King's dad. Isaiah comes the temple, and he sees a vision of the throne and who sitting in the throne God, the Lord Yahweh, the Lord of hosts is seated in this throne and his glory fills the temple and his train fills the room. We see you see God sitting on the throne and his robe comes down over the back of the throne and the train then spreads out and completely engulfs.
Holy Temple. Any notice that there in the throne, saying the seraphim flying around and he described these beasts seems to be the most hideous grotesque animal in all creation. 61 now somebody was by the statement. God doesn't make any junk. God doesn't waste what he makes in one of the most remarkable testimonies of this world to the genius of God is the incredible way in which all the vastly diversified animals and birds and fish and insects are so finely adapted to their environment. Here we are is the Lords of this planet and having it and yet we can't fly to the year that machine, but birds can just take to the wing any day were not built to fly such a bill into our composition or structure, nor make but when God does secretion fly.
What does he do is apparently why sexually yet that's actually supply the wings are usually associated with fly facilities and fly and the serpent have to wings but because of where they fly. God acquits them with four more wings were to fly in the presence of God, the holy of holies. And because they are in the presence of God. God makes then two more sets of what to cover their feet. Why that went to the feet symbolize talk about feet of clay, Moses, Moses, take off your shoes from off your feet for the ground were enough things holy God the feet of the base.
The foundation of what we walk with and stand upon to become a symbol in Hebrew literature of creaturely's and so the bird that flies in the presence of God, various his creatures with tooling and the other two wings.
He covers his face. Why cannot look unveiled at the effulgence of the glory of God. So Isaiah is saying this experience and he can't believe what he saying there. These birds are covering her eyes, cover your feet flying around in their singing.
The really greatest hymn of the church.
The tri-society on the three times home facing holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory. If here in our culture we want to emphasize a point that we are making with the written word.
How would we do it.
What literary devices that we have. To emphasize a point!
It's italics and underline it right and capitalize it in a bold print and are all kinds of things that we can do as a literary device to say this is very important. It's underlined! We could put in brackets or quotes whatever but for the Jew, one of his favorite ways of calling attention to something very important and to bring emphasis to was to repeat it twice but on very very rare occasions the Bible will be so emphatic about something that it moves from the comparative to the superlative degree of repetition. Notice that the seraphim do not say holy is the Lord our of house and they don't even say holy, holy is the Lord.
They say holy, holy light is the that's the only time in the word of God were called attribute of God is magnified and elevated to the 3rd° Bible says that God is love is merciful.
These righteous in his wrath by the nurse is a God is love, love, love, mercy, mercy, mercy, wrath, resurrect righteous registrant. We describe God in his essence in his being Bible listing his attributes, his characteristics and we think that God is the sum total of his attributes and his characteristics that he is a being who is infinite and eternal wise righteous merciful up up up up up about we talk about this is, and it's customary to include holiness as one attribute I think it's a mistake to try to construct a hierarchy of attributes with God and try to balance someone with the other trade one against the other and all that because God is a unified be, but if there's any of those attributes, which is not a natural. As such, but which represents the whole sum and substance and essence of who God is. It is his holiness because the word itself simply means his otherness, his transcendence, which is that aspect of God that differentiates him from anything created refers to his uniqueness and we go to New Testament and we see this happen. The disciples go out on the sea with Jesus's season veteran fishermen are like hourly and all of a sudden this violent storm comes up and the waves are gigantic in an artist like the little fishing were not there in the middle of the scene aces ho, dear Seo so big in my boat is so small. These guys are in danger of capsizing and being destroyed by the turbulence around winds howl in the range being that which Jesus door is sound asleep.
He's asleep take a nap in the back of the boat and the narrative tells us that when the sea starts to roar like this. The disciples were afraid, so when they do wake him up but would you do you go to your leader right away write something I don't want to master something or we perish in their frantic Jesus sort of stretches John's a couple times and wipes his eyes and answer you know what all this waves in it.
He turned his attention from the amenities looks out of the water and the sister base. He still likes targeted dogs and instantly seems like less in the sun and was suffering the and the disciples rejoiced exceeding 76 what to say and the disciples became very much afraid, saying, what manner of man is this every time God is present in the Bible universally whether it's a center around like the based corrupt person or the greatest saints, whether it's Job Elijah, Habakkuk, Peter, Paul, it doesn't matter universally when the holiness of God is present. Human beings wake and tear before there is nothing in this whole universe more intimidating and threatening to man in the holiness of God.
And even when were Christians reconciled at peace with God, we still retain part of that tendency in our being to flee from the presence of God to fill that hole in Israel and Moses came down his face was shining just as a reflection from being with God. They said Moses we can't stand it cover your face.
There's nothing more foreign to our being than the unmitigated holiness of God. If I look at you I can say no here is white me. He's a bearded man. He's a bespectacled man. He's a young man in a Christian man. There's all kinds of things I can say that puts him in the Asian American and all those categories that help me relate to him so that he is not totally a stranger to. Why do you suppose there so much strife and conflict when people from different ethnic and cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds get together and mix they don't understand each other.
They don't have common values that don't have common heritage of their common route and we have a tendency to fear the stranger, the one whose ways are different from our ways before Jesus there was glory what manner of man is this which I was a prophet. Is this is that we send it back there in a categories something totally alien and wipe them out the great dates God loves a firm of God affirms and reject the six perfectly upright with no shadow of turning things getting hope to do and to start thinking like come to grips with his work starting point for me is his holiness that they were preoccupied almost holiness. Do I look to you like a holy man I really righteous man. Spiritual giant type person I was converted to the Christian faith from the streets. There so many wounds and scars on my soul from my pre-Christian days that have been carried over and is so much garbage that still is going on in my life that would be very easy for me to succumb to that.
That's where I get really panicky when I see Christian leaders lowering the standards because I want so much for the standards and the only safeguard I have is to keep looking. God is safe to say no to the junk that would seduce me on to note the same time it where I can live in the presence of God is not by being a legalist and a check in the list every day and being a Pharisee guy cannot. That way I can live theirs and grace, forgiveness but that forgiveness itself comes with the cutting-edge of a reminder of the holiness of God and that I'm not holy because the cross we don't say depart from its embracement. Heal me, forgive.
Now we have is the firstfruits of our justification piece with good working in this place because we been close with the righteousness of Christ. Remember when I worked in a hospital and work with electricians. One day I got on call emergency call to go up to the pediatrics will when were they had the newborn infants, and there was a 2 pound creamy premature baby in an incubator, and the nurses are running around not knowing what to do. They knew how to handle the medical dimension of it but the switch on the incubator was broken and it took an electrician to fix the switch and I was stonewalling and I never bargained for that and you know they have those glass enclosures in the end that you put your hand what I had to go in there I had to get all this surgical dressing in the robes and the gowns and the gloves in the hat and the mask and everything and I felt like a surgeon going there and that babies and their loved playing with the switch to do. They say I couldn't go in there be in the presence of that baby was so stressed right on the presence of a holy God had to be dressed going to have the righteousness of God to be close but once you have that close.
There's nothing to figure because you accepted in the beloved final get to minister me just finish this text fourth verse, the whole earth is full of his glory and the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried in the house was filled with smoke. I don't how people can read the Bible about the holiness of God and not be moved. Does it move you to contemplate the horns till happened in the temple.
And God showed up. The doorpost moved when objects moved. How can we not be moved, who are animate living, breathing, vital human beings. I was with the felon last week and we were in the service of worship inside Stillwater prison in Minneapolis with the inmates guys are this maximum-security facility, hard-core killers, murderers and rapists all over 75 guys out 1200 Christians in that place and there we were having worship service. He gives one the most moving moving experiences among pathetic I was with this was Lem Barney.
You simply quarterback for the trailer and Lem came out of prison. Cases may then turn you on viewing any switch fixed exhibit a when God even the doors surface sizzle.
We need to do is to enlarge understanding of the majesty. As Dr. RC scroll teaching at the place where it all began 50 years ago at the ligature Valley study center. The setting was a small group in the Sproles living room with as many people as they can squeeze out of the couches and folding chairs. Some even sitting on the floor. No one in that room, including Dr. and Mrs. scroll would imagine that litigator would grow into the international outreach that it is today. This week on Renewing Your Mind. We are so pleased to share messages through the decades celebrating God's work through the life and ministry of Dr. scroll in a resource for this week is a very special book winter teaching fellow, Dr. Steven Nichols has spent the last few years researching and writing a comprehensive biography of Dr. scroll, and it's just been released. The title RC scroll a life family like to send it to you for your donation of any amount. It is a beautiful hardbound edition so contact us with your gifted Renewing Your Mind.org or call us at 800-435-4343 well, I hope you'll join us again tomorrow as we go back to the early days of this ministry will bring you a message from the 80s titled dry bones. We hope you'll join us Wednesday on Renewing Your Mind