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The Importance of Holiness

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
August 16, 2021 12:01 am

The Importance of Holiness

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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August 16, 2021 12:01 am

Once you encounter the holiness of God, your life will never be the same. Today, R.C. Sproul begins his classic series on God's holiness by addressing how important this divine attribute is for our understanding of who God is and who we are.

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Today on Renewing Your Mind. These angelic beings ministering daily in the immediate un-veiled presence of Almighty God, whose glory is so faltering, so piercing that even the angels have to see the Messiah from looking directly at his face. Isaiah was in the throne room of God and solving angels worshiping in a terrified, he fell down and cried will use me. God's holiness is both captivating and terrifying. They can either drive us away in fear or cause us to cry out for mercy this week on Renewing Your Mind. We are pleased to feature Dr. RC Sproul series the holiness of God says in chapter 6 of Isaiah verse one in the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted in the train of his robe filled the temple and more the seraphim, each with six wings with two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying and they were calling to one another, holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty. The whole earth is full of his glory and the sound of their voices the doorpost and the threshold struck in the temple was filled with smoke that I want to notice. In this brief passage that I've read here that Isaiah locates this experience to be had in the year that King Uzziah died, and we don't know for sure whether what Isaiah beheld was an ecstatic vision that took place in the temple in Jerusalem or if in fact what Isaiah saw was a glimpse into the inner sanctum of heaven itself. I prefer the latter interpretation unpersuaded for technical reasons I won't get into here is that what happened was that God opened the curtain. He removed the veil from heaven itself, and is drawn centuries later on the olive Patmos would get a glimpse of the interior of heaven.

Isaiah the prophet saw the Lord in throne in heaven itself that you see in your Bible it says here in the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted in the train of his robe filled the temple.

If you look at your Bible you see the word Lord and I'm sure it's spelled L little low little. Our little baby. Is that true in your Bibles are good on a couple of verses toward the song of the seraphim were says holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty to say that using that same word Lord is spelled LORD him to give notice that in your textbook is a very common thing we find in English translations of the Bible is not a result of a typographical error but rather the translators are trying to signal to us that something is going on here that's a bit unusual that even though the same English word Lord is here in the text.

The fact that they are printed differently, indicates that there are two distinctly different Hebrew words behind the text anytime you see LORD you can be fairly confident that the Hebrew term that is being translated is the name Yahweh. The name of the God revealed to Moses in the Midianite wilderness when he said I am who I am. That's the sacred name of God, the holy name of God, Yahweh earlier when we see this word Lord L little low little Lord nobody, it translates now a different word which is the Hebrew term add-on add-on. I and that is probably the most exalted title that the Old Testament uses for God. He's given many titles in the Old Testament.

This is the supreme title that is given to him, we think, for example in Psalm eight where we read all Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all of the earth there.

It's what O Yahweh our house and I how majestic is your name in all of the hunt again and saw my hundred and 10, we read this the Lord said to my Lord, sit down with my right hand a fantastic statement to be found in the Old Testament were David now describes Yahweh talking to someone else and ascribing to that third person. The title Adam and I the title that it always been reserved for God himself. It's no accident.

Ladies and gentlemen that the most quoted and alluded to Old Testament verse in the New Testament is Psalm 110 where Paul tells us that Jesus is given the name that is above every name, the title will I don't the name that originally belongs to God and to God alone. Now the meaning of the term. Had a nice simply is this the sovereign work so do you see what happened. The king is dead. There is this time of uncertainty and mourning in the land and the Jewish people that Isaiah comes in the name of his people and the looks and behold the interior parts of heaven itself, and he sees not use Uzziah, not Hezekiah, not David. He sees nine the supreme sovereign, enthroned in heaven. I'm convinced personally that what he is saying here is a pre-incarnate glimpse of the enthronement of Christ himself and his full majesty.

I saw the Lord seated on the throne, hi exalted the train of his robe filled the temple.

How I love that phrase.

The train of his robe filled the temple. You know, in ancient days, the closing of a monarch's was a major while their status, an international protocol would respond to the various levels of the magnificence of their club. If a king more urban.

That was incredible if he were stable. That was even better. Make was sort of second or third grade level and those that came with canvas robes. They had to sit in the back of the summit meetings of the K. I remember seeing one of the first international television broadcast that Was Taken Pl. in America was a viewing of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth and the commentators went on and on about the pump in the circumstance that only the British can bring to such a celebration in the magnificence of her down as she came to approach the throne in Buckingham Palace. They had several pages, who had to lift the train of her down as she made her entrance into the Abbey because that guy trailed for several feet behind her as she processed but you hear what what Isaiah is saying here is that what he saw this vision of the heavenly King, he saw a king who slanderous garments build out over the sides of the throne, and so on to unfurl back along the sides of the of the temple around the back entrance way and spelled out and completely filled the entire building and what he is saying here is a visual experience of majesty. This focus in the magnificence of the garment. Then he said over the throne and above Yahweh and Ada and I the Lord were the seraphim, each with six wings. This is the only reference in Scripture to these creatures who were called seraphim summit try to identify them exactly with the cherubim, but I think since the Bible distinguishes, we need to distinguish we know very little about them except that they are part of the heavenly host those beings that were specially created by God to serve him day and night in his immediate presence and if we read the description that Isaiah gives of them. It seems as though they appear in almost bizarre fashion.

For we are told that they had six wings when you stop there for second and make a comment one God creates creatures he does it with a certain creative economy. He doesn't waste material. He has an amazing extraordinary ability to create whatever he makes in such a way that it is adaptable and suitable for its environment.

God makes fish with gills and with fins because their natural habitat is in the water he makes birds with wings and feathers because their environment is in the air. And so when he creates angelic beings whose specific task and function in creation is to minister to him and his immediate presence. He constructs them in such a way as to make them fit for their environment and hence we are told they are given two extra sets of way with two they covered their face think that that these angelic beings, minister daily in the immediate un-veiled presence of Almighty God, whose glory is so revolving so piercing that even the Angels baptistery over Melissa's from looking directly at his face.

Remember the story in the book of Exodus when Moses representing the people of God, was summoned by Yahweh to Sinai to receive the law of God, and you remember Moses went up there into the clouds and was sort of swallowed up on that mountain and the people waited for days after days and they were apprehensive and stricken with anxiety as they wondered what happened to their leader, having been swallowed up by the wrath of God on that mountain like corridor and his people had in the rebellion, would he return alive. What would the message of God be if he did come back and so they waited in fear and trembling for Moses return and while Moses was on the mountain.

He spoke with God. Remember the conversation if I can improvise a little bit.

It was it was something like this.

Moses said to God is a God. I have seen some magnificent things in my lifetime. You've shown me the burning bush. I've seen the plagues by which you devastated the Egyptians I saw you part the sea and bring a whole nation of people through on dry land hi Senior provide supernatural miraculous provisions from heaven for us hungry people.

Now let me have the big one God, please let me see your face because of Moses you know better than that.

You know my word that no man shall see me and live You Can See My Pl., Moses, here's what I'll do, I'll carve out a little niche in the rock over here and I'll put you in the cleft of the rock and then I will cover you and I will pass by and I will let you see my backward parts. The Hebrew reads the hindquarters of Yahweh, but my face shall not be saying. So God put his servants in the cleft of the rock, and he allowed his glory to pass by, and ladies and gentlemen for a split second.

Moses got a backward glance of the refracted glory of God and what happened when he came down from the mountain and the people saw this figure approaching in the distance they became all excited for the return of their leader and they rushed forward to greet Moses and suddenly they shrunk back and forth, and fell on their faces and I began to plead with Moses like Moses. Moses cover your face, they couldn't bear to look why because Moses face was shining with such radiance and such intensity that it was blinding the people and with the people were saying ladies and gentlemen. Think of it was merely a reflection on the human beings face from a backward instantaneous glance of the glory of God the Angels themselves cover their eyes in his presence, and with two wings. We are told they cover their feet. The Bible doesn't explain to us why it was necessary for the seraphim to cover their feet.

I can only guess. And I will venture a guess at this point, and that is the feet for angels as well as for men is the symbol in the Bible of creaturely nests. We are told that we are of the earth, earthy that our feet are of clay. When Moses met God in the Midianite desert and wilderness was the first thing God set Moses. Moses take off my shoes for about 5 feet from the ground whereon thou stand this is holy ground. He asked him to bear his feet this side of his creaturely nests the side of his submission before the holy one. So even in heaven. The angel cover the sign of their creaturely's was fascinated as I may be ladies and gentlemen, with the anatomy of the seraphim. These are really minor considerations with the text here. What is really important about this tax as far as I concern is not the structure of the Angels gets the message of the listen to what the Bible tells us that with the two they were flying and they were calling to one another, saying, holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty. The whole earth is full of his glory, the heavenly host above the throne of God saying to each other in antiphonal response a single word repeated over and over and over again way is the Lord Almighty heaven and earth is full of his glory friends.

There's something here in this text that is English speaking people. We could read a thousand times and miss every time there's something very Jewish about this text in the English language when we want to call attention to something that's particularly important to give emphasis there different ways that we can do that imprint we can underline words or italicize them to put them in boldface type portal quotation mark certain brackets around them works fill the page with! How I hate! One is not an exclamation. Even my editors do that I find in the final draft policies covering these things and they'll put exclamation points of sentences that are in exclamations and please don't think so poorly of me to think that I don't know any better about the use of acclamation point. I do that drive me crazy but that's what we do with emphasis. What the Jews did the same thing they did all of that underline boldface, italicized, but they had another technique to call attention to something's particular importance and it was a simple technique of verbal repetition. I think for example of of the apostle Paul when he's writing to the Galatians and warning them of the dangers of departing from the gospel that they had received from Paul. I said, I say unto you, that if anybody preaches unto you any other gospel than that which you received, even if it's an angel from heaven, let him be anathema on a Tama, let him be Dan. That's a strong statement that comes from the pen of the apostle Paul, but he doesn't stop there immediately goes on to say again I say to you, if anyone preaches unto any other gospel than that which you have received, let him be anathema. Jesus was fond of using this device of repetition to make his points not remember Jesus was a rabbi.

That meant that he was a theologian. He had a school. Students call disciples or learners who enrolled in his school and he was a peripatetic rabbi. That meant that he walked around and as he walked the disciples literally followed him. When Jesus said, follow me. He meant literally walk around behind me and why they would do would be this way the teacher would give his recitation.

He would lecture as he walked down the road to Emmaus or wherever in the disciples would follow along behind them and commit to memory the things that the rabbi taught the lasers on every teaching that ever came from the lips of Jesus Christ was important, but even our Lord took time to call attention to things that he regarded as being super report and whenever he would come to a point like that, that he wanted to make sure his disciples never missed he would preface his teaching by saying to work. He would say truly, truly, I say unto you, or the older translation.

Verily, verily, actually what he said was amazing all Maine I say unto you, you recognize that word comes directly into English, and we say all the people said what man, but we say amen after the teacher teaches her after the preacher preaches. That means it is true we believe it and so on. Jesus didn't wait for his disciples to confirm the truthfulness of what he was. He started his sermon by saying amen, amen. That's like the captain of the ship getting on the intercom and say now hear this. This is the captain speaking. When Jesus repeated that were saying it twice.

He was underscoring its importance. Ladies and gentlemen, there's only one attribute of God that is ever raised to the 3rd° of repetition in Scripture there is only one characteristic of Almighty God that is communicated in the superlative degree from the miles of angels where the Bible doesn't simply say that God is holy. For even that he's holy calling, but that he is holy, holy, holy Bible doesn't say that God's mercy mercy marriage, love, love, love or justice.

Just as justice or wrath, wrath, wrath, but that he is holy, holy. This is a dimension of God that consumes his very essence and when it is manifest to Isaiah, we read that the sound of the voices of the syrup in the doorpost the threshold of the temple itself struck and began to tremble to hear that inanimate, lifeless and intelligible parts of creation in the presence of the manifestation of the holiness of God the good sense to be moved. How can we made in his image, the indifference or apathetic to his matches God alone is we can't be apathetic when we are confronted with God's holiness. We must respond. Dr. RC Sproul series the holiness of God is our focus today here on Renewing Your Mind and were glad you joined us. Dr. Spruill said the holiness of God affects every aspect of our lives, economics, politics, athletics, romance, everything with which we are involved in.

It's a topic that is defined in this ministry now in its 50th year. Our mission has always been about proclaiming teaching and defending God's holiness in all its fullness to as many people as possible and when you get today we will say thank you by sending you the hardbound edition of Dr. Spruill's book by the same title. The holiness of God. Your financial gifts allow us to continue that mission.

And when you get today we will say thank you by sending you the hardbound addition of Dr. Spruill's book by the same title. The holiness of God wearing three lessons from the video series this week, but there are six messages in all in the two DVD set will include the complete series of the package.

We send you along with a study guide for the series and you can make your request and give your gift or you can call us at 800-435-4343 in the last week we had the privilege of hearing Dr. Spruill series chosen by God and we mentioned the fact that for many people. It was a game changer in terms of their understanding of God's sovereignty and salvation.

For many people this series the holiness of God has been a game changer.

In fact, just last week I was speaking to a gentleman who had that just listen to the series for the first time at about 25 years. He told me that this teaching had such a profound impact on his understanding of God's character that he can remember exactly where he was when he heard Dr. Spruill teach it the first time. So let me encourage you to contact us with your donation of any amount and request this bundled resource. The holiness of God.

Our phone number get his 800-435-4343 our web address is Renewing Your will I say of course wasn't the only person in Scripture who encountered God's holiness, but the response is much the same. A shameful realization of sinfulness. Join us tomorrow as we continue Dr. Spruill series with a message titled the trauma of holiness here on renewing your my

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