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The Trauma of Holiness

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
August 17, 2021 12:01 am

The Trauma of Holiness

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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August 17, 2021 12:01 am

When we are confronted by the utter perfection of God's holiness, we see ourselves for who we really are. Today, R.C. Sproul reveals why an encounter with the holy is a traumatic experience to sinful people.

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Coming up next on Renewing Your Mind. There's not one person asylum who will claim to be perfect will of others. Not one person in the files and who understands the seriousness of not being perfect because the standard by which we will be judged ultimately is not occur, but will be the standard of God's perfection. When we encounter God's perfection is see ourselves for who we really are unholy and unrighteous unworthy and anything but perfect. Today on Renewing Your Mind, Dr. RC Sproul explains the trauma we experience when we are confronted by a holy and righteous God. Now think of Isaiah. I can't imagine that there was any human being running around in the Jewish nation at that time who humanly speaking was more righteous than Isaiah.

Isaiah was about as righteous as human things could be fun, and he has this glimpse of the holiness of God and the first thing he does when he sees the holiness of God is that he cries out in terror and the old King James version records his words is saying this is me, for I am undone. Now I know that nobody talks like that anymore. Nobody says what was me that words kind of the antiquated expression.

This NRK is an it's like somebody saying forces or a lass and Allah. Nobody talks that way like you have some Jewish friends sometimes when things go wrong Bill safe oy vey is smear which is the unity's rendition of the same verbiage here whoa is me, but for the most part we don't hear people talk like that in our culture, and so translators and try to communicate the word of God in modern verbiage will do away with some of this archaic language, but when we do that sadly we're in danger of missing another one of those semi-hidden gems of biblical literature. There is a reason why. Isaiah used the word whoa in the Old Testament prophets was a human being who was anointed by God to be a spokesman for God. The simple definition that distinguished the profit from the priest in Israel. Was this that it was the task of the priest to speak to God in behalf of the people. It was the task of the prophet to speak to the people in behalf of God, so that when the prophet uttered his message he wouldn't preface his statement by saying in my humble opinion, for it is my judgment that or I think that perhaps this may be the case. That's not how they address the people you know what they did when they gave their message. They preface their words by saying what.

Thus says the Lord because they understood that they were vessels of divine announcements now again the literary form that was common to the prophet of Israel was the form that we call the Oracle you heard I'm sure of a Greek Oracle.

The Oracle of Delphi who would give these announcements about the future will among the Jews, the oracular literary device. The Oracle was of two types.

There were Oracle's of wheel and oracles of woe. Now that mean simply this, that there were announcements that came from God were good news, and there announcements that came from God.

There were bad news, and Oracle of wheel were in Oracle of prosperity used a word that was important to this Oracle among the Jews to introduce the good news, and it was the word blessed. Jesus obviously uses the form of the Oracle self-consciously as a prophet when he gives the sermon on the Mount, the people of his day would've recognized the significance of his giving this list of sayings that he would say I said are the poor in spirit. Blessed are those who mourn, blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.

Blessed are the pure in heart, and so I wasn't a pacemaker he was pronouncing the Oracle of God's we upon the people. The divine blessing the divine benediction to those who did the certain thing but the flipside of the Oracle of wheel was the Oracle of woe, which was a grim and terrifying announcement of God's judgment here.

The prophet Amos when he announces the judgment of God upon the nations, and upon the cities for three transgressions and for Damascus well unto you, Jesus, when he gave his scathing denunciation of the Pharisees prefaced his words of judgment using the Old Testament prophetic Oracle by saying well unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, you cross land and sea to make one convert much of my items you make and twice the child of hell than you are used to. I mentioned in our first session. How rare it is in all of Scripture for anything to be raised to the repetitive level of the superlative and I said the only attribute of God that several repeated to the 3rd is the attribute of holiness, holy, holy, holy. But it's not the only thing that is repeated to the 3rd. Jeremiah the prophet when he went and gave the judgment of God before the temple of the Jews. He said to them, you people come here and you say this is the temple of the Lord, the temple, the Lord, the temple of the Lord. Jeremiah was saying it affects your hypocrisy is to the degree you trust and lying words. Words that cannot profit in the darkest hour of this planet is foretold to us in the Apocalypse of the New Testament were rear told that in that last hour the bowls of divine wrath will be for now on this planet and we hear of this heavenly figure flying across the darkened sky announcing the final judgment of God with the repetition of one word saying what will know what you want to be around when that verse 30 say to see what happens here in the sixth chapter of Isaiah that one who is called of God and set apart the very words of God are placed in his mouth. The first Oracle that he pronounces is an oracle of doom upon himself while is me as soon as Isaiah, saying they unveiled holiness of God. For the first time in Isaiah's life. She understands God is in the very second that Isaiah understood who God was, for the first time in his life.

He understood who Isaiah was what came out of his mouth was something akin to a primordial screen where he curses himself whoa is me, for I am undone and I know the more modern translations use for I am ruined but I like this old when undone. For this reason, if we look at what's happening here through the glasses of modern psychoanalysis. We can describe this experience that Isaiah relates as an experience of psychological disintegration that is this integration to describe a person who is healthy we say that that person's whole. He has everything together and we say somebody who is losing it. We say what is falling apart. Is it interesting that in a synonym that we use for virtue in our language is the word integrity that is that we have everything about our lives mesh together in a coherent and consistent way the ladies and gentlemen, here is the man who possesses the most integrity of the Jewish people who comes and gets one glimpse of the holiness of God, and he immediately suffers.

This integration becomes a part that's what happens to people who catch a glimpse of the character of God because you see that we spend our entire lives bailing ourselves from the true character of God because our natural bent our natural inclination, beloved is to hide ourselves from him because we know instinctively that as soon as the holy appears. It exposes and reveals anything and anyone who is not holy by virtue of that standard. We have a justification for every sin that we commit. We are masters of self deceit, and makes this statement.

He said as long as our gaze is fixed on the ground were safe we flatter ourselves. We address ourselves as demigods slightly lower than eternal deity. We do what the apostle Paul warns us not to do when he said those who judge themselves by themselves and judge themselves among themselves, are not wise. Let me tell you something about human nature. We could go out of the streets of America and asked this question to everyone on the street and I can't believe how many people would answer the same way if I said the people are you perfect. I'd be willing to bet that 99/100 people. We asked the question matter what their back on his would say no I'm not perfect.

The one axiom that all Americans will vote for is that nobody's perfect RRA acumen I'm asked to our human traffic, but that doesn't seem to bother us so there's not one person in the thousand who will claim to be perfect beloved.

There's not one person in a thousand who understands the seriousness of not being perfect because the standard by which we will be judged ultimately is not occur, but it will be the standard of God's perfection. Now hear this. Everybody's entitled to one mistake since who were did God ever say you can all have one mistake, one free sin. One free act of treason against my authority one free insult to my integrity.

He never said the duty but even if he did, how long ago did you use yours up everybody's entitled one mistake. I hope we get more than one. One mistake a second is more like but you see where comfortable with our imperfection, we judge ourselves by each other no matter how ashamed I may be of the weaknesses in my life and sometimes when I look inside myself I make myself sick and to feel like that never discussed yourself. The thing that I can't believe that I'm that selfish or I can't believe that I'm that covetous or lost. For whatever it is we are quick to excuse ourselves because we look around and we can always find somebody who's more depraved than we are, at least on with her so we can be like a Pharisee that Jesus talked about the one of the temple the price it all.

God, I think you are not like that miserable guy over there and so we find a way to excuse ourselves and flatter ourselves until we see the standard and when that happens we are undone. As Isaiah was and what he saw Cuyler holiness it understood what it was that he wasn't. He couldn't stand and he's on his face that he's screaming out in pain. 30 say woe is me, for I am undone for I'm a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty. I wonder why he said what he said when he cries out. Now in his Terry said I'm undone because I have a dirty mouth. Wonder why he went to his mouth.

If you read the teaching of Jesus.

One of the things that comes through his teaching again and again is a lesson that almost no one in the 20th century believes anymore. If Jesus of Nazareth taught anything he taught repeatedly, that someday every human being would be called before the tribunal of God that everyone of us will have to give an account before the holy Creator of heaven and earth. And Jesus says that on that day, every idle word that we have ever spoken will be brought into the judgment that everything that we've ever done everything that we've ever said, every promise we've ever made and broken every blasphemous statement that's come from my mouth every slanderous word that we made towards our neighbor will be brought up on the table. Jesus said it's not what goes into a man's mouth that the file submit is what comes out. God has given us our mouths as vehicles to praise to express his troops and instead we will use our miles to lie to hurt other people to blaspheme God we have dirty mom's when Isaiah saw the holiness of God's hand when instinctively to his mouth as he cried out this curse upon himself the ladies and gentlemen, what did God. God looked on from the throne and see his servant writhing in the dust and all of this remorse and repentance like some medieval monk in a monastery involving self-flagellation is a common,,,, now Isaiah you're taking yourself far too seriously. Don't have such a morbid preoccupation with zero filter to get a lifetime of study for the likes of Sigmund Freud carrying on like this. Don't be so neurotic got a at the menu, you must've been reading Jonathan Edwards are anticipating Queen Victoria as noted, nor did God look at his servant writhing in the dirt and say to him software, you miserable Creek you desire to be undone and ruined. Go ahead let the curse fall upon yourself. I've had it with the likes of you.

Isaiah I'll catch you later. That's not what he did say something else. He didn't do ladies and gentlemen. God didn't say a word to Isaiah about cheap grace.

God didn't say luck I say all I want you to do is sign your name and a membership card or raise your hand and you can come into my kingdom. No, God saw his servant in pain and he nodded to one of the seraphim and the seraph went over to the altar for the white hot coals were burning their the holy place and the calls were so hot that even the angel's flesh couldn't come in contact with the underused funds added with these tongs. He took one of these white hot coals and he flew over to Isaiah 10 we read in the text that he placed this article on his lip and how sensitive the human lips are.

It's with our lips that we expressed one of the most intimate forms of tactile communication. The kiss the nerve endings of the lips are hypersensitive and yet this man has the experience of having a hot coal placed right on his lips. You know that what happened is the instant that Cole touched his lips. There was a huge blister formed on the coherency/sizzle. Why, because God was being cruel and unusual in his punishment applies in the coal was applied to cauterize his to purify to heal, to prepare them for the message that he was to get listen to what assess one of the seraph flew to me with a live coal in his hand which he had taken with tongs from the altar and with that he touched my mouth and he said, see, this has touched your lips, your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for by my Protestants by conviction.

One of the things that I miss from the Roman Catholic tradition is the confessional. Yes, the confessional was at the heart of the Protestant controversy, but only one element other than we have a tendency to throw the baby out with the bathwater. How I long to be able to go someplace to someone that I can see and hear and experience the real presence and say father I have sinned. This is what I have done I list my transgressions get that off my chest and then be able to get on my knees and hear somebody say to me in the name of Jesus Christ's Volvo. I'm so your sins are forgiven, how would you like to hear Christ come in this room right now and walked to where you are, privately, and say to you, I know about everyone of you said it's right now I want to tell you that every sin that you ever committed in your life is forgiven, your guilt is taken away all of it you never again have to worry about the sins that you have committed against God. I am forgiving you and cleansing you this moment and forever.

What would you give to hear Jesus say that that's what God said to Isaiah and Scott I say all of your guilt. You don't have to speak the curse any longer.

I'm taking away your sins are forgiven their phone for now is Isaiah's trying to deal with that God speaks once more had he said. So I said so go for us. The first thing Isaiah says after cursing himself is what hear my send me notice he didn't say here I am. That would be telling God's geographical location now. He said God hear of he can hardly say it through these lips ladies and gentlemen, the price of repentance is very very painful.

True repentance is honest before God and to come into the presence of a holy God is a painful thing, but when we come humbly, as Isaiah did when we come on our face God is ready to forgive the clan and to send. The only justification for any missionaries mission for any preachers preaching is that that person has experienced the forgiveness of God, and that's why would we encounter God's holiness.

We are eager as Isaiah was to be sent to assure this good news with others. God is holy and he is good. You're listening to Renewing Your Mind on this Tuesday by Bui Webb and we are airing portions of Dr. RC Sproul's classic series, the holiness of God we learn today that the trauma we experience in the face of God's holiness is actually good for us. It helps us understand more completely. Who God is and who we are and help to see that we can only stand before him because of his grace, not our merit were glad you joined us today and would like to send you a bundle of resources that will allow you to continue your study of this important truth for a donation of any amount to look at or ministries. We will send you the six part series were hearing this week, plus the accompanying study guide and Dr. scrolls book by the same title. The holiness of God. And this is the by the way, the hardbound edition of that book you can find us or you can call us with your gift number is 800-435-4343 you'll find many more helpful resources when you download the free look at your app hundreds of videos, audio messages and articles are available to you there. Plus you can follow daily Bible study plan to search for Liggett here in your app store.

You remember the story and ask chapter 5 of God striking Ananias and Sophia on the surface it seems to be an instance of the punishment for outweighing the offense tomorrow will find out that in fact this and other shocking examples of judgment or expressions of God's holiness. I hope you'll join us Wednesday for Renewing Your Mind

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