The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race
had become on the earth.

What did he do? How did God respond? Did he shrug? “There they go again.” Hardly. We know from Adam and Eve’s rebellion that God never overlooks sin. Rather, he walks straight toward it, confronting it, getting his hands dirty as he cleans up the messes we make. God’s holiness demands that he do all he can to protect above all things his name and his Word.

The capacity of the human race to be entangled by the clutch of sin has not diminished. But it continues to diminish us. Paul warned Timothy:

But mark this:
There will be terrible times in the last days.

Duly noted, Paul. Nothing could be more obvious. This Sunday, Rob Lister will remind us that sin continues to have consequences – grieving God’s heart while further alienating us from him. Perhaps most tragically, we have now chosen to deal with sin by removing the concept of a holy and righteous God from our vocabulary. Just what might be the consequences of such a blunder?

Divorced from the holiness of God, sin is merely self-defeating behavior or a breach in etiquette.

Divorced from the holiness of God, grace is merely empty rhetoric, pious window dressing for the modern technique by which sinners work out their own salvation.

Divorced from the holiness of God, our gospel becomes indistinguishable from any of a host of alternative self-help doctrines.

Divorced from the holiness of God, our public morality is reduced to little more than an accumulation of trade-offs between competing private interests.

Divorced from the holiness of God, our worship becomes mere entertainment.

The holiness of God is the very cornerstone of Christian faith, for it is the foundation of reality.

Sin is defiance of God’s holiness, the Cross is the outworking and victory of God’s holiness, and faith is the recognition of God’s holiness.

Knowing that God is holy is therefore the key to knowing life as it truly is, knowing Christ as he truly is, knowing why he came, and knowing how life will end.


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