Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Chapter 8- The Holiness of God

This chapter can be summed up in four quotes by Stephen Charnock.

God is oftener styled Holy than Almighty, and set forth by this part of His dignity more than bu any other. This is more fixed on as an epithet to His name than any other: You never find it expressed "His mighty name" or "His wise name," but His great name, and most of all, His holy name. This is the greatest title of honour; in this latter doth the majesty and venerableness of his name appear.

His holiness is the beauty of them; as all would be weak without almightiness to back them, so all would be un-comely without holiness to adorn them. Should this be sullied, all the rest would lose their honour; as at the same instant the sun should lose its light, it would lose its heat, its strength, its generative and quickening virtue. As sincerity is the lustre of every grace in a Christian, so is purity the splendour of every attribute in the Godhead. His justice is a holy justice, His wisdom a holy wisdom, His arm of power a "holy arm" (Psa. 98:1), His truth or promise a "holy promise"(Psa.105:42). His name which signifies all His attributes in conjunction, "is holy" (Psa.103:1).

Not all the vials of judgement that have or shall be poured out upon the wicked world, nor the flaming furnace of a sinner's conscience, nor the irreversible sentence pronounced against the rebellious demons, nor the groans of the damned creatures, give such a demonstration of God's hatred for sin, as the wrath of God let loose upon His Son. Never did Divine holiness appear more beautiful and lovely than at the time our Saviour's countenance was most marred in the midst of His dying groans. This He Himself acknowledges in Psalm 22. When God had turned His smiling face from Him, and thrust His sharp knife into His heart, which forced that terrible cry from Him, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" He adores this perfection-"Thou art holy" (v.3).

This is the prime way of honouring God. We do not so glorify God by elevated admirations, or eloquent expressions, or pompous services of Him, as when we aspire to a conversing with Him with unstained spirits, and live to Him in living like Him.

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