“Only experience teaches and improves. In the words which General White quoted, from some humble but wise authority, “Good judgment comes from ‘sperience, an’ ‘sperience comes from pore judgments.” The soldier’s aim here is to get the “pore judgments” behind him.”[1]

The above quote was published in 1943 in The Baltimore Sun. It’s a funny quip about how we interpret our struggles through life. The basic gist from human wisdom is that we gain experience by doing the wrong things and learning from our mistakes. Hopefully then we never repeat those mistakes and shrug them off as nothing, similar to what Wilde said in “The Picture of Dorian Gray” … “Experience was of no ethical value. It was merely the name we gave to our mistakes.”[2]

However, we like to dance around what exactly our mistakes are. What do we call our “poor judgments” in life? God calls these acts sin and this is a serious thing. Why is sin such a major issue with God? To understand this we need to understand that God is holy. Pastor Chap Bettis defines holiness as:

“God is eternally separate and distinct from all impurity and He demands purity from His moral creatures.”[3]

In his book The Holiness of God, RC Sproul said:

“Sin is cosmic treason. Sin is treason against a perfectly pure Sovereign. It is an act of supreme ingratitude toward the One to whom we owe everything, to the One who has given us life itself. Have you ever considered the deeper implications of the slightest sin…? What are we saying to our Creator when we disobey Him at the slightest point? We are saying no to the righteousness of God. …”

Mankind often has the ability to “conveniently forget” who God actually is in order to excuse their “pore judgments.” Isaiah describes God’s position a little more clearly in 6:1-4:

1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” 4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.

In describing God’s holiness, Habakkuk 1:13a says “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness.”

Again, Sproul notes:

“The clearest sensation that a human being has when he experiences the holy is an overpowering and overwhelming sense of creatureliness. That is, when we are in the presences of God, we are humbled and become most aware of ourselves as creatures. This is the opposite of Satan’s original temptation. “You shall be as gods.”

God will not allow sin into His eternal presence. He sees our sin on a daily basis and is angered by it. He saw Israel’s sin when He dwelt in their midst in the Tabernacle and later the Temple. There has been no time that God has not seen and been aware of sin. With that being said, He will not allow unpunished sin to dwell with Him eternally.

Hebrews 10:30 – 31 says, “30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

And again, in Hebrews 12:28-29 “…by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

The eternal penalty for breaking God’s law is punishment in Hell. As humans we tend to downplay our sin. We like to justify our reasons for sinning with excuses as to why we had to or needed to do it. There is no doubt that the better we understand God’s holiness we will better understand how our sin separates us from His presence.

Be aware that through many of these passages, I am only showing you the portions about God’s holiness and judgment. I want you to know that these passages are nestled right in the middle of hope and love. It is not all dark with no hope. It is because of God’s holiness and love that He had a plan. Isaiah describes His holiness while highlighting His love for the lowliest of sinners.

Isaiah 57:15 “For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

Let me continue with a note of encouragement here lest any of us are destroyed by the weight of our sin and guilt. God is sovereign and in control of all things. He created time and is outside of time. Sin did not take Him by surprise. God sees all of human history at the same time. He knew what would happen in the Garden and He had a plan from the beginning. The cross is always central in God’s sight.

Again, in The Holiness of God, Sproul notes:

“The most violent expression of God’s wrath and justice is seen in the Cross. If ever a person had room to complain for injustice, it was Jesus. He was the only innocent man ever to be punished by God. If we stagger at the wrath of God, let us stagger at the Cross. Here is where our astonishment should be focused.”

God is triune. This means that the Bible teaches there is one God made up of three distinct persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. One “What” and three “Who’s”, one being and three persons as James White would say. God the Father’s plan was always to send His Son to die on the cross for our sins. God the Son’s plan was always to die on the cross for our sins. God the Holy Spirit’s plan was always to point people to Christ as our only hope.

As we think about our sinful condition before a triune, holy God, let us not forget that His love was poured out when He came to die for us to pay the penalty for our sins. All that we must do is to turn to Him, repent of our sins and put our faith/trust in Him for our salvation. His sinless perfection will then be applied to us, and we can live in Heaven with Him for eternity.

Thank you for taking the time to read and consider the thoughts in this article. If you like and agree, please share it with others. If you are interested in helping us continue to reach people with good resources, please check out the store where you will find resources like M.A.P.S. From the Ancients where I walk through Manuscripts, Archaeology, Prophecy and Science to show the reasons that we can trust the Bible. You will find the Light Project that looks at 8 cults and world religions and compares what they say to what the Bible says. You will also find the book Infiltration: The Tool of Socialism; The Christian Worldview Answer to Socialism and Social Justice. This book is basically like 6 books in one with everything referenced. It explains how we got to the largely Socialist thinking where we are in America by looking at Philosophy, Education, Media, Politics, Economics, and Religion and relating them to the Christian worldview. If you are just looking for something fun, check out some of the artwork that I create on the side!

[1] https://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/02/23/judgment/

[2] Ibid.

[3] Bettis, Chap. Fearless Apologetics Coach’s Guide, 2014. P. 34

The Holiness of God – The Story of Our Redemption Part 1

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