Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Beauty of Gods Holiness

Post by guest blogger, the hubster, Bruce.

The Bible shows the primary place in the life of the believer is seeking and adoring the loveliness of God's holiness. I was thinking that this is something that is largely overlooked or even lost among contemporary Christians. What caused me to hunger more for this in my own life was a reading of Jonathan Edwards Religious Affections . I came across this portion of an essay (see if this will not cause a greater desire for God's holiness, like it did for me).

The Scriptures represent the saints on earth as adoring God primarily for His holiness.They admire and extol all His attributes,seeing the loveliness of His holiness. Thus, when they praise God for His power,HIS Holiness is the beauty which motivates them."Oh sing to the Lord a new song,for He has done marvelous things:His right hand and His holy arm has gotten Him the victory"(Psalm 98:1)Likewise they praise Him for His justice and awful majesty(Psalm 99:2,3,5,8,9). They praise God for His mercy and faithfulness. "light is sown for the righteous,and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord,you righteous;and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness "(Psalm 97:11,12). "There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside you; neither is there any rock like our God" (1Samuel 2:2).

The test of affections, particularly love and joy, lies in whether or not holiness is the foundation of the affections. This is the difference between true saints and natural men. Natural men have no sense or taste of the goodness and excellence of holy things. It is wholly hidden from them. But the saints, by the mighty power of God, have discovered it. It captivates their hearts and delights them above all things. By this, you may examine your love to God and to Jesus Christ and to His Word, and your joy in them, and your love also to the people of God, and your desires after heaven. This is the real test.

Natural men may see the great power and awful majesty of God. Circumstances forces them to do so. It is said that when Christ comes "in the glory of His Father,every eye shall see Him." Then they will cry for the mountains to fall upon them and hide them from the face of Him who sits upon the throne"(Isaiah 2:10,19,21). God has often declared that it is his immutable purpose to make all his enemies know Him in this way, saying, "they shall know that I am the Lord"( Numbers 14:21).

The saints, like natural men, will see the greatness of God. But it will affect them differently. Instead of being terrified they will rejoice and praise God. They see the beauty of holiness, not terror.

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