RC Sproul - The Holiness of God


Hey all, haven't really done much blogging lately, but wanted to share the following...

If you've been following our blog, you'll know from a recent post by Vanessa that we have switched cars for the time being. Well the stereo in my car is a little fancier than her car's stereo, because with mine I can plug my iPod directly into the stereo, and therefore, the sound quality is good. With V's car you have to use one of those FM tuner adapters that will play the iPod through a radio station. The problem is, those don't work all that well. It's usually really staticky so you're constantly having to find a new station to get rid of the static. Anyways, I'm not writing this blog post to complain! This is just setting up my story...

Normally if I listen to something in the car it's my iPod. But now that I'm in V's car, I just am not motivated enough to use the FM tuner thing, so I've been listening to the radio. But that got old really quickly. Well, yesterday was the start of March,  and over at the ChristianAudio.com, they give away 1 free audio book a month. I headed over to their website to see what this month's book was. This month it's RC Sproul's "The Holiness of God". So I downloaded it, put it on a CD and started listening to it in the car. And it's been awesome! So that's why I'm writing this post. I wanted to share a couple of the things that have stood out to me.

1st - "Nothing": He starts out by looking at "nothing". God created everything out of nothing. He spends some time getting you to think about "nothing". Can you? No. It's not possible. If you try to think about nothing, you will think about something. He said when he thinks about nothing, he envisions empty air. But air is something. It's impossible for us to wrap our minds around the fact that before Genesis 1:1, other than the Trinity, there was absolutely nothing. And God, being so powerful, was able to create everything out of nothing. In fact, there is a Psalm (I can't think of where it is off the top of my head) but it says that God merely whispered, and the world was created. That's how big, that's how mighty, that's how awesome, that's how powerful God is! He just had to whisper, and out of nothing came everything! Sproul also takes a little jab at those who believe that nothing created the universe. As he points out, scientists would argue that by saying "nothing created everything" you are painting a distorted caricature of their scientific theories. They would say that the universe was created by "chance". But all "chance" is is a word used to express a mathematical concept. Ultimately chance is not anything...it's nothing!

2nd - "Hallowed be Your Name": You probably know the Lord's prayer. But did you know what the first petition of the Lord's prayer is? (I'll give you a hint...look back at the start of this 2nd point). I never really thought about it, but if someone had asked me I would have said "Your kingdom come" was the first petition. I always thought of "hallowed be Your Name" as a characteristic of God. But Sproul points out that's wrong. If Jesus had said "hallowed IS Your Name", then yes, it would be a characteristic, or a title of God. That portion would be considered a "praise". But Jesus didn't say that. He said "hallowed BE Your Name". The word that Jesus used that we translate as "BE" makes the phrase a petition. Christian, are you living a life that reveres God's name? The second petition in the Lord's prayer is "Your kingdom come", but Sproul goes on to say that we CAN NOT expect God's kingdom to come in a place where His name is not hallowed/revered.

3rd - "Woe to me?": I think it's chapter 2 Sproul begins to look at prophets. He talks about how prophets had a certain lingo they used. Unfortunately, in our English translations that lingo is kind of lost and overlooked. So the significance or impact of some things they say might be missed. One thing is that when prophets spoke God's word to people/kings/kingdoms/countries/etc, it was preceded by either a "bless-ed" or a "woe". And as we can all guess, the "bless-ed" meant good things while the "woes" meant bad things. And Jesus, being God's final prophet, used this lingo too (think of the "bless-eds" in the Beattitudes, and the "woe to you scribes and pharisees...") But I want us to focus on the word "woe". That's one of those words that prophets used that most people today never really grasp the significance of (including myself). But just to put it this way; You don't want a prophet saying to you "woe to you". If they say that, then nice knowing ya, because that means God's anger and wrath is about to be directed at you. And here's the thing I wanted to share....what is Isaiah famous for saying? Isaiah 6:5 - "woe is ME". Did you catch that? Remember what I just said? You don't want the word "woe" directed at you (not because it's some magical word or encantation, but because of what it implies is about to come). And yet, as he stood before the Lord Almighty, seated on His throne, surrounded by angels singing out "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty", at that moment, all Isaiah could do was compare himself to God and realize how sinful he is, and that he has rightfully earned and deserves God's anger, God's wrath and God's judgement.

Now, I don't know who will be reading this. I know that for those of us in Christ, when we read that last bit our minds will go to places like Ephesians chapter 2:4-6 "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus." But if by "chance" someone reads this that is not in Christ I don't want to leave you hanging in the "woes". After Isaiah made the "woe" declaration upon himself, God in His mercy cleansed Isaiah. "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!" (Acts 16:31). Spend time in the Word. Learn what Jesus has said. Believe it! Live it!

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