God is Holy - Are you?
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode · 6 months ago

God is Holy - Are you?

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

 God is 100% perfect and 100% set apart. He is holy. He is transcendent. He is not safe. He’s so big and we are so small. No human can be in his presence. What can be done about that?  

Be Holy as I am holy says, the Lord!You must be holy because the Lord, your God and holy is it is that any of yourfavorite Bible versus it's on a Mug. You got it written on a sticky note onyour mirror. You're like this wake up every morning, you can't wait to readthis verse. I didn't think so, but this verse is so so important. It'sa huge theme over the course of olive scripture, one of the first books of the Bible.Limitis is a book dedicated to the holiness of God, and to this idea thatwe should be wholly just as God is Holy, the prophets talk about it and it's notjust an old testament thing. First Peter in the New Testament portion ofthe Bible talks about this verse to and says the exact same thing be holy asGod is holy, and so my question for you today is how holy are you? How holy are you, but first before you can answer that question youhave to look at how holy God is because the verses be wholly like God is holy.So how holy is God? What does it mean that God is holy well? Another way to think aboutholiness is that it is the idea of being set apart. He is separate, he isother. He is outside of time and space he is set apart from all creation. Heis perfection. There is no one like him. Morally, he is a hundred percentperfect. Everything about him is a hundred percent perfect. He iscompletely entirely other set apart. He is holy, and so how holy are you? I can think of you can think ofholiness sort of like the idea of a bonfire okay and anyone ever made abonfire. Yes, you set it on your patio. You put the twigs in there and you likethe fire, and my wife is usually the one doing that in our household, butI've sat around the fire and if you do that in your back yard or wherever youare, you have to pay attention to it. Don't you I mean you're supposed towrite, a smart could go off and it could cause a huge destruction. Itcould make everything just devastated by this fire, but there's something about the firethat draws us in. It captures your attention. It makes you come close and-and you want to be near it, but then, if you get too close,...

...it hurts you, it gets you it burns, you you know yougo in and you love the the bonfire. You got the march mellows and the morestuff and your toasting, the marshmallows, and sometimes you mightend up posting your hand instead or if you have little kids, they enjoythe fire, don't they they're running around? They love it. They love thesnacks, they love hanging out late at night and you know all that fun stuff,but if the kids get too close, if they forget that the fire is hot is dangerous. Oh you know watch out and I think sometimes we treat God likethat, like God is like this fire and we have to pay attention to him,he's in the middle of everything right, it's just there and you have to figureit out. You have to do something with it, but at the same time, sometimes we like play with fire. We play around with it and and itdoesn't go well, it doesn't doesn't work out well for those that do that.Imagine a bonfire, a fire hot fire, big fire in the middle of a football field right instead of the logo for the team.It's just this giant, flaming ball of fire and then the team show up and they wantto play the football game. Do you think they're going to get veryfar? I mean you might try, you might pretend like it's not there and you might start playing andeventually somebody's going to run into it and somebody's going to get hurt.But I mean that's: That's that's putting the situation out very far. Imean if you got a flaming ball of fire in the middle of your football field, OThere's, no football game is going to be going on. Everyone's attention is going to besquarely fixed on this flaming ball of fire. You can't you can't miss it, but how often do we try and go aboutour everyday life? Our normal life try and you know, live our normal routineplay the normal game and we try to avoid that. Flaming ball of fire rightin the middle of everything we can't play with fire and fire or fires is sort of like. In thisillustration, as analogy like our God, God who is transcendent, who is outsidetime and space, we can't approach gone you're like I like, a friendly God. Iknow we like a God that is comfy and Nice,and, let's us, do good things in this...

...world, but our God he's not a safe. God He's a God to be afraid of the fear tostand in amazement at the to fall on our face and worship, because he is,unlike anything else that has ever existed or will ever exist. He isentirely holy and set apart. Another word for that not just holiness another word for thatis transcendent. God is transcendent. He transcends everything he is outsideof time and space. He is completely other. He is set apart. His ways arenot our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. He is completely more than we could ever think. Ask orimagine God is transcendent, however, this transcendent holy other outside ofanything we could ever seem to grasp. He has chosen to revealhimself to creation, to us to you to me and really that inand of itself is an incredible miracle like if he didn't choose to do that.There would be no way of us, knowing this amazing, powerful, transcendentGod and he's chosen to reveal himself and generally through creation, but also specifically in a coupledifferent ways, and one of those ways is through scripture, and we read aboutthis gun he's given us who he is in the writings and one of the ways that God revealshimself to us and scripture is at the very beginning to a man named Moses and one of theways that God reveals himself is in a flaming ball of fire and Moses seized the flaming Bush, theball of fire out in the horizon and Moses is drawn to it. It captures hisattention he wants to get close, he wants to see it and the one of the first things thatGod says to Moses is don't come any closer. I know I've got your attention,I'm no, I'm calling out to you but stay where you are take off your sandals for the place youare standing is holy ground holy ground. What made the ground Moses was standingon holy. Was it the color of the dirt or the phosphate level of the soil? Was it that it was sand or that it wasrock that made it special that made itwholly made it perfect? No, of course...

...not. It was holy because God was there holy because it was in the presence ofthe Holy God and then a couple weeks ago we lookedat how God is I'm the present. He is all places everywhere, there's no place,God has done, but God chooses to reveal himself specifically to certain placesand certain people at certain times in certain ways, and in this time of thechurch, those who believe in Jesus. We talked about this, how God livesspecifically inside of you in the person of the Holy Spirit, God is withyou in a personal way like as close as you could ever. Imagine, and thank Godis with us. So if God is with US wherever we go, that means that whatever we're standingon this holy ground, your house is built on a holy ground.The car you drive is built on holy ground. It's driven on holy ground.This church is built on holy ground. This movie theater is built on holyground because God is here, and God is there. God is with us, and everything here can beholy ground or is holy ground, and if it is holy ground, then we should all take our shoes off.That's right. TAKE YOUR SANDALS OFF! You can do that right now, if you sochoose. Why would you do that right? I meannobody, nobody! Nobody was going for their shoes. Why weren't you doing thatbecause it's it's kind of weird right. I mean no one wants to see my feed, butbut you might take your shoes off when you enter into someone's house right oryou might ask them. Would you like me to take my shoes off and what are youdoing in that moment, you're recognizing, whose presence you are in and you're showing respectfor the presence of where you are the place where you are, and so God tellsMoses recognize where you are recognize who you're with take off those shoes be holy as I am Holy Holy Transcendentset apart God, he reveals himself to people and desires to be with us which doesn't make any sense. How isthat possible? How is this holy set apart completely other God...

...wanting to be with us wanting to beclose with us? It doesn't really go together. It doesn't really make sense to which I would say, that's exactlywhy. God is God, because it doesn't always make sense to our finite humanunderstanding. He is transcendent and wholly other, and, as we will learnnext week, he is closer than you could ever think and he's imminent both atthe same time. Our God is, he just is. He is both of those things which is interesting because one of theother things God revealed to Moses in this encounter of the burning Bush.What's his name well, he sort of gave him his name.Moses is, like God, I know you're talking to me. I know you got a missionfor me, but my people are going to wonder. Whois it? which God gave you this mission? Who is it that that you talk to give meyour name and God's like Nope, I'm not giving you my name, because when we name something we own it, we name something we feellike. We can control it. We name something. We study it. We namesomething it's ours, we have it and God's like. I am not giving you my name,my name, you want my name, okay, I am what what I am God says I am Moses is likewhat Mos God says I am. I don't know what that means. God I don't know howthat works. I don't know what who you are and God's like. I am that I am morethan that. I am everything that you could ever want or imagine or need. Iam I just am so just leave it there. I am that I am. I don't need nothing else.I just I just am, and we need a God like this. We need atranscendent God who is outside of our situation, who is outside of ourlife, because I don't know about you, but I life gets crazy, sometimesdoesn't it stuff happens, situations arise, you gothrough things and you feel like you're over your head with worries over your head with stress over your head without an anxiety, andit's like you, don't know where to turn. You don't know where to look, and here comes transcendent God outsideof all of that mess and says. Look over here. Trust me. I know it's going to work out.I can see beyond where you are right now. I know you only got one more yearleft dealing with this thing that you've been dealing with for sevenyears, but I know I know it's coming. I can see it I'm on the other side of it.I just trust me follow me and we're...

...like stuck over here like I can't. Ican't I don't know which way is up and God's like I'm outside of all of thatwe need a transcendent God. A God who is outside of our our world are our situation, but thistranscendent God also then wants to have a relationship with his people, and so how does that work? How did it work well for Moses in thissituation, in the Old Testament? Thousands of years ago, God set up a system, a religious systemby which he could dwell with his people, and his people could have arelationship with him and the way he did that was, God gave Moses the exact dimensions andthe materials like you can read all of the numbers all of the things. This isexactly how I want you to build that thing and God, for some reason, God showsthat thing to be where his presence well. Now, of course, we don't knowexactly what it look like, but that is called the Tabernacle and it is adepiction of if you read in the Bible, this exact perfectly everything had to be exact,of how God was going to meet with his people and when, when Moses built thisthing for the very first time, God's presence showed up there in thissmoke in this cloud, and it was so thick. It was so just there that Moses,like literally, could not go in. It was just his presence was so was so much there, and then they started doing somesacrifices and started doing the system, and then they could go in, and God madehimself specially present in one particularplace in this tabernacle arrangement under the little tent was divided intotwo places, the holy of Holy Place, and there was only one person thatcould go into that part of the Tabernacle one time a year. The highpriest could only go in one time a year and he wore on his garment on hisclothes bells so that, as you can picture it, I mean people are standingoutside of this. This fence, you know they can't go in. They can't goanywhere near the presence of God and there's one guy who's going in there torepresent all the people, and they can hear the bells ringing as he's walkingaround doing his things sprinkling the blood on the Ark of the Covenant inthat Little Tent Area, and it's like that's as close to God, as these peoplegot right, they're just curing the...

...sound and the idea that it's only one littleplace with one person one time a year shows just how serious this presence of God really is, which is interesting, because this setup doesn't look like it has much glory to it. Right I mean it's portable,it's you. Could they literally picked it up, put it together and took it ontheir journey as they were moving around and as they did, that as stuffhappened throughout the history of their nation, the main place that arguethe Covenant where God's presence chose to dwell like it got stolen and endedup in a foreign nation, and they tried to bring it back because God's presencewas supposed to be with Israel in this place and there's a story in SecondSamuel where the arc of the coven is coming back from this foreign nation.It's got to be back with our people, it's got to be back and it starts tolike fall over you just going to fall off the cart. You know the oxen pull inthe cart it's going to tumble over and, of course, as any normal person woulddo t they would like run up to it and touch it make sure it doesn't fall offthe cart, because that could be bad right, but he stopped it from falling off thecart and the guy who stopped it. He died because he touched it. He did somethingthat he wasn't supposed to do and there was also some priests, someof those people that went in and did those sacrifices in this tabernacleplace, and they they burned it with with strange fire and they didn't do itthe right way and guess what happened to them they die. Now you say: okay, that's all tested.Yes, it is in the New Testament. There was a temple. Well, there wasn't there was a temple butt.Actually it was I'm. Thinking of. I don't think this event happened in atemple. I have to double check. Is I don't think it did, but in the NewTestament there was two people that brought theiroffering to Peter and the presence of God was withPeter. He was with the Church as it was getting started in the book of acts and everyone was selling all of theyhad and bringing it in for an offering to take care of everybody and start thenew church, and it was going to be amazing, and so everyone was reallyexcited. I'm going to sell this and sell it all and I'm going to bring itin and, and God was providing that way, and then there was two people and an Iosephi Ra that sold all theyhad quote unquote and they brought it in to Peter andsaid: Hey, here's all that we had and he's like. No, it's not and then the key there was you're lyingto the who the Holy Spirit...

...and what happened to him. He died and then his wife came in and the samething. She died. That's that's early church, but it'sNew Testament and I think the purpose of the story like that is to continuethe sequence of events that shows just how holy just how perfect just so set apart,don't mess with it, don't play with fire. God's presence really is, and wehumans need to realize that we need to recognize it, and it's really one ofthe main attributes of God that we will be singing for eternity when that was apicture of the Ark of the covenant, the thing that fell off the the carriage and they were holding on to it. But it's this attribute of God isholiness that we will be singing about for all eternity Holy Holy Holy, theIsaiah Chapter six, we looked at this a couple weeks ago Holy Holy Holy. Ican't see it on my screen down there. There we go holy Holy Holy is the Lordof Heaven's armies. The whole Earth is filled with his glory. That's I say asix and then again in revelation chapter four Holy Holy Holy is the LordGod, the Almighty, the one who always was who is and who is still to come,wholly wholly holy for ever triple holy. That's not good enough for one holytrouple holy repetition. EMPHASIS COMPLETE! This is a very, very important, seriousthing and so be holy because I, the Lord God,am Holy Leviticus, nineteen and first Peter One, a D. Sixteen I say a chaptersix and revelation chapter: Four, our God is the same yesterday today andforever be holy as I am holy says, the Lord. So now you might be wondering how inthe world can we do this? Well, the viticus nineteen gives us some description of how we can do it if wekeep reading after Levinus nineteen, two red first, three, four five, sixseven will read all of these things that you can do that. I can do to beholy and we're not going to look at all ofthem today, but a summary of them is like God, cares about how we care forthe poor and how we interact with our...

...neighbors and our friends how we do ourjobs. So God cares about the religious system,the sacrifices all of that stuff. But all God also cares about the way thatyou live. Your life like in Leviticus nineteen. It says:Don't get tattoos yeah that now, why was Moses not supposed to get atattoo? Why would the nation of Israel not supposed to get a Tatoo, because all the other nations aroundthem did they all had tattoos and Israel? He the Hebrew nation that Moseswas given this to? He said you're going to be different,you're not going to be like them, and one of the other things inLeviticus. Nineteen says that you're not supposed to wear clothing, that'smade out of two different types of materials, so e, which is strange right, likethat's really weird, but why? Because God was giving them apicture, giving them a serious thing that, like you're supposed to bedifferent than the people around you you're not supposed to intermixedyou're, not supposed to intermarry you're, not supposed to be togetherwith all these other nations God's, like I've chosen you as a holy nation,a set apart nation for me, you're supposed to be different and again thissame command from Ovidius nineteen and that long list of stuff is given to usagain by Peter in the New Testament. So how holy are you? How holy are you and if you aren't holy, you don't feelholy well, then you can't go to heaven and you can't be with God forever andyou can't be saved and you can't be a Christian if you're not holy. So areyou holy and if I did my job for the last twentysome minutes, hopefully you're feeling a little bitlike these wonderful stick: men over here and you're like together, sitting inthis, wherever you're sitting and you're. Like I don't know aboutthis, and then you got God over here, so bigand majestic and wonderful, and you just feel like what like, how do I get from here to there and go throughthat? The God is so big. He is so perfect. Heis so transcendent and if we mess with...

...his presence we die. We look at themthe wrong way. We die. What and it's like. That's point. That's the point like that's you and me and that's gone,and then there's that thing. So what are you going to do about it? You got a rip Leviticus, nineteen outof your Bible and pin it on your mirror and say: okay, I got a race all mytattoos. I gotta RIP my shirt off my back because I'm not allowed to wearthis thing. Are you going to start? You knowtreating people right and going to church and giving your money and worshipping God and Oh there was another thing in Leviticusnineteen. You were supposed to stand up for your elders right, you got ityou're in the presence of your elders. You better stand up. How serious is worshipping God to youlike? Does this matter to you right? Does it matter that you feel this waydoesn't matter that there's a little human stuck over there and God so bigand powerful and mighty over there, like it's a serious, serious thing: How in the world can we ever doanything about it? What, if you can, what, if you can and what, if holy transcendent God provides an answer out of our world out of our ownexperience out of the stuff that we can do out of the stuff that we can musterup and to try and live out and do what of Holy Transcendent. God shows up in our world because he did. He was born as one of us as a humanbeing, and he lived a perfect life that we allshould have lived and he died a death that we all shouldhave died and as a result of that and hisresurrection, those who put their faith in trust and that God, who came fromwho knows where to us and did that for us, he forgives your sins. He comes to liveinside of you and he sets you apart. He makes you holy.

You say it's my job to try and figurethis out. I got to go to heaven. I got to figure this out. I got to do all theright things. It's like! No! No, no! YOU gotta! You got to believe and when we believe that God has doneall this stuff for us, then it's from that belief from that position fromthat being set apart by God. Now we live our life to honor and please God you can't get it backwards or else itwon't. It won't work out too well, it is the goal of God to conform us to theimage of God. That's what God is doing in the life of every believer, and so we might think after this moment,where God has set us apart, he saved us. Forgive US transformed us. Redeemed USmade us holy made us his children were born to his family. All these amazingthings that happen in that moment that now we're going to live our life, thateverything is just going to be up into the right like we're, just going tokeep getting more holy and holy and we're just going to keep getting betterand keep sinning less and keep worshipping God perfectly moreperfectly, and everything is just going to be up into the right, which ofcourse that's not reality. Let's try it again, it's more like this.I think that things are going well and thenthey don't go so well and then we sin and then we go back and then we forgetabout God and then eventually maybe we defeat some sin and he forgives us andwe confess it and then we pray more and then eventually, maybe by the end ofour life, we can look back at all the stuff thatwe've been through and look at it and be like how in the world did I get through allof that stuff. How did I get to where I am today? It doesn't really feel like.I did much. You didn't really, it's God working in your life and wedon't get it right. We don't get it right all the time, but God continuesto love. US continues to work in our life. Continue to make us more like hisson Jesus and again it's so important. It's notyou do ten things right and God says: Okay you're holy now, it's God saysyou're holy because of what Jesus did and now he helps you live life for him. You don't live to earn God's favor. Youlive from God's favor. There is a blessing that God gives to you that youlive from. You don't live to earn something from God and that's whatchanges your life? That's! What changes everything you don't follow the rules for the sakeof following the rules.

You don't follow the rules to be maderight with God. You don't follow the rules as best as you can. For those reasons you follow the rulesas best as you can, because of what God has done for you because of how much heloves you because he died for you and it doesn't always look perfect, but you are, but you are you're a holy one of God. God has made you holy because you havebelieved, if you believe in Jesus and as a believer in Jesus, then wehave the ability or the responsibility then to continue to grow in ourholiness to be more holy, and so I just wonder: When's the last time on mylittle crazy man going up and down and doing whatever he was doing. When isthe last time you felt like you've made some progress in the positive direction.Right because that's important, that means God's at work, and it might notfeel that way all the time, but there should be a time in your life, whereyou recognize that you know what something in your life wasn't right,and you confess that to God, and probably somebody else and you prayed,then you you ask people to help you, and there was something in your lifethat God's been working on when's the last time or what is the last time thatthat has happened to you so to day. I hope that we've learnedthat God is holy. He is completely set apart, he's completely other he'scompletely outside of time and space. I got acouple things here that I was going to use. Oh there we go, I ruined it. He's completely set apart, he'scompletely outside of it and and little old US over here. We're trying toforget, to God we're trying to see God and God's just so completely holy.There's a there's, a level of fear, there's a level of awe he's so perfect,it's kind of scary and at the very same time that God wants to have a relationshipwith you and with me, and so remember that Tabernacle that holy of Holy Place,that little picture that I had up here, that tabernacle eventually turned intoa tent or a temple a temple and by the time Jesus showed up on this earth. Thetemple was this big beautiful thing. There was literally a curtain in thattemple that separated the holy place from the holy of Holy Place. There was a curtain, a sixty foot, tallcurtain and four inches thick,...

...that separated God's presence fromeverything else in the world and what happened when Jesus died? That curtain was torn top to bottom. Itwas completely ripped off right, not from the bottom up, as people aretrying to get up there, it's from bottom or top down, God tears it apartand now all of the sudden for the very first time in history, transcendent holy God can have arelationship with his people in an entirely different way, one that isclose, one that is intimate, one that is real and you, my friend, don't have to be far fromGod. God invites you to be close to him and that's what we're going to talkabout next week. Let's pray God! Thank you so much forwho you are. I pray that we've gotten a picture today of just how holy perfect, scary and awesome. You are and somehow you care about me, and you love me and you showed up in my world when Icould do absolutely nothing about my situation and we can have a relationship with you because of you because of Jesus. So God I pray that we would see youclearly and what we would live our life from aplace, a blessing that we would live our lifefrom a place of favor that we would live our lifefrom a place of we are set apart to be different from this world because ofwhat Jesus has done for us. I ask this in Jesus thing: T.

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