“The Holiness of God” chapter from Greg Nichols’ forthcoming “Lectures in Systematic Theology: Doctrine of God” [18-page PDF]

Here is a sample chapter from the forthcoming book we just announced:



Conclusion: Practical Application of God’s Holiness

I commend Charnock’s treatment of what he calls “uses” for information, comfort, and exhortation. We consider the practical application of God’s holiness to sinners and saints.

A. Practical Application of God’s Holiness to Lost Sinners

God’s holiness calls sinners to face the fact that they can’t serve God acceptably while they live in sin. It calls them to face the certainty of his punishment. It calls them to face the finality and propriety of his punishment. It presses them to get right with God through Christ now, while they still have a chance to do so. Death is coming. Christ is coming. When they come, it will be too late.

B. Practical Application of God’s Holiness to Christians

1. God’s holiness calls Christians to humility and contrition before God.

God’s holiness uncovers our remaining corruption. The more we behold his purity and devotion to his honor, the more we see our uncleanness and self-centeredness. The more we dwell in his presence, the more we feel helpless and wretched. Thus Job and Isaiah came to feel their remaining sin.

2. God’s holiness calls Christians to filial fear of God.

God’s unequivocal devotion to his own glory elicits dread. We have meaning, purpose, and value only in relation to him and his design for us. He holds our life in his hands, to do with as he pleases, when he pleases, for his glory. Thus we should walk softly with him in filial fear.

3. God’s holiness calls Christians to reverent and joyous worship.

Divine holiness demands both reverence and joy in our worship. The display of his holiness in creation and redemption calls for songs of adoration and praise. Our infinitely holy God stands worthy of incessant praise from his creatures in heaven and on earth.

4. God’s holiness calls Christians to imitate to his holy character.

God’s holiness mandates putting away sin. Imitating his holy character is essential evidence of true religion. To this end he re-created us in his image and chastens us in love. We should imitate our Father because we love him and want to be like him and in order to defend his good name.

5. God’s holiness calls Christians to trust him and rely on him.

God is our Rock. He has sworn to bless us in Christ. His honor stands bound to our welfare. Holiness moves him to protect and preserve us. Thus, we must trust him to fulfill his sworn commitments to us. We must rely on our Holy One for help, security, and provision of all our needs in Christ. In conclusion, we should never forget the great importance of God’s holiness. Let us dwell on it until we live every day devoted to his glory and longing to see him as he is and be like him.

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