Powerful! That is the one word that I would use to describe this book. To know that God is holy, has transformed my thinking about God and his authority. It has changed my understanding of His sovereignty, and character.
If there was to be one attribute of God that is higher than any other it would have to be holiness – His holiness defines his goodness, mercy, justice, grace, and righteousness. It also contrasts our meek existence and total depravity. God is holy, divine, and good, there is no darkness in Him. On the other-hand, mankind is filled with filth, rebellious, and evil, without an ounce of goodness in him, and but for God’s restraining grace would destroy himself. It is in the light of God’s Law that comes from his holy character that we can see as the Apostle Paul did that our sin is exceeding sinful. R. C. Sproul states it this way:
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…The slightest sin is an act of defiance against cosmic authority. It is a revolutionary act, a rebellious act in which we are setting ourselves in opposition to the One to whom we owe??everything. It is an insult to His holiness. (pg. 116)
When we see our transgression in this light, it radically transforms our thinking. Instead of thinking of a God of “love” who should save everybody, we should be amazed that He saves anybody! Who is worthy of His Grace? Who is upright in God’s eyes? Who could stand before Him in righteousness? We deceive ourselves if we think that we are capable of doing such a thing. We think we can be worthy of His Grace, but it is not possible:
It is impossible for anyone, anywhere, anytime to deserve grace. Grace by definition is undeserved. As soon as we talk about deserving something, we are no longer talking about grace; we are talking about??justice. Only justice can be deserved. God is never obligated to be merciful. Mercy and grace must be voluntary or they are no longer mercy and grace. God never “owes” grace. he reminds us more than once: “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy” (Exod. 33:19). This is the divine prerogative. God reserves for Himself the supreme right of executive clemency. (pg 127)
When we grasp this concept of grace, we must be amazed at His love! God, whose creation has rebelled against His kindness, and His mercy, still desires to reconcile us to Himself, and redeem us. Oh! The joy that should fill our souls when we think of this! That He should send His Son to pay the penalty for our sins and offer us everlasting life.
This is the glorious and holy God that the Bible describes. And this is the God who R. C. Sproul has sought to know, and expound upon His holy nature.