The Cross and God’s Holiness
Psalm 7:11-17 NKJV
God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day.  If he does not turn back, He will sharpen His sword; He bends His bow and makes it ready.  He also prepares for Himself instruments of death; He makes His arrows into fiery shafts.  Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity; Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood.  He made a pit and dug it out, And has fallen into the ditch which he made.  His trouble shall return upon his own head, And his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown.  I will praise the LORD according to His righteousness, And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.
Nahum 1:2-6 NKJV
God is jealous, and the LORD avenges; The LORD avenges and is furious. The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies;  The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, And will not at all acquit the wicked. The LORD has His way In the whirlwind and in the storm, And the clouds are the dust of His feet.  He rebukes the sea and makes it dry, And dries up all the rivers. Bashan and Carmel wither, And the flower of Lebanon wilts.  The mountains quake before Him, The hills melt, And the earth heaves at His presence, Yes, the world and all who dwell in it.  Who can stand before His indignation? And who can endure the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, And the rocks are thrown down by Him.
Many people think that God can just forgive our sins because he’s loving. Nothing could be further from the truth. The cross speaks to us not only about our sin but about God’s holiness.
We usually think of God’s holiness as his infinite moral purity, but there’s more to it than that. The basic meaning of the word holy is “separate,” and when used of God it means, among other things, that he’s eternally separate from any degree of sin. He does not sin himself, and he cannot abide or condone sin in his moral creatures.
He’s not like the proverbial indulgent grandfather who winks at or ignores a grandchild’s mischievous disobedience. Instead, God’s holiness responds to sin with immutable and eternal hatred. To put it plainly, God hates sin. The psalmist said, “The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers,” and “God is a righteous judge, a God who expresses his wrath every day” (Psalm 5:5; 7:11, NIV). God always hates sin and inevitably expresses his wrath against it.
The cross expresses God’s holiness in his determination to punish sin, even at the cost of his Son, Jesus Christ. And God’s Holiness expresses his love in sending his Son to bear the punishment we so justly deserved.
We cannot begin to understand the true significance of the cross unless we understand something of the Holiness of God and the depth of our sin. And a continuing sense of the imperfection of our obedience, arising from the constant presence and remaining power of indwelling sin, drives us more and more as believers to an absolute dependence on the grace of God given to us through his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
From Holiness Day By Day
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