Read 1 Samuel 2:1-10.
Holiness is not the perfection of human goodness. When God says He is holy, He means He is different. God’s holy difference is one of His highest attributes; His holy difference from humanity is what distinguishes Him from all the gods of this world. As Isaiah 40:25 declares, “‘To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?’ says the Holy One.” Truly, there is no one like our God. He alone is God, and this is why holiness is good.
The people of this world don’t want a God who is holy though; they want a god who is just like them. They want a god who approves of their lifestyle, who winks at their sin, whom they can manipulate. A holy God troubles their conscience because He condemns sin and requires repentance, for His way is the only way. His holy way is altogether different but altogether good—if only we would humble ourselves and embrace it. You see, our God loves to welcome repentant sinners. He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross to atone for our sin once and for all—Jesus became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God (see 2 Corinthians 5:21).
The Lord will not look the other way when it comes to our sin. Jesus calls every would-be disciple to pick up their cross and follow Him. He calls them to embrace the Truth, the narrow way of righteous living. God will not set aside His holiness but rather calls us to set aside our sin and be holy as He is holy—to be washed in the blood of His Son and walk by His Spirit. He invites us into a new life.
You see, whenever anyone encounters the holiness of God, far from accepting sin, whether in our lives or the lives of others, far from blessing or tolerating sin, far from feeling self-righteous, we are undone in our sense of unworthiness. The holy, sovereign God’s will for you is that you be set apart and sanctified (see 1 Thessalonians 4:3). An encounter with a totally different, holy God will transform you into the image of Christ—making you different.
Though this world would have us believe that holiness is worthy of scorn, it is really the best of things. By walking in holiness, we become more like our heavenly Father, and with our very lives we reveal His wondrous difference—His faithful lovingkindness, justice, mercy, grace, and more—to the world around us.
Prayer: Lord, I long to be holy as You are holy. Give me wisdom to apply Your Word rightly in my life. I want to walk in Your ways and grow in Christlikeness, clinging to Your grace and trusting that You are at work in my heart. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:2).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon series Discipleship 101: WATCH NOW
Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!