During our Bible and Music (BAM!) Wednesday night services for the kids, we’ve been covering the book of Genesis with a focus what it means to be holy. Your kids are discovering that holy means being distinct or set apart. God is holy because only he is perfect.
Our memory verse for the series is Leviticus 19:2, “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.”
Last Sunday, Pastor Oren started a series on assurance and salvation. Pastor reminds us of this truth: God is for the glory of his name…the glory of God is the goal in salvation. If you missed the sermon, I encourage you to watch it here.
So on one end we have the holiness of God and on the other end we have the glory of God. Where do the two meet?
In his sermon, What is God’s Glory, John Piper tries to do the impossible task of defining the glory of God in some way that we may comprehend using God’s holiness. First, take a look at Isaiah 6:3, “And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
“…the glory of God is the manifest beauty of his holiness. It is the going public of his holiness. It is the way he puts his holiness on display for people to apprehend. So the glory of God is the holiness of God made manifest,” says Piper. “Listen to this word from Leviticus 10:3. God says: I will be shown to be holy among those who are near me and before all the people I will be glorified. I will be shown to be holy. And among all the people, say it another way, I will be glorified. So to see, to apprehend and to reckon with his holiness and in some sense perceive it is to see glory and, thus, to glorify him.”
How does this all tie in together? I think Clint Nauta (our BAM time leader, among many other things) summed it up beautifully in three sentences:
God requires holiness (Leviticus 19:2)…this is glorious.
We are not holy (Romans 3:23)…this is terrifying.
Jesus is our holiness (1 Corinthians 1:28-31)…this is liberating.
Our kids’ memory verse, Leviticus 19:2, is referenced later in the Bible, in 1 Peter 1:13-16, “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Peter is talking to believers, those who follow Jesus. This was a call for God’s people to be set apart from sin to serve God. Jesus is our holiness, and as such, we are set apart from sin to serve God for his glory (Matthew 5:16).
In the end, God gets all the glory. In our salvation and what we do afterwards…or even if we choose not to follow Jesus. No matter what, our holy God will get the glory.