Matt Chandler – Holiness Part 2 – God’s Goodness

Read/Listen to Holiness Part 1 here

Holiness (2) God’s Goodness – Listen to the audio here- Play Download:MP3

Read the notes from the entire sermon here-

Here’s a few paragraph excerpts from the sermon:

  • So we said last week the topic of holiness and the idea of holiness is really fertile ground for doubt. The reason that’s true is the Bible is going to bear its weight on every area of your life. There is not any area of your life the Bible doesn’t explicitly or implicitly set a standard that God has for you over your life. The reality is when we hear or we understand or we feel the standard of God, which by the way is moral perfection, we’re always well underneath it, aren’t we? It’s a rare thing for us to ever hear what God has decreed, what God has commanded for our lives and have our response be, Nailed it! That just doesn’t happen very often. If you feel that way, most of the time you are hammering into the wrong wood.So what happens when the idea, when the topic of holiness comes up, is one of two things. Either we get this feeling we’re perpetually trying to climb this mountain and never really getting to the top and oftentimes sliding back down to where we began. So that’s where some of the doubt begins. Or we just don’t care. This feels impossible. Jesus isn’t working for me. And we bail. This idea of holiness becomes this really kind of fertile ground for paralyzing doubt to take root in our hearts.So when we talk about God’s holiness, we’re talking about his majesty. We very quickly defined that last week as an imposing grandeur. That to look upon God is to look upon something that is massive. Awe-inspiring, but at the same time imposing. So if you’ve ever been to the Grand Canyon, if you’ve ever been to a real ocean (not a fake one, but a real one), and you’ve stood and you’ve been a part of some sort of natural order in which you have felt small and you’ve felt a tinge of fear…not terror; just a tinge of fear.
  • So the way I try to explain it is if you’ve ever been to the Grand Canyon and you have your toes on the edge, you’ve kind of looked over. That kind of queasy feeling in your gut, that kind of shudder that goes through you, that’s awe. That’s grandeur. That’s majesty.
  • So what you see consistently happening in the Bible is the Bible’s claim that any authority on earth governmentally, kings and authorities and powers, are given by God to people. Now that creates another problem for us, doesn’t it? This goes back to understanding that God is morally perfect in all he does. Because what do you do with dictators and rulers who ultimately are cruel and butcher their people and are responsible for genocide, because the Bible doesn’t say, „I put the good kings in place”? He says he puts all kings in place and that kings as they act out their rulership are simply working the providential plan of God. So how do you reconcile that? Here’s what I do. Here’s what I would do according to the Word of God: I’m stuck inside of time. Let me be frank. I was born in 1974. I read a lot of history. I am no expert. All I know is that God is morally perfect and that somehow outside of time, those men are working for God and that even then God is morally perfect and not evil in any way. And so just a side note. It’s been a while since I’ve said this, but I want to perpetually lay it before you, because some of you don’t like it. Some of you are like, Ah, it’s a copout. Some of you want to shake your fist at the heavens, but I want to kind of explain it.
  • Everyone in this room regardless of their belief is going to bring glory to God. It’s the purpose for which you exist. Some will bring glory to God by being trophies of God’s grace. Some of you are going to bring glory to God by rebelling against God and receiving God’s just judgment on your life. So even the most hardened man who wants to shake his fist at the heavens is simply bringing glory to God’s justice. So everyone brings glory to God. Even kings and rulers who rule in an evil, wicked way are accomplishing in God’s providence the purposes of God.
  • You have a piece where there’s a positional type of holiness where God views you as holy, but you have an external type of holiness here in Romans 8 (which is why we read it) where it says God in his Godness is not only giving you a positional holiness but is conforming you to the image of his Son, Jesus, the perfect One. So God in his Godness is not only giving us a positional holiness where he sees us as holy, but he is also actively transforming us into more and more and more morally upright, holy people. So here’s the big question…How does he do that? Because that’s important. So how does he go about doing that? Well, that’s next week.

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