“Hey, Ben. Here’s one for you. How is being an Alaskan salmon like being a Christian?” Mark looked at his friend for two seconds.1
“They both get wet.”
“C’Mon, Ben, that was too easy. Where does the Alaskan salmon begin its life?”
“Hatched from a fish egg laid in a mountain stream.”
“So, Ben. Would you say it spends its whole life there in the beautiful forest and streams?”
“No. But for up to three years, it’s paradise for those fish. They swim in [...]
Key Thought: It is vital and necessary for us as fallen beings to acknowledge God’s exalted holiness and to seek His cleansing blood and righteousness.
[Teaching plan for "The Holiness of God" February 1, 2012]
1. Have a volunteer read Genesis 2:3.
A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. What significance does it have that the first thing called sanctified or holy in the Bible is time?
C. Personal Application: What [...]
Read Luke 4:31–36. What testimony is given there about the holiness of Christ? What is significant about who gave that testimony too? What lessons can we draw from this story about God’s holiness? 1
Demons, who are fallen angels, remember who Jesus really is, and even they—in their nastiness, hatefulness, and rebellion—are constrained to acknowledge Him and that He is holy. Notice, too, that they feared that He was going to destroy them. Why so fearful? It must be that, so full of [...]
Did your parents ever tell you that you’d gotten too big for your own britches? Usually your parents were giving you fair warning that you had stepped over the disrespect line and you needed to step back quickly or experience a refresher course in who was the parent and who was the child, right?
Well, I’m thinking that, with respect to honoring the holiness and sanctity of God, we crossed that line so long ago that we don’t even remember it. [...]
In the Old Testament, we find a consistent record of human responses to a God who is holy. What about in the New? Some modern Christians argue that the Old Testament presents a primitive and outdated picture of God, a God who is harsh and very prone to anger. But when Jesus comes, He is now the God of grace and love. We know, of course, that this is a distorted view of the Bible and of the character of [...]
After enduring inhuman suffering at the hand of Satan, Job cries out: “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5, 6). What does this response tell us about God’s holiness in contrast to human sinfulness? In what ways is the gospel being preached in Job’s reaction to what he experienced? 1
The prophet Ezekiel, whom God graciously sends to Israel (even though they are [...]
What is the first time the concept of “holiness” (from the same root often translated “sanctified”) is mentioned in Scripture? Gen. 2:3. How significant is the fact that the first thing deemed holy in the Bible is time?1
This text gives us our first understanding of holiness. It shows that something, in this case time, is “set apart” from that which is around it. The seventh day itself is no different from any other 24-hour, sunset-to-sunset period; what makes it different, “holy,” is that [...]
Ellen White gets it! She understands the twenty-first-century heart-cry to know and experience God, to do something meaningful and enduring in life, and to grapple with issues of poverty, alienation, health, education, diversity, inclusiveness, integrity and eternity.
Yet she’s dead.
The principles she espoused transcend time and are more pertinent and applicable than ever.
Yes, there are myriad books today on health, spirituality, life balance and eschatology. But the reason I believe Ellen White cuts through the nebulous maze of conflicting theories and [...]
Even a superficial study of church history makes it clear that it’s all too easy to develop ideas about God and then to worship these ideas instead of God Himself, the God revealed in the Bible. As the skeptic Voltaire quipped: “God made man in His image, and man has returned the compliment.” We may not even realize that we have an incomplete or even false understanding of God.1
Thus, we must return to Scripture and compare our thinking about God [...]
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:1-3
The Sabbath is an illustration on how the Lord makes us holy. [...]
Read for This Week’s Study: Matt. 11:10; Mark 1:2; Gen. 2:3; Job 42:5, 6; Luke 5:1–11; Luke 4:31–36; Isa. 6:1–3; Rev. 4:8, 9.
“Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy” (Psalm 99:9).
Key Thought: Scripture gives much attention to God’s holiness. What does this holiness tell us about what God is like and what it means to the plan of salvation?
One of the foundational assumptions of all biblical writers is that the God of heaven exists. None ever express [...]
What is your attitude toward obedience?
a. I’ll do what I want. I don’t care what God wants me to do.
b. If God will give me what I want first, then I’ll give Him what He wants.
c. I’ll give God what He wants first, with faith that He’ll give me what I want.
d. I’ll give God what He wants, regardless of what He gives me. 1
I think most of us hover between c and d, right? Well, I do anyway. The [...]