Holy, Holy, Holy
When I grew up I thought the first song in every hymn book was Reginald Heber’s classic “Holy, Holy, Holy”. There is such majesty in those few words. The angels in glory cry, “Holy, Holy, Holy” and their eternal song is recorded for us in both Isaiah and Revelation. God, the Lord God, the Triune God is holy, holy, holy. The last lines of the first and fourth verses of this hymn also declare Him to be “merciful and mighty”. Yes, the Holy God is the merciful and gracious God. The grace of God is holy grace.
Trading Sin for Righteousness
Being a holy God, Our Father cannot tolerate sin. Sin cannot remain in His presence. It will be cast out and driven into everlasting hell. All mankind are sinners. Because of that, mankind cannot dwell with God. His holiness demands that sin be removed. But God is also merciful and gracious. In His mercy and grace He devised a way that man could be accepted in His presence.
Man’s sin could be removed if there were to be a perfect sacrifice made to atone for it. So our holy and gracious God sent His own Son, who is also perfectly holy and gracious, to come to this world and live a completely sinless life. Then His Son died a merciless death on the cross of Calvary and God accepted that death as our own. Instead of our sin He gave us the very righteousness of His own Son in order for us to live with Him. That is holy grace.
Be Holy, as He is Holy
Our permanent standing with God in heaven is the holiness of Christ. God also wants us to live with a standard of holiness before men. In Leviticus God charged the people to “be holy for I Am Holy.” That same commandment is given to us again in the New Testament in the book of I Peter 1:15-16. “But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I Am Holy.’” The holy grace of God that saved us calls upon us to walk in His grace by living a holy life.
After worshiping God today by singing “Holy, Holy, Holy”, add a little time of silent reflection while also singing William Longstaff’s well known consecration hymn “Take Time to Be Holy”. Reflect on the holy grace of God today.