SERIES: 20/20: Seeing Truth Clearly
MESSAGE: Holy, Holy, Holy!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 6:1-8

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Holiness sounds scary. Thoughts of dusty, cloistered halls of a monastery fill our minds when we hear the word. We might think of chants and long prayers rather than anthems and short prayers. It hardly seems like an appropriate word for the twenty-first century! But according to one theologian, God’s holiness is the one attribute that binds all His other attributes together. This is the characteristic that most uniquely describes God. Let’s consider it today.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: August 9, 2020
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Holy, Holy, Holy!"
Text: Isaiah 6:1-8

Path

Holiness sounds scary. Thoughts of dusty, cloistered halls of a monastery fill our minds when we hear the word. We might think of chants and long prayers rather than anthems and short prayers. It hardly seems like an appropriate word for the twenty-first century! But according to one theologian, God's holiness is the one attribute that binds all His other attributes together. This is the characteristic that most uniquely describes God. Let's consider it today.

  1. Holiness Means Separation (vv. 1-4)
  2. Holiness Magnifies Corruption (v. 5)
  3. Holiness Mandates Purification (vv. 6-7)
  4. Holiness Motivates Commission (v. 8)
Points

Holiness Means Separation (vv. 1-4)Holiness Magnifies Corruption (v. 5)Holiness Mandates Purification (vv. 6-7)Holiness Motivates Commission (v. 8)Practice

Connect Up: Only God is perfectly holy—separate from sin and the stain of unrighteousness. What are the positive and negative aspects of God's holiness? Don Stewart reminds us, "On the negative side, holiness consists of what God does and does not do. He does not look upon or participate in any sin. On the positive side, He always does that which is right." Discuss the positive and negative aspects, giving examples for both.

Connect In: How important is holiness to you personally and to the church? How should we be pursuing it in both spheres? If to be holy is to hate sin and love righteousness, as Pastor Skip said, what does this look like practically?

Connect Out: Chuck Colson said that reading about God's holiness was a catalyst in his conversion. He said it "drove [him] to my knees and dramatically challenged [his] Christian life." How can holiness lead someone to Christ? Can living a holy life act as a witness to a watching world? If so, how?

DETAILED NOTES
August 9, 2020
Skip Heitzig
"Holy, Holy, Holy!"
Isaiah 6:1-8

  1. Introduction
    1. Holy is a word most people don't understand or like
      1. It conjures up images of gauntness, hollow eyes, beards, sandals, stone cells, fasting, and deserts
      2. In fact, holiness tends to make us think of Jesus
    2. Many consider holiness to be God's most unpopular attribute
    3. Holiness is God's most noted attribute
      1. God is called holy 637 times in the Bible
      2. Only twice is holy repeated in threes: holy, holy, holy (Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4)
      3. It isn't love, mercy, grace, wrath, or justice
  2. Holiness Means Separation (vv. 1-4)
    1. Isaiah 6 starts out, "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord" (v. 1)
      1. Uzziah reigned for fifty-two years and was a rare good and godly king
      2. Isaiah and the nation of Judah worried about the lack of leadership
      3. God doesn't panic, especially when the world is confused and afraid
      4. Isaiah needed his perspective adjusted to see God in control
    2. The angels declared God's holiness: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts" (v. 3)
      1. The Hebrew word used for holy is qadosh
      2. It means to be cut off, separated, or distinct
      3. Ordinary objects separated for special use can also be considered holy
      4. The altar, utensils, and garments used in the tabernacle were holy
      5. When applied to God, it refers to His apartness—there is no one like Him
    3. The threefold repetition of the word holy is called the trihagion
      1. When the Hebrews emphasized something three times, it was the highest expression of that trait
      2. God's holiness is the only attribute that is given a threefold superlative declaration in the Bible
  3. Holiness Magnifies Corruption (v. 5)
    1. When Isaiah experienced God, he said, "Woe is me" (v. 5)
    2. In seeing God, Isaiah saw his own unholiness
    3. When standing before a holy God, many in the Bible recognized their unworthiness
      1. Isaiah was an educated, well-respected prophet but was unclean before God
      2. God called Job blameless, but when he saw God, he said, "I abhor myself, and repent" (Job 42:6)
      3. When Peter pulled in the catch that Jesus gave him, he told Jesus to depart from him (see Luke 5:8)
    4. As Max Lucado said, "You don't impress the officials at NASA with a paper airplane"
    5. When faced with perfect purity, even a prophet as famous as Isaiah must cry, "Woe is me"
  4. Holiness Mandates Purification (vv. 6-7)
    1. When you realize who God really is and compare yourself to Him, you don't want to stay in that place of despair
    2. An angel touched Isaiah's mouth with coal in a symbolic gesture of purification
      1. Isaiah's unclean lips had to be cleansed of the sin he had just confessed
      2. Isaiah understood the gulf between holiness and unholiness
      3. Cleansing is necessary because pure holiness cannot exist with unholiness
    3. Our holy God makes a way for unholy sinners through Jesus
      1. Because Jesus' holy blood was shed, we are cleansed and purified
      2. The Father does not destroy the unholy
      3. He declares the unholy to be holy through Jesus' sacrifice (see 1 Peter 3:18)
    4. Many who attend church do not see the gulf between God and humanity
      1. Religion becomes a list of rules and regulations, leading to a self-righteous life
      2. But when we recognize that we are not holy like God, humility sets in
        1. Repentance and gratitude arise in our hearts
        2. We embrace what God did for us in Christ
      3. It's God's holiness that keeps us asking for forgiveness (see 1 John 1:9)
  5. Holiness Motivates Commission (v. 8)
    1. Once we recognize God's holiness and perfection and receive His forgiveness, we want to proclaim it
    2. In verse 8, God called for someone to tell the truth, and Isaiah quickly volunteered
      1. Once you've been cleansed, you will be commissioned
      2. Every minister should be a sinner cleansed by God who now wants to serve Him
        1. God in His holiness convicts you
        2. God in His love cleanses you
        3. God in His wisdom calls you
        4. God in His power qualifies you
      3. All this cleansing, calling, and qualifying is rooted in God's holiness
    3. God wants us to be holy like Him because His holiness leads to our wholeness
      1. Leviticus 11:44-45; 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 7; Hebrews 12:18-29
      2. A relationship with God is transformative: He loves us the way we are, but He loves us too much to leave us that way
      3. We'll know that we are holy when we hate sin and love righteousness
      4. Holiness doesn't mean we are perfect, but it does mean we are purposeful
      5. We are pursuing God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength
    4. The song the angels sang in Isaiah 6:3 is the same the angels sing in Revelation 4:8
      1. The angels never tire of God's holiness
      2. God's holiness is a beautiful truth that outlasts trends
      3. His standard helps us see everything else more clearly
      4. We are captivated by God's perfection, holiness included
Figures referenced: Max Lucado

Hebrew words: qadosh

Cross references: Leviticus 11:44-45; Job 42:6; Luke 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 7; Hebrews 12:18-29; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 1:9; Revelation 4:8

Topic: God's holiness

Keywords: commission, holy, perfect, perfection, purity, sin, trihagion, unholiness

Topic: God's holiness

Keywords: commission, holy, perfect, perfection, purity, sin, trihagion, unholiness


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