God is Holy | Flash Theology Sermon Series

Read Leviticus 20:26; Deuteronomy 6:1–5

Point 1 – The foundation: God is holy.

One of the most important attributes of God is the idea that He is holy. This is not just biblical jargon. This is a way of expressing that God is set apart from creation. He is wholly other. He is sacred. He is entirely unique and unparalleled. He is not like the “gods” of many ancient religions who were matter and dust within the created cosmos, he is the Creator of it all–he transcends space, time, and matter.

God is the “Holy One” of Israel. “Holy One” is a specific title in the Hebrew language given for God. To speak of God as “the Holy One,” is to emphasize God’s transcendence and complete otherness and separation from all other things. This idea is most clearly expressed in Hosea 11:9 when Yahweh states that He is not a man but God, He is “The Holy One.” The term Holy One (Hebrew: Qadosh) is one of these names. Holiness is such an important and distinguishing attribute of God that “Holy” became a descriptive name for God. Thus, when an author wanted to tell the people about the perfection and complete otherness of God, he used the term “Holy One” as seen in Hosea 11:9.

Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection

  1. In your own words, what does it mean that God is holy?
  2. Why is God’s holiness an important attribute? How does his holiness fit with his other attributes (like his love, justice, etc.)?
  3. When praying to God, how does your understanding of His holiness impact your prayers?

Because God is holy, how do we make our homes holy?

Deuteronomy 6:4–9

Point 2 – Be the first to commit to following God and His ways.

God’s holiness means that he is different–entirely unique. When God calls us to be holy, he calls us to be devoted to him in a way that looks different from the way those outside of a relationship with God live and order their lives. If we are going to make our homes “holy” to God then that means we create rhythms of holiness that help us connect with God.

→ (See page 34 of Flash Theology for a helpful picture illustration showing some of the main spiritual disciplines.)

When it comes to the spiritual disciplines, it is important to keep the purpose in mind.

Actions that are to become routine need the “why” at the center of the brain’s motivational loop. Meaning, if we don’t know why we are doing something, we are likely to stop doing it at any given moment. Think about some of your other customs. Why do you exercise? To lose weight, maybe. Or it could be to get stronger. Perhaps, even, to maintain health as you age. Some people even exercise for the sheer joy of it. The “why” may differ, but those who are consistent in their exercise routine could all tell you why they do it. And that common denominator is worth noting!

Every routine in our lives is the result of a desire hatching into a patterned action. We either perform a habit consciously (thus, it being a discipline). Or, we perform a habit unconsciously (thus, it is more of a habit). A habit you do, whether intentionally or not (like biting your fingernails). Disciplines, on the other hand, are deliberate actions that have become routine practices in one’s life.

So, what is your “why” behind spiritual disciplines? If you want your spiritual practices to move from discipline to delight then your purpose has to be something to the effect of enjoying God. “Wait!” You might say. “Shouldn’t the purpose be something more profound like becoming more Christ-like?” Sort of. Think of it like a ladder.

Spiritual routines are like a ladder with three ascending rings: they start as a duty; become a discipline; and crowns as a delight.

The first ring on the ladder for us is duty; the realization that we ought to engage in spiritual disciplines for the purpose of having God’s grace enacted in our lives through the means of prayer, Bible reading, etc. It starts there, but it doesn’t end there. The second ring on the ladder is discipline; the trained commitment to engage in spiritual activities because we know it is the means to growing into greater conformity to Jesus, our Lord and example. From my experience, most people stop on this ladder ring, but there is one more. The third ring on the ladder is delight; the recognition that doing life with God is a privilege we get to do.

Duty, Discipline, Delight; these are the three rings on the ladder of spiritual routines. It starts as an “ought to” and morphs into a “get to.” And that motivational journey from duty to delight; “ought to” to “get to” makes all the difference in creating sustainable and enjoying spiritual routines. After all, the goal of following Jesus is to enjoy Jesus.

→ For more on this, read our blog post “From Spiritual Disciplines to Spiritual Delights”.

Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection

  1. In what stage are you in your spiritual routines? In what spiritual routine do you most delight? Which spiritual routine is a duty for you right now?
  2. How do you model delighting in following God in your home? Do your kids, friends or neighbors see you as being committed to following God?
  3. How does considering God being holy impact your view of your own holiness?

Point 3 – Make God’s holiness real and relevant in our homes.

Deuteronomy 6:7–9 (NIV): Impress them (“them” being God’s instructions and truths) on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

This is where we can get creative! Your home and my home might look different, not physically but in the makeup of our “family.” The point is that we commit to making our faith a central component of our family life dynamic. Consider the idea to “talk about them [God’s instructions and truths] when you sit at home and when you walk along the road…” The only real way to miss the mark on this is to not do it. You don’t have to be a professional communicator to have authentic conversations that come out of a real place–a place of your own walk with God.

Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection

  1. What were the rhythms of your home like growing up? Which would you imitate? Which would you leave behind?
  2. How do the “spiritual disciplines” correspond to living a holy life? Which ones are especially important to you right now? Why?
  3. What practical challenge do you sense the Holy Spirit calling you to implement as you recognize your home to be a holy place? How can your faith become more real and relevant at your home?

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