Revelation 15:4, “Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
The God of the gospel is both fully loving and completely holy. Some people choose to focus only on one attribute; however, it is clear from the Bible that God is both. For example, those preachers who only see God’s love, emphasize forgiveness, mercy and compassion, but neglect to preach about God’s righteous judgment and punishment (Hebrews 10:26-27). On the other hand, those who only see God’s holiness constantly talk about God’s wrath and hatred of sin, but they neglect to share God’s amazing grace, unfailing love and great patience towards sinners (2 Peter 3:9).
As gospel preachers we cannot be unbalanced in God’s attributes, we must properly preach both. Horatius Bonar said, “The more fully that the gospel is preached, in the grand old apostolic way, the more likely is it to accomplish the results which it did in the apostolic days.”
The true gospel of Jesus proclaims that God is both completely holy and altogether loving; neglect one of these two defining attributes of God and you no longer have the God of the Bible, the God of heaven and earth. You are left with a make-believe god that is powerless to save because he doesn’t exist.
The loving nature of God can be seen from the beginning of creation in Genesis when He created mankind in His image to enjoy fellowship with them in the Garden of Eden; to the creation of the new heavens and new earth in the book of Revelation where forever dwells with His people face-to-face. The Bible proclaims in John 3:16 that it was because “God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son;” God’s love was so great it caused Jesus to leave heaven and die on a cross. John declared in 1 John 4:8 that, “God is love” because love is not just what He gives, it is who He is. Paul also wrote in Romans 5:8 that, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” It is clear that God loves all of His creation.
The holiness of God can also be seen in every encounter God has with His creation from Adam to Armageddon. God cursed Adam and Eve and cast them from the Garden after they sinned, He flooded the entire world in Noah’s day, judged cities like Sodom and Gomorrah, struck down Ananias and Sapphire for lying to the Holy Spirit and He has promised to send all unbelievers to the eternal lake of fire with the devil and His angels in Revelation 20:15. Because of God’s supreme holiness angels fly around His throne and proclaim, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3).
Behold the beauty of our God’s great love and the terror of His holiness. May every gospel preacher preach both God’s love and holiness with great passion and power!
- Study and develop a biblical understanding of God’s love and holiness.
- As you preach the gospel emphasize both of God’s two main attributes and how they relate to Jesus and the cross.
- Remember, God sent Jesus in love to die for our sins because His holiness required sacrifice to appease His righteous judgment (Hebrews 9:22).