Friday, July 20, 2012

holiness which condemns also saves

"My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute my burning anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and not a man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath."  (Hosea 11:8-9 ESV)

There is a temptation to associate God's holiness strictly with his judgment.  That is, he is pure and good, and therefore hates evil.  Yet, in his words through Hosea it is precisely his holiness which also brings compassion and forgiveness.  

Likewise, those who come to God through Christ see in the gospel God's forgiveness and compassion, but more: they also begin to see his holiness in its fullest sense...

There is no real intimacy with the gospel that does not mean a new sense of God’s holiness, and it may be long before we realize that the same holiness that condemns is that which saves. There is no new insight into the cross that does not bring, whatever else come with it, a deeper sense of the solemn holiness of the love that meets us there.

(P. T. Forsyth, as quoted by Carl Trueman in Fools Rush In Where Monkeys Fear to Tread)

1 comment:

Danny said...

"Anyone who sees less than justice cannot see more. Justice is the precondition for mercy."
Peter Kreeft, Back to Virtue