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Should you be afraid of God?

Should you be afraid of God?

MARCH 16, 2023

/ Programs / Key Life / Should you be afraid of God?

Pete Alwinson:
Should you be afraid of God? Let’s talk about it, on this edition of Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
This is Key Life. We are here to let you know that because of what Jesus has done, God will never be angry at you again. Pete Alwinson is a former pastor, founder of and the author of Like Father Like Son, and he’s been teaching us all this week.

Pete Alwinson:
Thank you Matthew. It’s good to be with you. Happy Thursday Key life. And I want you to know it’s been a joy sitting in with you this week and talking about the sovereignty of God, the greatness of God, the awesomeness of God. We’ve been looking at the reality that as we experience God in who he is, it brings deep joy to our hearts. And it leads to real transformation in our lives. Well today, we’re going to be talking about the holiness, love, and goodness of God. You know, I’m really of the opinion that it’s, you can’t talk about the holiness of God without quickly moving to the love and goodness of God. If you only talk about the holiness of God, it will leave you in fear and in trembling. But we do, as we look into Scripture, we do reveal, we do see that God reveals himself as a holy, holy, holy God. We’ve been talking about the attributes of God, the self existence of God, the omnipresence of God, the reality that God has infinite, immense, and omnipresent, that he’s immutable, that he never changes. You might say, well, wait a minute. Do you really believe all those things about God? No, I do. I do. I believe that God is holy, loving, and good as well, but sometimes I’m just like an Irish setter, I get distracted, you know, shiny things, shiny thing, and I go running off in all kinds of other directions. And I forget who God is. And I move away from experiencing his awesomeness. And I just kind of get into the mundane routine of my own life. And so, that’s why we’re talking about all these things and how the gospel of Jesus Christ so connects us to God that we can experience him, not just know cognitively things about him, but to actually experience him. And that’s why I think one reason why we need to get outside more, I mean you need to get out. Romans 1:20 says

For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world in the things that are made so that they, people are without excuse.

So, we get out there and we see the attributes of God and we need to pause and experience his greatness. But now let’s talk about the holiness of God. The word holiness is the word Kedushah in the Hebrew. And the original idea of this idea of God who is holy is separation. That he’s a person who is set apart. And we really see this in Exodus 3, remember when God met Moses? Here it is, Exodus 3, verse 1.

Now, Moses was keeping the flock of his father in, excuse me, father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord came to him in the flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why this bush is not burned.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”, “Do not come near; take off your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you’re standing is holy ground.”

And so, we see Moses coming in contact with the God of the universe in that experience of the burning bush on this ground that is called holy. He was experiencing the presence of God and the holiness of God. But it’s important for us to understand as we think about the holiness of God, is that that ground, which Moses was told to kneel onto was not holy because it was a certain spot on the planet. The reason that that land, that piece of ground was holy was because God himself was there. God is holy, and the big idea of holiness of separation is that God’s holiness and separation from us is so great, so infinite that we are nothing in his sight and that ought to create awe in our hearts. Clearly, Moses was in awe before God. Off came the sandals, on his knees, on his face because he’s in the presence of the Holy God of the universe. And you know, in Scripture we see a lot of things that are called holy. We see holy ground, like there, holy Sabbath, the holy place, the temple, the holy linen, holy tithe, the holy city, the holy Word, the holy of Holies, even in the inner part, the inner sanctum of the temple. Why? Because God is there. And so, when God, wherever God is, we have holiness. And when we see the holiness of God, we are thinking about the righteousness of God as well, that God is holy and completely separate from us in his being and in his nature, in his character, in the things he does and the things he does not do. And because God is holy, his behavior is always righteous. Well, that’s the opposite of us. And so, when we come into the presence of a Holy God, if we’ve ever been in the presence of a Holy God, it shakes us to the very core of our being. You know, Isaiah was another man who was in the presence of God. You can read it in Isaiah 6. And as he was in the presence of God, a vision came to him.

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!

The seraphim said in the presence of God. And so, as we think about the holiness of God, we think of Isaiah’s response. What did he say?

I’m undone because I’m a man of unclean lips.

The holiness of God reminds us how separate we are from him. Someone has said.

That if you’ve never bowed in the presence of a Holy God, you’ve never been in the presence of a Holy God.

And it’s so absolutely true. I was on a phone call with a guy I don’t know, across the United States, this past week. And he’s not a Christian, but he’s dating a girl that grew up in our church. And the amazing thing is her parents are pretty ticked that she’s dating this non-Christian. And so, he wants to do everything that he can do to get the right lingo down so that her parents will accept him. He says, what do I got to do to be in? And I said, well listen, here’s the reality. First of all, you have to know if you believe in the God of the Universe. If you believe there’s a God, and then you need to understand what that God is like. And he goes, oh, okay, all right, okay, what do I do to get in, what, he wanted to know what he had to say or what he had to do. What he needs, and fortunately he said, yeah, I’ll have some further conversations with you, but we really don’t understand God until we fall on our face before him and understand that he is holy, holy, holy. And let me put this forward because I think it’s so very important to understand the holiness of God is an act of God in your favor. In other words, if you were to ever have a burning bush experience where you fall down before the holiness of God and see your need before him, it is a gift of God to help you see how great and righteous he is. And how poor you and I are. And at that point, we can begin to hear the gospel of Jesus and see his love and goodness for us. God is holy, but he’s loving and good, and that’s why he sent Jesus for us. And so, Paul says in Romans chapter 5.

Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through whom we have also obtained our introduction by faith, and it is grace in which we stand and we celebrate in the hope of the glory of God.

Is truly awesome because he is holy and because he is holy, we need a Savior because we are not. And so, we fall on our faces before the God of the Universe. And if he’s never, if you have fallen before him and seen that Jesus is the way, the truth, the life, what a gift you’ve received, fall on your face. Embrace Jesus who has satisfied the holiness of God by living a perfectly holy life. And then taking our curse perfectly on the Cross of Jesus Christ. Hey, you know, the reality is as we think about all of these attributes of God and as we think about experiencing God, we need to have a life that is surrounded focusing on him. And so, I want to give you, at the end of this week, just the challenge, the challenge that Abraham Lincoln brought up one day, he went home from a sermon. And the guy that was with him said, well, what did you think of the sermon? And he said, well, it was a good sermon, but the pastor never challenged us to do anything and so, my challenge for you is that you would read the Holy Scripture now with a new set of eyes looking for the perfects of God, the attributes of God, a holiness of God, and the perfections of God. And as you do remember that Jesus has perfectly satisfied you before the Father. Don’t ever forget that. You take it to heart. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
And that’s it. That concludes our week of teaching from our friend Pete Alwinson on enjoying God. Thank you Pete for that. Remember to check out to check out any episodes you may have missed this week. And guess what, Pete will be back tomorrow to join Steve for our nearly world famous Friday Q&A. Don’t miss it. Well, it’s almost here, Easter, but often Easter can bring up some challenging questions like, why did Jesus have to die? Couldn’t there have been another way? If Jesus had lived to a ripe old age, wouldn’t he have had more time to teach us? Well, Steve has addressed these very questions in a sermon called Why Jesus Had to Die. We’d love to send you that sermon on a CD, for free. Get it right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. And if you’d like to mail your request, go to to find our mailing addresses for the U.S. and Canada. And hey, one more thing before you go. Have you ever thought about partnering in the work of Key Life through your giving? The good news is, giving is very easy. You can charge a gift on your credit card. You can include gift in your envelope. Or simply pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Just text that to 28950 to give safely and securely. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. Both of those organizations assure financial accountability. And as always, we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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