Sin in the Light of God’s Holiness

“All approach to God is on the ground of shed blood. The atonement has its deepest demand in the holiness of God. Any doctrine of the atonement that sees its need only in the necessity that man be influenced by a mighty motive, or in the necessities of governmental expediency, does not go to the root of things. The first and fundamental reason why ‘without shedding of blood there is no remission’ is because God is Holy and sin must be covered before there can be fellowship between God and the sinner…

“God does not punish the sinner merely because the sinner’s good makes it necessary. God is Holy. God hates sin. His holiness and hatred of sin, like every attribute of His, is living and active and must manifest itself…

“Any view of the punishment of sin that leaves out the thought of its being an expression of God’s holy hatred of sin, is not only unbiblical, but shallow and dishonoring to God. God is holy, infinitely holy, and infinitely hates sin. We get glimpses at times of what God’s hatred of sin must be, in our own burning indignation at some enormous iniquity, but God is infinitely holy and God’s wrath at the smallest sin is infinitely greater than ours at the greatest enormity. God is love, it is true, but this love is not of the sentimental sort that sends costly bouquets and tender missives to moral monsters, as some of our Universalist theologians would have us think. ‘Our God is a consuming fire’ (Heb 12:29). God’s love to sinners will never be appreciated until seen in the light of His blazing wrath at sin.

“The holiness of God manifests itself in His making an infinite sacrifice to save others from sin unto holiness. The death of Christ is not merely a manifestation of the love of God but of His holiness as well.

“The wonderfulness of God’s love! It would be no wonder if an unholy God could love unholy men; but that the God whose name is Holy, the Infinitely Holy God, could love beings so utterly sinful as we are, that is the wonder of the eternities. There are many deep mysteries in the Bible, but no other so profound as this.”

From R. A. Torrey’s What the Bible Teaches, pp. 39-41.

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