Problem #2 – The Holiness of God

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Goal: Help the student to recognize that God is holy, hates sin and will punish it. Help the student understand this means he is under the wrath of God.

Isaiah 6:1-5, Psalm 51:3-4

Instructor’s Notes: The reason human sinfulness is a problem is because God is holy. This means that God is opposed to every form of unrighteousness and impurity. When we realize how good God is, we see how evil sin is. Sin is evil because it is against a good God.

  • Describe evil. (Evil is rebellion against the good and sovereign Creator.)
  • Why is lying evil? (It is not evil merely because it hurts people; it is evil because God is truthful and hates lies. The same goes for all sins.)
  • The first and greatest commandment is “love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength,” and the second greatest commandment is “love others as much as you love yourself.” Why is it important that we understand loving God, not loving others, is the first and greatest commandment? (Righteousness in God’s universe is founded on our relationship with Him first and foremost. If our relationship with the Creator is right, then that will lead to a right relationship with His creation. When society or individuals reverse this order they think they are right with God just because they are not harming others; this is a great error.)
  • Do you always do right to other people? If not, does that offend God? Why does it offend Him? (Because He commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves.)

Hebrews 1:9, Psalm 7:11-13

Instructor’s Notes: In the same way man naturally loves evil, God hates it. He hates evil and will not allow it to dwell in His presence. God has an intense anger towards those who do evil.

  • If God is good, why does He hate evil? (God hates evil because He is good!)
  • What does it mean that God shows his wrath everyday towards evildoers? (It means that He has a very deep anger towards them. He is so angry He is ready to punish those who will not repent.)
  • Does it surprise you that God is angry with sinners? (God loves everyone and wants them to repent and be saved, but that doesn’t mean His righteous heart is not repulsed by them. God loves people who do evil, but they are truly His enemies, and He feels great anger towards them.)
  • How does God feel about you according to these verses?

Nahum 1:2-3

God does not just hate evil, he will take action to destroy and punish evil. He is a just judge, and so He will not allow sin to go unpunished forever. Every sin that has ever been committed will be dealt with by God since He is holy and just.

  • Why does God allow evil to exist in the world today? (God is patient, and wants people to come to repentance so He doesn’t have to pour His wrath out on them. Note that if God did not hate sin and was not angry with sinners He would not need patience to keep from destroying them.)
  • Will God’s patience last forever? (No, God will not be patient forever. He gives humanity as a whole, and individuals in particular, time to repent, but the time will come when He will pour out His wrath on all unrepentant sinners.)
  • Do you believe God has just ignored your sins because He hasn’t yet punished you in His anger? Are you ready to face a holy God Who hates sin and has seen every sin you have ever committed? Does the thought of meeting God on Judgment Day make you nervous?
  • Why don’t you repent of your sins immediately and look for God’s mercy through Jesus Christ?

2 Thessalonians 1:5-9, Matthew 25:46

Instructor’s Notes: God’s hatred for evil is so great He will destroy it, and those who do it, with eternal punishment because He is infinitely good. Sin is evil primarily because of Who we sin against, namely God. Consider this example: Though stealing is always wrong, it is more evil to steal from our mother who has taken care of us our whole lives than it is to steal from a thief. The greatness of the sin depends on the honor and gratitude that is due to the person which we sin against. Because our mother is more worthy than a common thief, stealing from her is a more evil crime. God is infinitely worthy of our honor, gratitude and obedience, but we have sinned against Him every day of our lives in thought, word and deed; the punishment for such wickedness is rightfully eternal punishment. Since God is infinitely good, hell lasts forever.

  • Have you ever been so angry with someone that you wanted them to be punished for all eternity? (You have probably never felt such a deep anger before, but we must keep in mind that God feels that anger towards everyone that refuses to repent and trust in Christ. If you have felt that anger before, you have seen a slight glimpse of how God feels towards sin and sinners. After the person you are angry with is punished for a million years, your anger would probably begin to lessen, but God’s anger will be as strong in a million years as it is today; His wrath is eternal! He has a perfect and eternal hatred for evil!)
  • Do you believe you are going to heaven or hell when you die? Why do you believe that?

Psalm 24:3-4, Mathew 5:8, Isaiah 6:7

Instructor’s Notes: God’s holy character requires that only those who have been purified and cleansed from sin can enter into His presence. But like Isaiah we know that our hands and hearts are not pure, so we are under God’s wrath. We need God to do for us what He did for Isaiah; we need Him to cleanse us from our sins and purify our hearts.

  • Have you ever tried to change your life and become better?
  • Did you succeed in cleansing your heart and washing away your past sins? (Of course not; only God can wash away our past sins by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and only God can renew our hearts by His Holy Spirit.)

Summary: Our biggest problem is that God is holy and good; this is a problem since we are sinful and evil. God hates evil deeply; His whole nature is against it. God is not passive in His anger towards sin, but He will actively punish it. Since God is infinitely good, His punishment on sin will last forever. We have unclean hearts and need God to cleanse us so that we don’t perish.

Challenge to the Student: You must not imagine that your sin is a little thing in God’s eyes. God hates sin, including your sin. Since you are His enemy by your wicked works, God has a deep anger toward you. With God’s deep anger towards sin and sinners in mind, consider the fact that God gave His only Son to die for those whom He was angered by. God’s love is so powerful that He was willing to let His Son die for people that His heart was filled with anger towards. God is deeply angry with you because you are a rebel against good, but His love for you is so great that He freely gave His Son as a sacrifice for your sins. That is amazing! Since God has such a powerful love towards you, you must stop rebelling against Him and receive the sacrifice of His Son on your behalf. To reject so a gracious gift and choose to remain in rebellion is unthinkably evil! Repent of your sin and trust in Christ!

Read and discuss Colossians 1:21-22

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