As I began to prepare to write this article, many memories from 1979 overcame me. That was the year my wife, Sherrie, and I were married. It was also the year I became a Christian. One could say it was a foundational year, shaping my thoughts for the life ahead. It was the first time I had ever heard about the holiness of God — both the series and the concept. When Chuck Colson was asked what he thought about The Holiness of God, he stated: “The Holiness of God drove me to my knees and dramatically changed my life.”
Understanding the holiness of God is to learn, in our limited abilities, who God is and who we are in relationship to Him. Holiness embodies God’s character. As I began to understand this, I experienced a peace in my soul that passed all understanding. This was a strange experience for a young, new Christian, who, until his conversion, was an unbelieving Catholic.
I often say that God has a sense of humor, and my life serves as living proof. God ordained from the beginning my being born into a Catholic family, living a “Catholic life,” meeting my wife-to-be, and ultimately getting married to a “theologian’s daughter.” If that isn’t funny, I don’t know what is. I didn’t even know what a theologian was when I met Sherrie!
When R.C. spoke about the holiness of God with me in my early days as a Christian, he would always keep it simple, because I knew absolutely nothing about Scripture, nor about living as a Christian man. To make a point about God’s holiness, he would simply state, “God is God, and I am not.” I’m sure many have heard R.C. say that before, and some may not give it much thought. However, I did give it thought that day, and God used that simple statement to change my life radically.
Many have said that The Holiness of God is foundational to R.C.’s ministry. However, when R.C. recently reviewed his most recently published book, Scripture Alone, he said, “this may be the most important book I’ve ever written.”
When you finally find “that place,” as R.C. wrote in The Holiness of God, you find a place of rest and peace. The way to understand God and live coram Deo is to feast on His Word and to worship and praise Him. Then, as R.C. has said, “you experience something like a taste of heaven.”