Key Verse – “And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.””
Isaiah’s cry is like that of every sinner at the moment of repentance. He saw his sin for what it was in comparison to Almighty God. He was absolutely worthy of death and he knew it. God is set apart from all of humanity and we are unworthy to enter into His presence.
When we look around and focuses on the rest of humanity, our sin is not a problem. We can make comparisons and always find someone who is worse than us. We can justify our own actions and even change laws to ease our guilty consciences. But there is no rationalization of our sins in the eyes of God. We can’t look God in the eye and say “I’m sorry, I didn’t know.” We don’t even get the opportunity to ask for forgiveness.
Malachi 3:2 tells us, “But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap.” When we stand before God and all we have to present is filth, nothing will stand. It will be burned up or washed away.
Can we be holy?
Even though no sin can enter God’s presence, He has given us a way to be with Him. Just as he placed the coal to Isaiah’s unclean lips, so there has been given a way that we may be cleansed. Obviously I am talking about the blood of Christ.
We are given the opportunity to become sanctified or set apart, just as God is set apart. This is both an immediate and an ongoing process. But it has a future element as well. Look at 1 Cor 1:2. Paul writes to the sanctified, but they are also called to be holy. At salvation we are set apart by God; we are made holy. But we are also called to be holy.
Our salvation isn’t a one time decision. It is a daily walk with God. We are constantly striving to be holy. And we do not always reach that goal. This is where there is a future or perfect sanctification. Only when we reach heaven will we be perfectly holy.
As sinners we can’t approach a holy God. But God gave us a way to become holy. We constantly strive to be holy. And one day we will be perfectly holy.