Primary Goal: Focus on what God's holiness means and what we can expect from God as a result. Our prayer is that each person will not only know that God is holy, they will be gut level thankful that He is holy!
Chances are most of those in your group have never had a discussion about God's holiness. Let's face it, God's holiness is not on the top ten most interesting topics list! And yet, of all His attributes, God's holiness can provide the greatest comfort, assurance and peace. More than His power? Yes, because the confidence we have in His power is because His power applied through the grid of His holiness (pure and perfect). More than His love? Yes, because His love flows out of His holiness (pure and perfect). If God were not holy, His love would not be perfect and pure. Help your group look at every attribute in light of God's holiness. When we do, His holiness is no longer an attribute we never think about, but rather the attribute we can't do without.
ice breaker question:
What is the grossest thing you've had to eat? Why did you think it was gross and why did you eat it?
How do we go from gross food stories to God's holiness? :) Often what makes something gross is one or more contaminating ingredients. Sometimes the smallest contaminates are the most dangerous. In order for God to be holy, there cannot be anything that contaminates His purity...not one "microscopic" thing.
Let's Talk About it: I AM Holy
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD ALMIGHTY; THE WHOLE EARTH IS FULL OF HIS GLORY!" (Isaiah 6:3, NIV)
1. In your words, describe what you think the Bible meant by "holy." Think of specific words that describe what it means for God to be holy.
2. Holy = Perfectly pure; set apart (in His own category). What do you think people might perceive as some of the pros and cons of God being perfectly holy?
3. How does God's perfect holiness impact His integrity? If He were not perfectly holy, how would that impact your ability to trust all His other attributes?
READ this quote from the chapter: "Of all God's attributes, nothing compares to the spendor and beauty of His holiness. It is chief among His attributes. That means His character is perfect in every way. He is totally pure." How does His holiness impact His power, love, faithfulness, justice etc.?
4. Why do you think God's holiness can elicit security and comfort as well as fear?
5. Read Isaiah 6:1 - 5. What was it that overwhelmed Isaiah? Describe how Isaiah may have seen himself in relationship to his fellow Israelites before and after the vision. What caused the shift in Isaiah's perspective and focus?
LEADER: For perspective on how Isaiah changed, have someone read Isaiah 2:6-11, pointing out Isaiah’s final words in verse 9. “…do not forgive them.”
6. If you encountered God the way Isaiah did, imagine how you might respond. How do you think standing in God's presence would affect your attitudes, behavior, and desire to live a holy life? How do you think that might affect how you worship Him?
7. How does God's holiness give you greater insight into how God feels about your sin and why Jesus had to pay the penalty for your sin?
LEADER: This could be a perfect time to encourage people in your group to place their trust in Christ's payment for their sin if they have not already done so. Ask if there is anyone who would like to do so right now, surrounded by friends. If no one does, let them know you are available to talk further about placing their trust in Christ whenever they want.
FOCUS ON GOD
On an index card or your favorite electronic devise, write the following statement and verse, or just take a picture of it.
God, because You are holy, I will devote myself
to You in purity, worship, and service.
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of His glory!" (Isaiah 6:3, NIV)
Look at it when you get up, when you go to bed, and at least once during the day as a way of intentionally shifting your focus from yourself to God. During one of those times each day take a few minutes to meditate on God's holiness: His absolute perfection.
Also, take some time this week to worship God for His holiness. Pray. Sing along with praise music that focuses on God's holiness. Verbalize words or phrases of adoration. A good way to learn to do this is by reading aloud verses like Isaiah 6:3, Exodus 15:11, or many of the Psalms, such as Psalm 96 or 99.