Saturday, September 7, 2013

Attraction and Alarm

“Godly Christians have always been marked by a two-sided perception of the numinous. On the one hand, the transcendent glory of God’s purity and love, as focused in the plan of salvation, fascinates them. On the other hand, the transcendent glory of God’s sovereignty, as focused in the divine threat of judgment for impiety, alarms them. This characteristically Christian sense of the mercy and the terror (fear) of the Lord is the seed-bed in which awareness grows that lifelong repentance is a ‘must’ of holy living. That awareness will not grow under any other conditions. Where it is lacking, any supposed sanctity will prove on inspection to be flawed by complacency about oneself and short-sightedness about sin. Show me, then, a professed Christian who does not see and insist on the need for ongoing repentance, and I will show you a stunted soul for whom God is not as yet the Holy One in the full biblical sense. For such a person, true Christian holiness is at present out of reach.”

                     - J. I. Packer, Rediscovering Holiness, 132.