Imagine perfection without limits.
It’s difficult, isn’t it? But think about Someone who is right in absolutely every way. The longer you are with Him, the more you see how right He is. The more you watch Him act, the more you see how perfect every choice He makes is. Every desire, every thought, every action, every plan, in every which way, He is morally pure. He never fails to fully hate what is wrong. He never fails to completely love what is right.
This is at least partially what we mean when we say we serve an infinitely holy God.
And it is a beautiful picture, I think. Many would say they long to serve a God like this. They might not even believe in God, but this is the kind of God they would say they want to believe in. They would say that, that is, until, they think about the way in which an infinitely holy God would react to evil.
Because this is where it gets a little frightening.
You see, you can’t have it both ways. A God who is infinitely perfect will be infinitely enraged at sin. If he’s not infinitely enraged at sin, then He’s not infinitely perfect. I mean, I am no philosopher, but if God’s moral purity has no limits, then it seems obvious, His response to evil will be both perfect and without end.
We are not infinitely perfect, but we don’t regard as holy, someone who has learned to minimize obvious evils.
When someone defends the holocaust, we don’t say, umm, you really have progressed in maturity. No, obviously not. That failure to feel and to be enraged against what is evil is not something to be respected. The opposite.
We are not infinitely holy, but even we get upset and know it is right to be upset about obvious evils. Unfortunately, it’s pretty common, after a time, for us grow used to evil. What once enraged us, if we live with it long enough, becomes normal.
That’s not something positive.
We don’t look at families where the wife is so used to her husband’s abusive behavior that she defends it and say, that’s really something good. No, something has gone wrong when we become inured to evil.
We can rejoice, because God’s not like that. He never gets used to evil. He hates it completely. And He hates it forever.
An infinitely holy God is infinitely enraged against sin.
That of course should cause those whose sins haven’t been covered to fear, and it should cause those whose sins have been covered to love. Think for a moment about the kind of punishment an infinite God would arrange who was infinitely enraged against sin.
This is the punishment Jesus took in our place.
“For our sake, he made him to be sin, who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
It can be difficult for us to imagine someone whose perfection has no limits. It’s dazzlingly beautiful, and it’s truly frightening, but it’s important because, the God we serve, is infinitely perfect like this. His infinitely holiness is not a dream. It’s real. And thinking about God’s infinite holiness and wrath is important for us because it shines a spotlight that enables us to better see His limitless love!