NASHVILLE (BP) – This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, Lifeway publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the MasterWork curriculum.
Bible Passage: Isaiah 6:1-8
- What does it mean to be holy?
- How does the holiness of God affect the way you live? How does the way you live reflect the holiness of God?
- How might God’s people, His church, be different if they earnestly recognized God’s holiness?
Food for thought:
You have probably heard the story. The children were busy coloring when the teacher asked one child, “What are you drawing?” “A picture of God,” the child replied. “But no one knows what God looks like,” responded the teacher. Assuredly the child explained, “They will after I’m finished!” That child had in mind a pretty clear picture of God.
What about you? How clear of a picture do you have in mind of God? Is it sharp and focused? Fuzzy like a TV with poor reception? Does your image of God resemble those composite pictures that take one person’s eyes, somebody else’s nose, and the mouth from another person?
Such composites present a general idea of an image, but nothing seems to really fit together.
The late church planter, pastor, author and theologian R. C. Sproul suggests in The Holiness of God that our often-fragmented view of God comes from our failure to recognize His basic nature. When we see God as He truly is, we will see Him as holy. And when we see Him as holy, our whole lives will be changed. That was the experience of Isaiah the prophet, as recorded in Isaiah 6:1-8.
During a time of national crisis and mourning, Isaiah went to the temple. People often turn to God or the place of worship during times of crisis, seeking consolation and hope. That likely explains Isaiah’s presence at the temple as well. Regardless of his intentions, what he found was the holy and majestic God on His throne, complete with supernatural beings constantly declaring His holiness.
Having seen God as He truly is, Isaiah properly saw himself for the first time. It was devastating and humbling. Seeing holy God caused Isaiah to see his own unholiness, not in a cheap admission but in pointed reality. Nothing remained for Isaiah but to submit to the holy cleansing and calling of the holy God. His life would forever reflect this encounter with holy God.
Have you seen God as He truly is? Do you have a clear picture of who He is, and of who you are?
MasterWork is an ongoing Bible study curriculum based on works from a variety of renowned authors and offers pertinent, practical messages that adults will find uplifting and enriching. The list of authors and their books to be studied in upcoming months can be found at lifeway.com/masterwork.