The Problem of God’s Love and Holiness


Amos 4:1–6:14
Revelation 2:18–3:6
Psalm 130:1-8
Proverbs 29:21-22


Psalm 130:3-4 (ESV) “If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.”


Our Verses for Today reveal the “problem” of God’s love and holiness.

Since God is love, He wants us to come into relationship with Him and enjoy Him. He wants to forgive us of our sins so that we can enjoy Him in this life and also in the life to come.

Since God is holy, He cannot tolerate sin. Not only can He not allow it into His presence, He must punish it severely wherever He sees it. After all, good judges cannot simply overlook law-offenders and God is a Good Judge.

But, therein lies the problem! God’s love says that He wants us to be with Him in this life and in Heaven forever. But, God’s holiness says that we cannot come near Him but, instead, must be punished in a place called Hell forever.

God’s love says: “I want you to be with Me!”

God’s holiness says: “You are a lawbreaker and I must send you away from My holy presence.”

So, how does God reconcile the “problem” between His love and holiness? Look at the cross, my friend!

The cross shows us how much God loved us. It showed us how far God was willing to go to make us right in His eyes so that we could know Him and enjoy Him.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

But, the cross also shows us how holy God is. God could not simply overlook our sin. Someone had to pay our sin debt. So, God sent His Son to do just that so that anyone who transfers their trust (trusts in Jesus and not themselves) will be forgiven and saved (refer back to John 3:16).

God must be true to Himself. He is love and cannot diminish that attribute simply because He is also holy. But, He is holy and cannot diminish that attribute simply because He is also love. The cross allowed Him to demonstrate both and remain true to both of those attributes.

Further, the cross allowed Him to glorify Himself so that in eternity we will celebrate what He did for us. God is so good!

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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