R. C. Sproul on God’s Word

Do you study God’s Word, the Bible? God chose to communicate with us through words, and we won’t grow in our faith if we never bother to read them R C Sproul addresses the question of why we don’t study the Word of God this way:

“Here then, is the real problem of our negligence. We fail in our duty to study God’s Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion. Our problem is that we are lazy.” – Knowing Scripture, 1977

I’m sure, like me, you find the time to study the things that are really important to you. Sports fans memorize statistics about their favorite teams and players, employees take courses so they can advance their careers, teenagers (and many others) comb the internet to find out what’s going on in the life of that special celebrity. We all have our passions, but these things are all temporary. Make sure you also study the only subject that’s permanent. In the book of Matthew, Jesus tells us:

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Matthew 24:35

So, don’t be lazy. Study the Word.

For more about R. C. Sproul see:

The Holiness of God–R.C. Sproul–Book Review

Flee to the Scripture– A Quote by R.C. Sproul

A Quote From R.C. Sproul

The Holiness of God–R.C. Sproul–Book Review

I’ve just finished this book, which we’ve been reading in our Tuesday morning Bible study class.  I found it challenging in a way that’s hard to pin down.  According to Sproul,

“The one concept, the central idea I kept meeting in Scripture was the idea that God is holy.”

Any Christian would agree with that statement, but what exactly does holiness mean? One of the first discussion questions (each chapter has these) was When you think of God as holy, what comes to mind?”  I told the class, I could think of things that suggested God’s power or God’s love or God’s mercy, but God’s holiness is difficult to express.

Holiness, of course, means set apart.  Certain items and places are holy because they have been set apart for sacred purposes — the church building itself, the baptismal font, the communion ware and so on.  In the same way, we, the people of God are holy because we have been chosen and set apart to do God’s work.

God’s holiness is different, because God is different.  God’s holiness is expressed in these verses from Isaiah:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

God is so different, we can’t begin to understand Him;  and we can’t truly understand His holiness because it is not so much one characteristic of God, it encompasses all that God is.  God is holy because He is God.  Whatever God chooses to do is holy, because God is always good and always right.  He sees everything from the perspective of eternity. What God does is always consistent  with Who God is. Is this beginning to make sense?

All I can say about this book is, I didn’t so much teach me things, as it taught me how little I actually know;  but maybe that’s a good thing.  It was humbling and somewhat uncomfortable.  At best, I have made a start at understanding the holiness of God.  Read it for yourself and see.  I would love to hear some other opinions.

Note:  There are discussion questions at the end of each chapter (if you’re like me you’ll struggle with them) so it can be studied in a small group setting, or with a friend.

For more on R.C. Sproul visit these posts:

Flee to the Scripture– A Quote by R.C. Sproul

R.C. Sproul on Repentance

A Quote From R.C. Sproul

The Blind Men and the Elephant

When I was little, my mother used to read me a poem about a group of blind men.  When they encountered an elephant, each one thought the elephant was “like” something different.  The one who felt the trunk thought the elephant was similar to a snake;  the one who touched the elephant’s side, said, “this animal is like a wall’;  the one who grabbed the tail thought the elephant resembled a rope — and so on.

We’re reading a book in our Tuesday morning Bible study called The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul.  It’s making me realize that our understanding of God is a lot like those blind men with the elephant.  How do we describe or understand the word holy?  Of course, you may know the definition is ” separate, or set apart.”  That means God is not “like” us;  he is on a different level altogether.  He is perfect beyond our understanding of perfection.

One of the study questions from the book was “how do you experience the holiness of God.”  That’s hard for me to pin down.  I’ve experienced God’s love, God’s power, God’s mercy, and so on.  I know God is all-knowing, all-seeing and immutable.  However, God’s holiness encompasses all of God’s attributes.  Holiness is what makes God God;  and that, like the elephant, is bigger than we in our humanness can grasp.

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

Living the Questions

At our church we’ve started a Bible study on the holiness of God, based on the book of the same title by R. C. Sproul (I’m sure I’ll be reviewing it later, but I’m not done yet).  Yesterday we discussed how we can’t really comprehend God’s holiness, or many other concepts, such as eternity, omnipresence and more.  There are some questions we simply have to live with in our humanness.  This isn’t an excuse for failing to study and learn and grow in our understanding.  That’s part of what faith is about. I’m reminded of this quote by Rainier Maria Rilke.:

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) was a lyrical poet born in Prague, once the capital of Bohemia, now the Czech Republic.  He is considered one of the leading Christian existential poets.

The Holy Scriptures also tell us:

“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.”  1 Corinthians 13:12

In this life, there will always be questions– but someday we will know and understand the truth.  I look forward to that day.

R.C. Sproul on Repentance



R. C. Sproul was not a Lutheran, but this sounds quite a bit like Martin Luther’s First Thesis, doesn’t it?
Confession should be a daily activity for the Christian, whose entire pilgrimage is characterized by the spirit of repentance. —R.C. Sproul

A Quote From R.C. Sproul

His Legacy Endures


“I love Martin Luther because he embodied the struggle of every Christian to have peace with God. ” R.C. Sproul

Do you agree with Sproul?  Let us know your thoughts on this quote.