If you don’t believe me read through Leviticus. He wasn’t messing around when He laid down the laws for the tabernacle and sacrifice system, not to mention all of the clean and unclean laws that He had for His people. God is serious about His holiness.
But the modern church doesn’t really reflect that. Maybe it is because we were so tired of the puritanical, legalistic focus of the American church for much of the 20th century that when we tried to celebrate our freedom in Christ we went too far the other way, but we spend much more time talking about God’s grace than about God’s holiness.
The problem is that we can’t really understand grace until we understand just how perfect and holy God really is. We can’t understand what a big deal it is for Him to wipe away our sins until we start to see just how much an affront to his very nature sin is.
So somehow we need to recapture a Levitican sense of the holiness of God without becoming so mired down in legalism that we become like the Pharisees of Jesus’ time. We must proclaim that God is holy, and we are called to be holy like He is holy, but we aren’t so that is why He gives us grace, but that doesn’t exempt us from striving to be holy.
But that is sort of hard to put on a bumper sticker, so maybe I need to work on it a bit.