since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16
The nature of divine holiness is freedom from all evil. God is separate from every shade of evil. He acts according to the likeness of his own excellence and abhors everything contrary to it. There is no darkness in his understanding, and no in his will. His mind is possessed with all truth, and there is no deviation in his will from it. He loves all truth and goodness, and he hates all falsity and evil. He loves righteousness and has no pleasure in wickedness. He values purity in his creatures, and detests all impurity whether inward or outward. Holiness is the essential glory of his nature, and is as necessary as his being. He knows what is right, and must do what is just. There can be no contradiction in the divine nature, to know what is right and to do what is wrong. If so, he would not be ‘God over all, blessed for ever’ (Rom. 9:5). He is as necessarily holy as he is necessarily God. He is without sin and without change. As he was God from eternity, so he was holy from eternity. From eternity he was gracious, merciful, just, and holy in his own nature, even if there were no creatures created to receive it. If God had not created the world, he still had in his own nature the power to be able to create the world. If there never existed anything but God, he owned in himself omniscience, and would know everything that was within the scope and compass of his infinite power. Also, he was pure in his own nature though he never had brought forth any rational creature to whom he could manifest his purity. God is at liberty whether h will speak to man or not, but if he does, it is impossible for him to speak that which is false because of his infinite perfection of truthfulness. Holiness is not only an act of his will, but is in his very nature. He can by no means be unholy for it is against his nature to be so.
Sinclair Ferguson has publicly stated that no one has had a greater spiritual impact on his life than William Still! William Still was the minister of Gilcomston South Church, Aberdeen, from 1945 to 1997. While his name may not feature in the official annals of the Church of Scotland, it is doubtful whether any other individual in his Church during the latter half of the twentieth century had such a profound or widespread influence. For over fifty years Mr. Still pioneered a single-minded commitment to expository preaching and congregational prayer which made Gilcomston a beacon of Reformed and evangelical Christianity in Scotland.
A man whose very life breathed the grace and love of God, no one who ever met him, received his counsel, or sat under his ministry, could have escaped the sheer Christlikeness of Mr. Still’s life. In the early days of his ministry he wrote: “There is no part of me, or of my life, that I will withhold from the work that God has called me to.”
It was one of the marks of his evident commitment to the service of Christ that he devoted himself to the pastoral care of his people, providing them with daily Bible reading notes that would feed their souls and prepare them for works of service. The “Notes”, which appeared in the monthly “Congregational Record,” soon became highly sought after across Scotland, the United Kingdom, and even to the far-flung corners of the world, increasing in many a love for and commitment to the Word of God.
Drawn from every book in the Bible, this selection, edited and arranged by David C. Searle, will take the reader through the year with William Still. These pages will explain what it means to live under the authority of Scripture, to exalt the glorious Person of Christ, and to rejoice in the wonder of the gospel.