In Christ alone is all our trust
For full and free salvation.
With His own blood He ransomed us
From ev’ry tribe and nation.
For us He lived and died.
Now, at the Father’s side,
Full knowing all our needs,
Our High Priest intercedes.
He lives to make us holy.
GARY A. PARRETT
It might seem that the best way to begin a study of God’s character, his holy-love, is to open a concordance and look up all the instances of holiness and all those of love and see if a synthesis is possible. This would yield much that would be helpful.
But there is a better way. It is to begin at the beginning and see how God revealed his character across time. In doing so, we find that as God’s redemptive history moved toward its goal, it provided what are the contours of our subject. It was moving toward Christ, in whom it culminated. From that time on, the Holy Spirit’s work became that of applying to sinners the benefits of Christ’s work on the cross. This progressive unfolding of the purposes of God is, at the same time, the unfolding of the character of God. We see more and more clearly what God’s redemptive plan was, as we move from Abraham toward Christ, and we also see the principles in that plan as it unfolded. That should be no surprise. It is the same triune God at work in this plan. It is the God who James says is one “with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17). And redemption means the same thing whether a person was born millennia before Christ or is yet unborn. It is redemption from sin, and that, in the nature of the case, can only be by grace.