Worshiping God Should Make Us Holy

Thought I’d post a brief section from a chapter I wrote on "Living for God’s Glory." In it I describe different ways corporate worship should change the way we live. Feel free to leave any thoughts. Thanks again for your prayers and encouragement regarding my current book project

It is impossible for us to rightly consider God apart from his holiness – his wrath against sin, his steadfast opposition to injustice, and his righteous judgment of the wicked. These aren’t exactly popular or seeker-sensitive topics, but they describe the God we worship. But the more we love “worship,” the more we should hate sin in all its manifestations. If God wasn’t fiercely opposed to evil in every form, including our sin, he would not deserve our worship. He would not be good. He would not be God.

God’s Word speaks of our being holy in numerous ways. In the first sense, it means we’ve been sanctified, or set apart for God. He has purchased us through the blood of his Son and we have no other Master (1 Cor. 6:19-20). Second, to be holy means we’re different from the world in our thoughts, words, and actions (1 Cor. 6:11). Holiness is typically not on anyone’s top ten list. People magazine will probably never run an article called “Holy People We Most Admire.” But holiness is precious in God’s sight. Third, holiness refers to moral purity. Negatively, it involves resisting sin, fighting temptation, and taking no part in the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11). Positively, it means pursuing righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart (2 Tim. 2:22). 

That’s one of the reasons we occasionally confess our sins together as a church before God. It’s not that we’re trying to make ourselves feel bad or that we enjoy morbid introspection. It’s not that we’ve forgotten we’re saved. Rather, we’re seeking to counteract our continual attempts to justify, minimize, ignore, and neglect our acts of defiance against a holy God. We are seeking to cultivate what Scripture calls the “fear of the Lord.” The fact that God doesn’t kill us every time we sin leads us to think God doesn’t feel strongly about sin. But he does. He’s holy. That’s why it’s good to remember our sins together in the shadow of the cross.
The cross reminds us that the holiness that cannot dwell with evil is also the love that died for us while we were yet sinners (Rom. 5:8). Righteousness and mercy embrace in the perfect sacrifice of God’s Son. God’s love and holiness are not contradictory – they are inseparable.

My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine;
For thee all the follies of sin I resign.

11 Responses to Worshiping God Should Make Us Holy

  1. Gabriel Gagnon May 11, 2007 at 6:39 PM #

    Thank you Bob for updating your blog very frequently. I’ve been blessed to read your blog ever since that Men’s conference in January. I had never heard of you before, and I was really touched by your worship style. I’ve been reading your post faithfully and it’s really great to read what you say because there is always one main thing that always comes up and that is Christ. Christ is so important and I’m so glad that you always remind us of His glory. He really is amazing.
    I thank God that He works through you!

  2. Paul Hayes May 12, 2007 at 12:59 PM #

    Hey Bob,
    Great post! Seeing the last response reminded me of how long your music ministry has blessed us AND makes me ask if GLAD is going to release another album. God bless you, Paul

  3. Bob Kauflin May 12, 2007 at 2:22 PM #


    Thanks for your encouraging words. Nope, GLAD released their last CD, Receive the Glory, a couple years ago. After 28 years of making records they’re finally calling it quits. They still perform about 10-15 concerts a year, though.

  4. Tracie May 13, 2007 at 11:20 PM #

    “But the more we love “worship,” the more we should hate sin in all its manifestations.”

    Wow. Thank you for this concise, well-packed statement of truth (but truth as it is not typically presented), by which I can examine my own heart as a worshipper. Growing in love for a holy God requires growing in hatred for the sin he despises. I need always to be reminded of this, so thank you! We’re praying for your writing process, knowing that this book will bring wise counsel to so many.

  5. phil May 14, 2007 at 8:07 AM #


    Thanks for a timely, well-written post. It reminds me of a quote by Thomas Brooks that I came across this weekend. He says that you wouldn’t use a knife that you used to slay your child as a butter knife to serve guests; they would be completely appalled at the impropriety. In the same way, each time we consider sinning, we must look on it as that knife which slew our Savior, and despise it for what it is (rather than make common use of it).

    Expressing our love for the Savior in worship should make us appreciate His grace and despise those sins which cost Him His precious blood. May we all be wary of haphazard worship that does not make us want to flee from our former sins.

    Thanks again for thoughtful, reflective posts like this one. I always appreciate your perspective.

  6. Kevin May 14, 2007 at 8:18 PM #

    Hi Bob,
    I can see you’re busy with book writing, so may not have much time for questions. But when/if you have time, I am interested in the phrase ‘Let your song be heard…’in your song ‘Let your Kingdom Come’. Could you clarify what we would mean in singing this phrase? I read ‘your cause’the original prayer on which this song is based but could not find any reference to this phrase. A quick look at a concordance came up with David referring to ‘the LORD’s song’ in Psalm 42:8. Are there other passages that refer to this concept, and what do you understand it to mean?
    Thankyou for your helpful blog and music.
    in Christ

  7. Bob Kauflin May 14, 2007 at 8:44 PM #


    Thanks for your encouragement.

    You asked about the line “Let your song be heard everywhere on earth,” from the song “Let Your Kingdom Come.”

    I was thinking along the lines of Ps. 40:3: He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.

    “Your” song means, the song of praise the Lord has given us that proclaims his salvation. I think Ps. 42:8 fits that as well. The song we sing is a gift of God’s grace before it’s our offering to God.

    Were you thinking it meant the Lord was singing? I guess it could be understood that way as well, if you consider that we’re joining in the song of Christ as he sings to the Father (Heb. 2:12).

    Let me know your thoughts. Thanks for asking.

  8. Kevin May 16, 2007 at 10:33 PM #

    Thanks for your reply Bob,
    Perhaps your two thoughts could be brought together. Psalm 40 was written by David, yet Hebrews 10:5-9 cites Psalm 40:6-9 as Christ speaking. We could therefore also see Psalm 40:3 as Christ speaking. Spurgeon (Treasury of David) says – ‘What a song is that in which His glad heart forever leads the chorus of the elect…Justice magnified and grace victorious; hell subdued and heaven glorified; death destroyed and immortality established; sin overthrown and righteousness resplendent…’
    A further thought (in light of the context of the ‘sacrifice of praise’ in Hebrews 13:15): when we sing ‘let your song be heard’ we could also understand it as a prayer that the gospel be spoken in words and lived out in the lives of his people.
    Thanks again for your music and helping me think about what we are singing.
    in Christ

  9. Daniella May 17, 2007 at 6:19 AM #

    Wow!! Thanks for sharing, Bob. Very insightful and encouraging. I look forward to reading your book once it’s out.

  10. Richard B May 18, 2007 at 8:11 AM #

    Bob. Thanks for your great post and I have not come across many blogs that address worship. A W Tozer once wrote a book on worship being the missing jewel in the church – and how right he was. Even today the many who write about theology, doctrine etc and forget and miss out the fundamental item of WORSHIP.

    Can I add my little bit to your post

    Worshiping God Should Make Us Holy

    First of all for me the word Should is one of the most negative words in the English dictionary. We use the phrase well the chair should fit under the table as I measured it. NO NO NO. Therefore worshipping God should make us holy, perhaps to re – address it and say worshipping God in Spirit and in truth makes us holy. The essence here is Spirit and truth. Please do not come before God on a Sunday for an hour of worship thinking that it will make you holy. To go through the motions is an offense to God and others. No God is wanting a people that will sacrifice all and lay down their lives that they will worship Him. Worship will cost you something, worship is a heart thing, worship is what God deserves.

    Every blessing and look forward to more posts

    Richard B

  11. Boitumelo May 15, 2009 at 2:43 PM #

    i don not know much about bible & i need to know more

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