We Worship What We Know

Session 2: Holy and Sovereign

God is holy. He is holy in that He is set apart from anything else. He is like no other, and He is completely set apart from evil because He is all good. He is sovereign in that He is the Lord of all, and rules all because He is Creator of all. He is almighty and all powerful. Nothing compares to Him. Think of the word almighty for a moment. Humans cannot comprehend how to even explain God’s sovereignty. They may see a mountain, the ocean, or the starry sky and think it is almighty (immense, massive, enormous, and gigantic). However, God is much bigger than all of what we may see; for He created what we see as almighty in this universe and even more that we do not see. 

  • Read Psalm 99 and Job 40:6-41:34
  • Take a moment and reflect on the holiness and sovereignty of God and how He reveals pieces of it to us through scripture. Does this humble you? Does it allow you to tremble in reverent fear?

Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth. -Psalm 96:9


Here is a great quote from A.W. Tozer’s Knowledge of the Holy:

He is and has always been. Neither can God change for the worse. Any deterioration within the unspeakably holy nature of God is impossible. Indeed, I believe it impossible even to think of such as thing, for the moment we attempt to do so, the object about which we are thinking is no longer God but something else and someone less than He. The one of whom we are thinking may be a great and awesome creature, but because he is a creature, he cannot be the self-existent Creator. 

As there can be no mutation in the moral character of God, so there can be none within the divine essence. The being of God is unique in the only proper meaning of that word; that is, His being is other than and different from all other beings. We have seen how God differs from His creatures in being self-existent, self-sufficient, and eternal. By virtue of these attributes God is God and not some other being. One who can suffer any slightest degree of change is neither self-existent, self-sufficient, nor eternal, and so is not God. 


The biblical account that displays God’s attribute of holiness and sovereignty beautifully (although there is so many), is in Luke 1.

  • Read Luke 1:26-38; 46-56

For nothing will be impossible with God. Luke 1:37


As the scriptures unfold, a low-class young girl named Mary is chosen by God to display His mighty power. She, along with her betrothed are both from the lineage of David. Throughout God’s Word, since David’s reign, He has promised a king from His line to reign forever (Isaiah 9:7). God is holy, like no other, so it is only fitting that the Savior of the world be His own Son. Remember God is like no other, so the conception of Jesus can be like no other. Mary was a virgin, a pure unspotted one, as Matthew Henry depicts her. God sends an angel to reveal to Mary of the mighty work that is to take place:  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. -Luke 1:31-33

One would ponder if it were unbelief or awestruck wonder that Mary would ask the angel how this could happen, for she was indeed a virgin. Since she was not rebuked, as Zechariah was muted for his unbelief in the beginning of Luke 1; one could say the explanation given by the angel shows that she merely wanted to know how this event would unfold. This is key, she wanted to know! The angel reveals that this will come to be through the power of the Holy Spirit that will overshadow her. After this it will to be done and the child to be born and will be called holy- the Son of God (vs 35). Mary humbly complies and offers herself to God’s holy and sovereign will. 

Mary does not question anymore, for God has displayed His glory to her. In verses 46-55, Mary magnifies the Lord for all that He is and has done.  Let us praise Him with her words:

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has looked on the humble estate of His servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.

And His mercy is for those who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; He has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate;

He had filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His offspring forever.


  • When was the last time you took time to reflect and praise God for who He is?

  • When have you humbled yourself before Him, in awestruck wonder of His holiness and sovereignty?

  • Do you question further with what He commands of you, or do you surrender to His magnificent glory?

Hebrew/Greek Context:





God’s holiness means that He is separated from sin and devoted to seeking HIs own honor. God’s omnipotence (power, sovereignty) means that God is able to do all of His holy will. -Systematic Theology


The Greek term Luke uses for “Highest” is the one employed in the Septuagint (LXX Greek Old Testament Bible) to translate the Hebrew, “The Most High God.” Since a son bears his father’s qualities, calling a person someone else’s “son” was a way of  signifying equality. Here the angel was telling Mary that her Son would be equal to the Most High God.

-John MacArthur Commentary

She (Mary) knew that the Messiah must be born of a virgin; and, if she must be his mother, she desires to know how. This was not the language of her distrust, or any doubt of what the angel said, but of a desire to be further instructed.

-Matthew Henry Commentary



We read in Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8 that the angels are crying out before God “Holy holy holy is the Lord of Hosts” day and night. With our western understanding, we might wonder why they would say the same thing over and over and not get bored. Yet before the Lord’s throne, nothing could be more compelling. The angels are proclaiming the holiness or the uniqueness of God and how different He is from all Creation. In essence they are saying “You are so set apart from anything and everything in every situation! There is no one that loves the way you do! No one in all the earth is as kind and merciful as You! Your justice is line no other justice in the universe! You are so uniquely different than anything else you have created!” We could go on and on proclaiming how set apart and focused He is on a specific purpose- and that is exactly what the angels do.

-FIRM (firmisrael.org)

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