“Biblical holiness begins with the Holy. But the holy, by its very nature, can be approached only when we come as sinners. He is never accessible to us as consumers. We come in sackcloth and ashes, not as buyers. Indeed, we cannot approach the Holy at all on our own terms. We must see that the Holy has first approached us in Christ and, through him, reconciled us to himself.
The revelation of the Holy would be unbearable were we to see it in any other way than from within Christ. In Christ, what we are seeing is God’s holiness in its action on our sin. Without Christ we would have to bear that judgment in ourselves What we see instead is holiness coming down in grace and, in Christ, going forth against our sin in triumph.”
-David F. Wells, The Courage to be Protestant | HT: Of First Importance