But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:15-16
Be ye holy is the main verb in 1 Peter1:14-16 and it is an emphatic command upon all believers. This is not just some nice idea or even a pious dream. It is commanded by the One Who called us and we should be reminded that we were called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). It is His purpose that we bear a family resemblance – That we be conformed to His image (Romans 8:29).
In John 17, Jesus is praying to God and He refers to Him as HOLY FATHER (John 17:11). When God the Father called us unto Himself, He did so with A HOLY CALLING (2 Timothy 1:9). Derived from the word “holy” in the original language are a number of other words in Scripture — sanctified, set apart, and saint. God called us to be set apart from the rank and file of humanity to be holy, physically and morally pure, blameless and consecrated. By right of creation and redemption, we are His property.
In Philippians 2:12, God commands us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure (2:13). In other words, we are to work out what God has worked in. When you were saved through faith in Christ Jesus, God credited holiness to your account (I1 Corinthians 5:21). …but you were washed, but ye ARE SANCTIFIED, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:11).
We are called to be saints (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2) and indwelt by God’s HOLY SPIRIT so that we could live SAINTLY. The process of sanctification is our becoming what God has made us positionally in Christ Jesus — HOLY. Our text states that we are to be holy IN ALL MANNER OF CONVERSATION, speaking of our life style or our behavior. And the very God of peace SANCTIFY you wholly (1 Thessalonians 5:23a). By God’s grace, we are positionally holy and it is our responsibility to live out what God has worked into our lives.
Thank God today that He has made you positionally holy in Christ. Commit yourself anew to becoming practically what you already are in Christ.
Who is like unto Thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like Thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? Exodus 15:11
In the last treatise, we said that God desires us to bear a family resemblance, being conformed to His image. When you begin to understand a little bit of what God is like, you cannot help but be overwhelmed by the immensity of that command (1 Peter 1:15-16). God is without equal.
It was the children of Israel or Moses himself that asked the question, Who is like unto Thee, O LORD, among the gods? They had just witnessed the incredible plagues in Egypt humiliating all of the Egyptian gods. Then they saw the Red Sea open for them and the closing on their enemy. The answer to their question was obvious — no one! There is no other being in the entire universe like God, majestic in holiness, fearful in praise and doing unimaginable wonders. Our God is an awesome God Who wants us to be like Him in holiness.
Repeatedly throughout history, those who have experienced God’s power, grace and blessing have asked this question. Thy righteousness also, O God is very high, Who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee (Psalm 71:19)! Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God (Psalm 77:13)? For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD (Psalm 89:6). Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high (Psalm 113:5)? Have you ever asked that question? The answer is awesome in itself – No one is like Him in power, majesty, holiness and glory.
Since holiness is God’s will, it would seem that our task of being like Christ is impossible. In order to accomplish it we must:
- Cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit PERFECTING HOLINESS in the fear of God (I1 Corinthians 7:1).
- Follow peace with all men, and HOLINESS, without which no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). It is God’s will that we pursue peace and holiness. It is something for which we should be striving toward.
- For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto HOLINESS (1 Thessalonians 4:7).
It is important to recognize that the more we strive toward family resemblance, we have the enablement to accomplish this goal because of who we are in Christ. We must recognize that this is the will of God. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification… (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Sanctification refers to the process of becoming more and more like Christ – HOLY (John 17:17; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Hebrews 13:12). It is the continuing work of the Spirit of God in the inward man to make us holy. He helps us to mature in the faith to the place where we find ourselves sinning less and pleasing Him more. There are many Christians who express the desire to be happy or healthy, but it is not often that we hear Christians say, I want to be holy, and yet this is God’s will for us.
How about your life? Do you sense that you are growing more and more into the likeness of Jesus Christ? Is this a goal of your life? And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24). For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:7).
George Stiekes held successful pastorates in churches in Michigan and Washington among other places. He currently resides in North Carolina and blogs at Reverent Reflections. We recommend his ministry and republish his material by permission.