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"Be Holy, For I Am Holy"

1 Peter 1:13-16


"Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be  self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus  Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you  had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be  holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

(1  Peter 1:13-16)

As those who have experienced the "new birth" (1 Pet 1:3), Christians are  expected to live on a higher moral plane than the ungodly citizens of the world.  The life style expected of us is called "holy living".

According to Vine's Dictionary of New Testament Words, holiness (or  sanctification) "signifies separation to God. It is the state predetermined by  God for believers, into which in grace He calls them, and in which they begin  their Christian course and so pursue it." "Believers are to be 'perfecting  holiness in the fear of God' (2 Cor 7:1), i.e., bringing holiness to its  predestined end, whereby they may be found 'unblamable in holiness' in the  Parousia (second coming) of Christ" (Thess 3:13).

The lifestyle of holiness is not one of arrogance or one that should be chosen  simply out of a desire to be different. According to the definition is an effort  on our part to fit into the plan of God for our lives.

The call of Jesus to live a holy life is a call to nobility. But it is also a  call to a strenuous life. Christianity is not a leisurely lifestyle designed for  wimps, cowards and unmotivated sloths. It is an obstacle course designed for  those who are prepared and hardened for the task. In fulfilling this holy  calling we will be required to put forth an all inclusive spiritual, mental and  even physical effort. Note from our text Peter's list of demands.

Prepare Your Minds For Action The KJV says: ". . . gird up the loins of your mind . . ." The imagery is of the  ancient oriental who wore loose, flowing robes, so that, in order to run, fight,  or apply themselves to any work, it was necessary to bind the garments close  around the waist. If we are to get any serious work done in God's vineyard we  must be mentally prepared to get down to business. We must have our minds in  constant preparation to discharge the duties, or to endure the trials of life --  like those who were prepared for labor, for a race, or for a conflict. Let us,  therefore, set our minds to the task of holiness.

Be Self-controlled The need for Christians to exercise self-control or to be of sober mind is often  mentioned in the New Testament ( 1 Thess 5:6; 1 Tim 3:2; Titus 1:8; 2:2,6; 1 Pet  4:7; 5:8). The word means to be free from intoxicants, but is used  metaphorically in the New Testament to refer to self control, thinking soberly,  and is often used in connection with watchfulness. There are many things that  can intoxicate our minds and render us useless in serving God. Such things as  pride, self-will, arrogance, greed, revenge, hate, slothfulness, lust, etc. We  must constantly be on guard against those things which would weaken our resolve  to be faithful, take our minds off the goal or convince us that there is some  better or easier way. The way of spiritual self-discipline is not the way of the  world, but it is the only way to make it to heaven. When Jesus said; "But small  is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it"  (Matt 7:14), I believe the few he had in mind are those who exercise enough  self-control to attain holiness in God's sight.

Set Your Hope Fully On The Grace to be Given You  When Jesus Christ is Revealed

Another requirement of holiness is a strong, complete and never failing hope.  Our hope for heaven is secure and well grounded because it is based on the  unchangeable nature of God. In speaking of this foundation, the writer of  Hebrews says: "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure"  (Heb 6:19). The hope is available, but not everyone has taken hold of it. Even  some Christians are not firm in their hope for heaven. Thus, they are weak and  susceptible to temptation. Just as the writer of the book of Hebrews appeals to  God's history of keeping promises with Abraham and others as the basis for their  faith, we must also be familiar with the history of God's dealings with mankind  and that awareness will work toward bolstering our own hope. If it is your hope  (desire, plus expectation) to live with God in heaven when this life is over, it  will then be much easier for you to live holy.

As Obedient Children, Do Not Conform to the Evil  Desires


Holiness requires that we obey God's commands, recognizing a need to pull away  from ignorance and evil (two constant companions). Romans 12:1,2 states; " . . .  offer yourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -- which is your  spiritual worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but  be transformed by the renewing of your mind." What patterns of living did you  have to break in order to become a Christian? What patterns of living should you  now break in order to attain the level of holiness that God requires of you?

Be Holy, Because I Am Holy

Finally, God both challenges and encourages us with the reminder that he is  holy, and becoming so ourselves makes us more like him. In the very beginning  God created us in His image. Part of that image, I believe, is the ability to  attain holiness. Even though our holiness is attained though the shed blood of  Jesus, we must still live a lifestyle which reflects that holiness. And this we  can do if the ultimate goal of holiness (i.e. heaven) means more to us than  anything else this life has to offer.

By Ed Barnes From Expository Files 6.12; December 1999

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