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Be Holy for God is Holy

“But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:15-16)


The Christian is called to holiness - that is an undebatable reality that is part of God’s plan for salvation. And while it is important to know that holiness is God’s mandate for us, it is equally important to know the reason why holiness is God’s mandate for us. God is holy - this is the very reason why we are called unto holiness.


In 1 Peter 1, the apostle Peter writes to persecuted Christians who had been blamed for the fires that had destructed the city of Rome. To strengthen and encourage them, he reminds them of the great and precious hope of salvation they have received through Jesus Christ. And as a result of having such hope, they are to live in holiness. John echoes this in 1 John 3:3 where he said, “And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure.”


But why exactly are believers called unto holiness? Like John did in the verse mentioned above, Peter also gives us a straightforward answer, “But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ “ God is holy and this is the very reason why we are called unto holiness.


As we seek to understand our calling unto holiness, we must first understand the holiness of God. We know that God’s holiness refers to His infinite transcendence and consummate perfection. In this regard, He is absolutely above us and completely distinct from us. This definition of holiness is only fitting for God. Because only God is infinitely transcendent and consummately perfect. Yet there is a secondary level to God’s holiness and that refers to His purity and moral perfection. And it is this holiness that God calls us to emulate and embody.


It is important to note that while God calls us to be holy because He is holy, we can never be as holy as God is. God has perfect purity and absolute moral excellence. We do not. But while we can never attain the extent and degree of God’s holiness, He can definitely teach to us and form in us a holiness patterned after His own.


Dear believer, God’s holiness is the basis of your calling unto holiness. Having been chosen by a holy God, redeemed by a holy God, and continually transformed by a holy God, He has commanded us to bear His holy image. After all, our holiness is made possible only because it is the fruit of our holy God’s work in our lives and because it is the pattern through which the continued presence of God’s holy Word is made manifest in our lives. While the pursuit of holiness is not easy, we need not fear. The same holy God who called us unto holiness is the same holy God who will sanctify us unto holiness.





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