1 Peter 1:13-16 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
In answer to the question that is contained in the title… Yes, we are to be holy! by faith in Christ’s shed blood (Romans 5:9) we are holy in God’s sight, as if never having sinned (positional holiness). This holiness is to extend to our every day experience and is possible by not only His resurrection from the dead (Romans 6:6-14) but through our being regenerated in the new birth, as the Holy Spirit comes to dwell with us. In addition we are called to be (be being) filled with the Holy Spirit, which amplifies our ability to walk in holiness without which none will see the Lord (Romans 8:11, Ephesians 5:18).
The Holy Spirit makes any man who is absolutely surrendered to the Savior holy; that person lives a life of being set apart from the world and set apart to God, that is powerful testimony of Christ. In this post we will dig deeper into our call to be holy.
OUR BE HOLY IS SIMILAR TO HIS “I AM HOLY”
When dividing this phrase “Be holy, for I am holy”, we come to understand the word for our “Be holy” is the same as His “for I am holy”. We found in our last blog that God’s “holy” means to be sacred, “consecrated” and “set apart”. His holiness also means to be completely other and above all that He has created, in this respect He alone is HOLY, yet in Christ, we share in the benefit of His unique HOLY.
Ephesians 1:17-21-18b that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
Ephesians 2:4-7 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Aside from that sharing, lets look a bit deeper into our holy being similar to God’s holy. In the first place we are “sacred”. Now God being sacred means deeply inherently righteous and morally pure; no thing and no person is as sacred as God. This relates to our being washed in the blood of the Lamb of our sin. Our accounts being cleaned and our very being removed of all stain of sin. To the angels, the world and the kingdom of darkness we are sacred vessels.
Secondly, God is the epitome of being consecrated. This means that in His holiness He does not accept nor allow Himself to be defiled by darkness. The word declares that our holy God dwells in light which is unapproachable (I Timothy 6:16) and that in Him there is no darkness nor shadow of turning (James 1:17), which means that He won’t be influenced whatsoever by darkness. Consecration in our being holy, means that we as sacred vessels of God, refuse to be influenced or sullied by the world, the flesh, or the devil. In this we turn from our bent toward self, by yielding to the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:11-13). In this see our being holy as He is, means we maintain our sacred status, by refusing to be unrighteous, by yielding to the Holy Spirit.
Thirdly, we understand our being holy as He is holy means we are set apart like God. God’s set apart, is His unique otherness that sets Him above all His creation. Further still this is seen in God being 100% about fulfilling His will and purpose in His creation. Yet let us remember that this is not self motivated any more than His desire to reveal His glory. We remember that God is love, meaning that His will and purpose is expressed and pursued for the benefit of His creation. Wow.
Similarly, we are set apart unto God. This means that we are to be different and unique among all humanity. We are to be uncommon in the midst of everyone else’s commonality, selfless in the midst of selfishness and holy and truly righteous in our actions. Yet all of this is because in being holy we are set apart for God’s purpose, will and pleasure. This means our being holy reveals to the world that we as faithful bond-servants have no will other than what pleases our Master, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, our “be holy, for I am holy” is in opposition to the half-baked view of the Church in America (in-general), which tries to convince those who are still sinners and outside of the kingdom, that we we are just like them accept forgiven. Truth be told, if we are truly saved it is a lie to declare we are just like the world only forgiven–or worse yet to declare I’m not perfect, I sin all the time. If you use this to endear the lost to listen to you, PLEASE STOP; learn the gospel and preach the cross. Oh and stop refusing to yield the the Spirit of God, that your positional holiness becomes practical.
1 John 3:4-9 Whoever commits (continues to practice) sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin (continues to practice). Whoever sins (continues to practice) has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins(continues to practice) is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin (continues to practice), for His seed remains in him; and he cannot (continue to practice) sin , because he has been born of God.
How we accomplish this “be holy for I am holy”, can still produce anxiety, but if we are willing to take a walk with God, we will find “be holy, for I am holy” a delight, not a burden. More on that next time.