1 Peter 1:14-16 says, “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
1) What is Holiness?
Holiness is defined as the state of being sacred. Holiness means living apart from this world and obey God’s commands.
For middle and high school youth especially, Holiness can be perceived as being a ‘nerd’. Many people see it as more of a vice than a virtue. Because these students refuse to participate in various events, holding true to their convictions, they are deemed ‘uncool’. What would it be like if you were called ‘holy’ by your peers? What would your reaction be? Even in the Church, Holiness is becoming increasingly rare.
We try to add God to our lives with little or no change on our parts. That is not the message of the true Gospel. The Old Testament prophets called for radical change for those who would trust and obey God. Just take a look at Jonah 3. Repentance was indispensable to those who loved God. When we accept Christ, the Holy Spirit is in us. Therefore, we should change our ways, our thinking, and our actions. When we are saved, we are called to live a life of holiness.
2) Holiness does not come naturally or easily.
What are some of the stresses that you face in your daily life? Do you react to those stresses in a way that glorifies God?
We have to be careful to to take the idea or ‘enforcement’ of holiness too far, like the Pharisees. Matthew 5:20 says, “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven”. It is not until the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus that Peter truly understands what Holiness is.
3) To be holy is the opposite of being ‘common’ or ‘profane’.
As I said in, The Ten Commandments as an Act of Grace, we are called to be a people set apart. 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” Leviticus says, “be holy for I am holy” multiple times. We are supposed to be in this world but not be of it. We cannot be common people. We must be a people set apart, and be willing to share the Gospel in a loving manner.
4) God desires obedience, especially in the realm of purity.
Peter says that we are to be holy in all of our conduct. We cannot compartmentalize our lives. We are to be holy by not being conformed to our former lusts. We must live not as the culture calls us, but as God does. Romans 1:21-25 says, “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.”
We must be willing to obey God over all else. Think to yourself, are you dead to your sin?
1 John 3:9 says, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.”
Let us be holy because God is holy.