“Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 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 Peter 13-16
Is it hard to define holiness? I heard a sermon this week from a pastor preaching on this very text. He said, “Anything that is holy is like God. If you want to be holy then be like God.”
Sometimes our world will tell us that holiness changes. Truth is relative, and that there is no absolute truth (which in itself is a statement of absolute truth!) Our culture shifts but often away from biblical morals and values. We shift away from God. It’s problematic for the churches who buy into the lie that the Bible is not as inclusive as it should be and we should accept every lifestyle. Once you give in on one sin issue, then what’s to prevent everything else from being accepted as “ok.”
I feel like Peter’s words have to be spoken with each new generation of humans. We tend to “conform to the evil desires” we had before we met Jesus. But when we meet him, we shift, we change, we deny ourselves, turn from sin, recognize evil and turn to the Lord. We do not conform anymore to these evil/sinful desires. Each generation must accept or reject this charge — “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.”
What does it mean to be holy in all things? It means to be set a part, different than the world, and the same as God. To be holy, as my preacher friend said, means to be “like God.” What, or who rather is our standard for being like God? Jesus and the Bible. We must have a standard for truth and his Word is true. It does not change like so many argue. It is not culturally irrelevant, out of date or out of touch. Human nature does not change nor does God’s nature. Our measure for holiness is God in the flesh in the person of Jesus Christ,
No one said holiness was easy, indeed it’s the most difficult thing! To deny one’s self, turn to God, reject sin, and live by the Holy Spirit is our one goal. Have you made it your focus today?
“O Lord God, you are good. I am but a servant of the Most High, a child seeking to bless my Father. I am so often not holy, so often far from your heart. Would you remold and remake me? Would you help me change to be like Jesus? Come now, Holy Spirit, fill my heart with your goodness and grace. Help me do the inner work in my life so I might share God’s love with those trapped in sin and blinded by deception. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen