March 5 - 1 Peter 1:13-16

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

1 Peter 1:13-16 – Be Holy

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. 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.” 

These four verses begin Peter's teaching on holiness, the goal of this letter.

The verb that opens this passage literally means, girding the loins of the mind. In other words, gather up anything around you (in the case of first century readers – long robes which might impede their quick action). Preparation comes before hope.  And hope is found in the grace which will be revealed at the coming of Jesus Christ.

Peter writes this letter to the children of God. We are not simply God's children, we are also believers in Him. This new birth that comes from salvation offered by Jesus implies that we are different than we were before. Obedience comes as part of sanctification … being made holy. Passivity is not something that defines a Christian. We can't simply believe and then continue to live as we always have. Christianity is active. We are God's children and obedience to His will is part of that relationship.

When Peter calls his readers to holiness, he doesn't set the bar low, he sets a standard before us. We are to be holy in everything in our lives, just as he who called us is holy. God is the pattern for holiness that we are to follow. It isn't the Law or humanity's rules. It isn't defined by our fears or our limitations. Holiness is defined by God.

And it is this same God who calls us to himself. This isn't an invitation, it is an unmistakable call. It is relentless, it is filled with love. This call brings us out of darkness into the light. This call is filled with grace and our response to it is obedience which leads to holiness.

Holiness is defined by one thing - God.  Be holy, because I am holy.