“So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:13-16
Of all the attributes of God described in the Bible, holiness is seen most often. Men fell down in the holy presence of God. Leaders, priests, and kings all trembled at the sheer magnitude of His holiness. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.” (Revelation 4:8) And God wants us to be holy.
Scripture puts responsibility for living a holy life squarely on every one of us. If we are to pursue holiness, we are to do something. Yet how often do we ask God to motivate us to stop doing something or to start doing something. What we are saying is that God has not done enough; that if God does more we won’t have to face up to our own responsibility.
No one can attain any degree of holiness without God working in his life, but no one will attain it without effort on his own part. God has made it possible for us to walk in holiness. But He has given to us the responsibility of doing the walking; The bottom line is that holiness is our task, our vocation, our responsibility. Paul exhorted, “So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you…” (Colossians 3:5).
The writer of Hebrews said, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1) The author is asking us to throw off the sin and let us run with perseverance. Clearly he expects us to assume responsibility for running the Christian race. James said, “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7). It is our responsibility to submit to God and resist the devil. Peter said, “And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.” (2 Peter 3:14). It is something we must decide to do.
Being holy is the I.D. card of being a Christian. It means being set aside for Christ and living a life in Him. May each of us purpose within our hearts to pursue a life of holiness day by day.
- Do you see holiness as your responsibility? Why or why not?
- What can we do this week to take personal responsibility for our holiness?