“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. 15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”  – 1 Peter 1:13-16. 

It is a good idea to periodically remind ourselves of our purpose as followers of Jesus Christ. We are not called to be happy, but to be holy. In the unique way God created us and relates to us, we are not destined to happiness, nor to health, but to holiness.

The 1 Peter passage is a call to holiness. Holiness has gotten a bad rap over the years. People equate it with religious intransigence and outdated fundamentalism. But nothing could be further from the truth. Being holy is being like God. Because just as the Savior who called us is holy, so we are to be holy in all we do.

This is a passage about practical holiness. To put it that way seems stuffy and boring. But it’s obvious that Peter didn’t feel that way at all. To him, being holy is being like God. And that’s the most exciting thing in the world. Holiness means being so much like God that you change the world. Or to be more precise, holiness means to be so much like God that the world begins to change around you.

But if you doubt my words, would you accept the words of C. S. Lewis? This is what Lewis said about holiness: “How little people know who think that holiness is dull. When one meets the real thing … it is irresistible. If even ten percent of the world’s population had it, would not the whole world be converted and happy before a year’s end?”

People who think holiness is dull and old fashioned don’t understand what it really means. When you meet a truly holy person, you are naturally drawn to them. We’ve all known at least one person that is filled with a kind of contagious joy. They are working to be like God, and they are filled with this joy. They are different. They have left their old ways and have been set apart.

To be holy means to be full of God in every part of life. We must emulate who He is. We aren’t talking about behavior modification. We are talking about spiritual transformation. Living holy is not the path to knowing Jesus. Truly knowing Jesus is the path to living holy. We need to be a generation that follows Jesus with the courage to be different, to be holy as He is holy.   

Discussion questions

  1. What does it mean to be holy on a daily basis?
  2. Ask Jesus to show you how to grow in holiness, in the fear of the Lord and in the hope of His return.