Summary: Be Holy… How is this even possible? I have a difficult time just being a decent husband and father. How am I supposed to be as holy as God Himself? I’m just human. I make mistakes. Why am I being commanded to do something that seems to be impossible?
Please turn in your Bibles to 1 Peter 1:13-22… [READ]
Our key verses this morning are verses 15-16…
“15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”
Be Holy… How is this even possible? I have a difficult time just being a decent husband and father. How am I supposed to be as holy as the One True Living God? I’m just human. I make mistakes. Why are we being commanded to do something that seems to be impossible?
Does being holy mean that I just need to follow a bunch of rules? A list of things I’m supposed to do and things not to do? Like be nice to others; take care of my parents when they’re older? Or things like don’t steal; don’t cheat? If I’m a good person, then does that make me holy?
Let’s see what the Bible says in Psalm 14:2-3…
“2 The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God. 3 They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.”
And in Isaiah 64:6…
“6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”
What hope do we possible have of becoming holy like God? Both of these, Psalm 14 and Isaiah 64, are in the Old Testament… from the time before Jesus was born… But even in the New Testament, after Jesus, the Apostle Paul says in Galatians 3:1-3…
“1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?”
There were believers in the early church who were still trying to be holy… trying to be acceptable to God… based on their human efforts. They believed that they had to continue to live up to all the rules… the list of all the things to do and not to do in the Old Testament Law.
The Apostle Paul was reminding them of our first point this morning… that holiness is not just based on our OWN EFFORTS at being good… holiness is WHO WE ARE based on our relationship with Jesus Christ.
A. IT’S WHO WE ARE… (POSITIONAL HOLINESS, OUR POSITION IN CHRIST)
Let me explain what I mean… If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then the Bible says that you have been given a new heart… you are a new person… the old person is gone. I used to be a bitter, hateful, angry person before I surrendered my life to Jesus… but Jesus made me a new person. My old self is gone… I am holy because of my position in Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 10:10 says it like this…
“10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
I have been made holy… not because I followed a bunch of rules of things to do and not to do… but because of my faith in Jesus Christ. We will never be holy until we first place our faith in Jesus… and allow Jesus to change us… to make us new… to make us holy… to set us apart from the world.
Are you exhausting yourself trying to be a better son or daughter, to be a better spouse, to be a better mother or father, to be a better person? This is a key difference between Christianity and many other religions…
The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9…
“8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
We cannot earn God’s favor… We cannot earn His love and mercy… We cannot earn holiness through our own efforts. It is a free gift that is being offered to you right now!
“13 for ‘Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?”