Summary: We are called to live holy lives
1 PETER 1:13Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." 17Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. 18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. 22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25but the word of the Lord stands forever." And this is the word that was preached to you.
Be holy in all you do! WOW! Who among is can do that? You don’t REALLY expect us to be holy, do you God? Well....YES! He not only expects you to be holy, but warns us that there are consequences to NOT being holy. As a matter of fact, our text says that He has CALLED you to be holy. So what’s your excuse?
Fist, we should define holy. When I used to think of holy, I would think of someone dressed in robes, very stoic.....spending most of their time praying and fasting. While these things can be considered holy, we can be holy and live holy lives as we are called to do in our normal living. I looked up "holy" in the Wikipedia Encyclopedia on-line.
Holiness, or sanctity, is the state of being holy or sacred, that is, set apart for the worship or service of God . The early Reformers, who were often scholars of ancient Greek and also borrowed from Jewish scholarship, recognized that holiness is an attribute of God, and holiness is always part of the presence of God. Yet they also recognized that practical holiness was the evidence of the presence of God in the converted believer. Martin Luther, viewed God’s grace (and therefore God’s holiness), as an invasion of the life....and well it SHOULD be! Actions that demonstrated holiness would spring up, not premeditated, as the believer focused more and more on his or her relationship with Christ. This was the life of faith, according to Luther, a life in which one recognizes that the sinful nature never departs, yet grace invades and draws the person after Christ. Holiness also means the reshaping of a person through spiritual rebirth....or being "born again.".
I like that....set apart for the worship and service of God. Isn’t that a good definition for a Christian? Holiness is an attribute of God and part of the presence of God. Holiness is "the evidence of the presence of God in the Christian." Can your friends see your holiness? Whenever we exhibit the attributes of Christ, we are being holy. Our text tells us that we should be holy in all we do...that means that we should exhibit Christ-like ways in ALL we do. How many of us do that?
We were coming back from Ft Worth the other day and, as usual I had the cruise control on coming down the highway. See, I have to use the cruise control because if I’m not careful when I drive, my natural tendency is to "speed up" and try to keep up with all the other cars on the road. I really have to fight this......even when you drive the speed limit, cars get on your bumper and act like they’re gonna run you over if you don’t get out of the way! When they zoom around me, I want to speed up.....zoom around some people too!
I got to thinking.....sometimes as Christians, we have the urge to over-ride our cruise control, if you will. We know the safe speed is posted, but we get in a hurry! Now, we know too, the consequences of "over-riding" the cruise control, don’t we? For one thing, it’s usually unsafe. You could get involved in an accident. It could end up costing you your life. Whenever you get ahead of God, you’re headed for an accident that could possibly cost you your eternal life.