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Summary: We were made to become more like Jesus and become increasingly holy

Made to Be Holy

1 Peter 1:13-16

September 22, 2013

Morning Service

A businessman was in the process of selling an old warehouse. The building had sat vacant for several months and had fallen prey to vandalism. Doors were damaged, windows were smashed, trash was thrown throughout the place and graffiti had been painted on the walls. As the prospective buyer examined the building, the owner explained that he would repair all of the doors, replace the broken windows, remove the trash and repaint all of the walls in the building. The buyer explained that there would be no need for any of those things. In fact, he planned to buy the building as it was because his plan was to tear down the building and replace it with something new. The interest was not in the building but instead it was in the site itself.

The same is true of God. He looks at the condition of the human heart and understands that we carry a great deal of brokenness and garbage. The goal of God is not to come in and remodel our existing life. Instead, God wants to do a complete removal of the old life and construct a new life in its place.

The holy person is not one who cannot sin. The holy person is one who will not sin. A.W. Tozer

13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

God sets the standard for holiness and it is higher than we can ever imagine. God is completely and absolutely holy. This is a concept that we often have a difficult time grasping.

What is the problem?

When it comes to the matter of holiness, we have an incredible problem. God is completely and absolutely holy and He expects us to be holy. Our problem is that we are not holy, not even close. The Bible says that our righteousness is like filthy rags. When we compare ourselves to God, we come across as unholy.

There must be a way for us to make ourselves holy. We can do extra things to help the church. We can live our lives trying to not do anything wrong. We can make the attempt to obey everything we find in the Bible. In the end, we will never be able to do it. No matter who you are or what stage of spiritual development you are in; there is always something that you struggle with.

The bad news is simple: we will never be able to be holy through our own efforts. No matter what you and I do, we cannot make ourselves holy in the eyes of God. We cannot raise our own level of holiness to match that of God. God expects us to be holy but we cannot do it.

There is a similar problem in the issue of salvation; there is no way to be good enough to get into heaven. God cannot and will not allow sin to enter heaven. There is nothing that we can do to make ourselves right with God. The only way that we can be made right with God is through His divine plan. This is where Jesus comes in. God knew that we could not overcome the results or the penalty of sin, so He sent Jesus to do it for us. Jesus paid the price for sin on the cross and overcame death through the resurrection. Jesus is the one who makes us right with God. We understand this and we accept it.

Why do we not admit that we cannot be holy without help?

We cannot live up to God’s level of holiness. Our lives have been stained by the reality of sin. We may be forgiven but the stains remain. We bear the scars of our sinful nature. The question is what do we do? We depend on God because He never leaves us hopeless.

God sent Jesus to save us from the penalty of sin. God sends the Holy Spirit to cleanse us from the satins of our sin.

Salvation is a free gift through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Sanctification is free grace through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. God fills the life of the believer with the abundance of His personal blessing by filling you with the Holy Spirit. How much more blessed can we get, than to have the presence of Christ in our hearts and the presence of the Spirit within our souls? It is a double portion of God’s power and presence.

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