You shall be holy, for I am holy (1 Peter 1:16 NASB95).
Holiness is the sum total of God. During a description of heaven in Revelation 4:9, the angels never stop singing…
Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.
The Bible never describes God as Love, Love, Love or Faith, Faith, Faith or Judge, Judge, Judge.
The Bible chooses “holy” as the best description of God.
The Greek word for holiness slants two directions meaning “like God” and “set apart.” The foundation for the holiness taught in the New Testament is grace, and without experiencing grace, trying to become like God becomes legalistic and defeating.
When the Apostle Peter teaches holiness in 1 Peter 1:13-16, he begins with grace.
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ (v. 13).
Determining to live according to God’s nature by imitating His character, sets up overwhelming defeat – without grace. Grace is power, love, and forgiveness.
Peter says that grace comes by revelation of Jesus.
Holiness is loving Jesus more than the actions and attitudes of mistakes that demean and then define our lives. Our inability to maintain holiness through works (stifling obedience) quickly becomes apparent with any type of holiness vow.
Example of holiness vow: I’m making a commitment to not do this. I’m not doing this. I’m not thinking about this. Never, ever. Uh, oh, I’m thinking about this. I am a sinner. I’m doing this. I will never be forgiven.
Grace comes through a relationship with Jesus. We love Him more than what distracts from who He is and what He wants for our lives.
We say “yes” or “no” because we love Jesus.
Peter continues teaching holiness in verse 14:
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance (NASB95).
The Passion Translation reads:
As God’s obedient children, never again shape your lives by the desires that you followed when you didn’t know better.
Obedience becomes stifling without grace and a relationship with Jesus.
Our Creator has designed a narrow path of His will for us. Faithfulness, love, fidelity, hope, and faith keep us on that narrow path. To be holy means “to become like Jesus” and to “be set apart” for our created purposes.
To live a life of testimony, with the story written by God before creation…
Grace, revelation, relationship, holiness – the path to joy.