Be Ye Holy!

4:25 pm holiness, hope

Holiness is a necessary aspect of relationship with God. I will be your God and ye shall be my people.  “Be ye holy for I am holy” saith the LORD (I Pet. 1:13-16).  The people of God are defined by holiness.  Those who belong to God by virtue of redemption (I Cor. 6:19-20) are called to holiness.  Paul states, “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness” (I Thess. 4:7).  Without holiness, no man shall see God (Heb. 12:14).
In I Pet. 1:13-16, Peter gives several imperatival participles that direct us in living the Christian life.  An imperatival participle has the force of a command.  There are four given in these passages:  be decisive, be sober, be setting your hope on the heavenly inheritance and be holy.
Be Decisive
In v. 13, Peter says, “Gird up the loins of your mind.”  We often say, “Get a grip on yourself.”  We mean the same thing that Peter states.  Instead of falling apart, stay focused and determined.  Be decisive.  Decisiveness precedes action.
Be Sober
Soberness is a steady state of mind which weighs things aright and enables us to make right decisions.  The opposite of sobermindedness is impaired judgment.  When faced with making important decisions about life and following God, we must make good and correct decisions.  We need knowledge of the truth and sound judgment in order to make good decisions.
Be Setting Your hope
Peter says, “…hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (v. 13).  Set your hope with finality on the heavenly inheritance.  Peter mentions this inheritance in I Pet. 1:4, “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” Hope and grace are tied together just like faith and hope are tied together.  If we have no faith, then there is no hope.  If we have no grace, then there is no hope.  Consequently, hope and holiness are tied together. If there is no holiness, then there is no hope.
Be Holy
If we have hope, then we purify our hearts before God and pursue godliness and righteousness (I John 3:3).  As obedient children…we are begotten by God through His Word (I Pet 1:22-23).  We are redeemed by the blood of Christ (I Pet. 1:18-19).  Since we have been bought with a price, we belong to God and must glorify God in our body and in our spirit which are God’s.  We pursue God and imitate Him (Eph. 5:1).  We imitate His holiness.  Peter expresses this both negatively and positively.  He states, “…not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance” (v. 14).  To fashion refers to the design of life.  Former refers to life before becoming a Christian.  Ignorance indicates a lack of knowledge of the truth. In the former life, before becoming a Christian, they had lived in ignorance of God and the truth and so pursued the lusts of the flesh.  Now that they have been redeemed, they have a new focus and a new purpose.  They live to glorify God in the pursuit of holiness.  Paul declares, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (II Cor. 7:1).  Positively, Peter commands, “Be holy.”  The contrast is with the former life.  The comparison is with God.  “Be ye holy, for I am holy” is a quotation from Leviticus 11:44-45.  God loves everything that is good and right and hates evil.  In imitation of God, we must hate evil and love good.
The pure in heart shall see God (Matt. 5:8).  The pure in heart eliminate lying, murder, the entire process of drunkenness, indiscriminate divorce, fornication, adultery, cursing and taking God’s name in vain, lasciviousness and all manner of evil.  Christians must strive to maintain the distinctiveness between themselves and the world.  They must maintain holiness or they will never see God.  No holiness, no hope!

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