Be holy, because I am holy

  • Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."  1 Peter 1:15-16

    "Holy" is one of those words we generally associate with the "stained glass ghetto", a word only "church folks" use. That may be true, but it's still a great concept. We are called to be like God. Nothing less than that is in view. We are called to be holy.

    We are to show them what God is like. We are to be 'blameless and pure, children of God without fault', shining like 'stars of the universe as we hold out the word of life'.

    And what we see here is that in our quest for holiness God is the standard by which we are to judge ourselves. God is the model for all holiness.

    One of the great mistakes in regard to holiness that we make is that we sometimes act as if other human beings are the standard of holiness. We measure our conduct against others.

    And there are at least two great problems with that. One the one hand we can look at others that are worse than ourselves and we end up feeling very good about our attainments in holiness when in fact we should not. On the other hand, there's the problem with using that to excuse our behavior. People say, "Well, so and so did it so I figured it was all right." They justify their behaviourbe comparing it to someone else.

    But we should never do either of those things. The only standard by which we are to judge ourselves is the holiness of God Himself. Peter here takes a quotation from the Old Testament and applies it to us.

    We are called to be like God. God is the model for our holiness. What Peter says here reminds me of Matthew 5:48 where Jesus said to His disciples, "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

    We are called to be like God. Matthew 5 is about how God treats sinners. We are to treat others like God treats them, rendering them good for evil. And what Jesus tells us there is that we are to treat others that way as well. We are to forgive as God forgives. We are to bless as God blesses. We are to love those who do not love us. We are to be like God.