Pursue Holiness (1 Peter 1:15-17)

But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15–16, AV)

When we were growing up, my dad took us on many outings. Sometimes we would go to a theme park, sometimes to dinner at a restaurant. Often, he would take us to one of his friend’s homes. It did not take long to understand that there was a certain pattern of behavior expected if you were a member of the Hankins’ clan. I mean, that if we acted up, we children most certainly would pay the price when we got home. So, we learned how to behave. Good behavior was not an option for my siblings and me. It was an expectation as a member of the family.

Peter, in writing to believers, calls them to live differently. The basis of this demand is their calling to faith. The Lord has called them to be members of His family. As such, there is an expectation for behavior.

The New Testament refers to believers as saints. The word saint is the Greek, hagios. Strong’s defines this word to mean, “sacred, holy (one, thing), saint” (Strong G40). Believers are considered holy ones. It is difficult for most people to grasp this. One reason is that some coming from a Catholic background define a saint as a believer who stands out in miraculous service. Yet, most struggle with this because they cannot characterize themselves as holy. Moreover, when you consider the holiness of God, it is true that none of us in this life achieve the level of perfection of the Almighty.

Yet, in one sense we are truly declared as holy. The reason is that by the shed blood of Jesus we have been sanctified (Heb 10:10). The word sanctified, hagiazo, means “to make holy” (Strong G37). By the work of Christ on the cross, we who believe are considered holy. Yet, while this is our standing in heaven, it is not the way we always live in a practical manner in this life. So, as mentioned in a previous devotion, there is a process ongoing in our lives, wrought by the Holy Spirit, by which we are being sanctified (Heb 10:14). It means that we are growing in holiness.

This growth in holiness is vital. Moreover, while the Holy Spirit works in us in this process, we also have a responsibility to pursue holiness. Paul wrote, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12–13, AV). For this pursuit of holiness, we have the command and the perfect example of holiness in Jesus Christ. Because He is holy and has called us to His holy family, we have the duty to pursue this standard of perfection. While we realize that we still fall short of this holy standard, we are to pursue it with all vigor.

Try very hard not to have a sin meltdown and seek the holiness of God. We represent a holy family. We are God’s children and we reflect His family.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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