As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:14-16 (ESV)
Holiness is the very essence of God. He is in a class all by himself. None compares with him. He has no equal. He cannot be improved upon. So, when God tells us to be holy like him, he is not telling us to be unique like him, he is telling us to put away everything that defiles us; emulate his holiness. Though we cannot make ourselves holy we do have a part to play in our quest for holiness.
Having become children of God we should not act the way we did before God saved us. The scriptures are inundated with commands for us to pursue holy conduct. The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:20-22 ESV)
To the Ephesians Paul wrote, But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:20-24 ESV) Paul wrote to the Corinthians church, Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 7:1 ESV) And to the church in Rome Paul wrote, I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1 ESV)
As we said before, we cannot make ourselves holy neither can we pursue holiness in our own strength. Through the scriptures God has promised that our efforts to pursue holiness will bear fruit. Ephesians 1:4 says, . . . even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. (ESV) Not only did God choose us to be holy, Jesus died on the cross to make us holy. Paul wrote, . . . he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him. (Colossians 1:22 ESV)
God glorifies or makes holy every person he justifies or saves (Romans 8:29-30). It is God’s grace that trains us (Titus 2:11-12) and the Spirit who guides us into all truth (John 16:13). Peter said that we are being built up as a holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:5). And lest we forget that God is working in us, He who calls you is faithful he will surely do it. (1 Thessalonians. 5:24)
Is your aim to live a holy life? Have you asked God to make you holy?
Scriptures for meditation:
2 Timothy 1:9; 2:21