“but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”” (1 Peter 1:15-16)
So what does Peter say should be our motivation as Christians to live a holy life?
- Is it so we can justly have a “holier than thou” attitude?
- Is it so we can “throw the first stone” at others?
- Is it so we can thank God in our prayers that we’re not like “other sinners” when it comes to our faults?
- Is it so we can earn our way into Heaven?
- Is it so we can get the “credit we deserve” from others?
The answer to the above questions should be a loud and clear, “NO!”
Our motivation (in the context) for striving to live a holy life is so we can draw closer and closer to God through His grace and the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus. Our motivation (in the context) for striving to live a holy life is so we can more easily leave our old life behind in order to embrace the new life that God has made available through Jesus.
Mark it down – along with the pursuit of peace with others, without holiness no one will see God! At least that’s what Hebrews 12:14 says. But at the same time we need to remember that if it were not for the grace of God we could not attain the righteousness that God’s holiness requires in our life (1 Corinthians 15:10; Romans 3:23-26, 5:17-21). Holiness is a call that we can’t ignore, but at the same time we can’t ignore our mistakes or holiness is exactly what we’d be missing out on. This is the very sobriety mentioned by Peter in 1:13 that diverts our focus off of the earthly things and keeps it on the heavenly things.
God wants us to desire a holy life not for selfish ambitions and worldly gain, but rather for the sake of the heavenly benefits that we receive now and for the ones that await us in Heaven in the presence of God. And it is something that we must do; it is something that we can do by God’s grace. Be holy!