James MacDonald - Senior Pastor - Harvest Bible Chapel
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 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.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
-1 Peter 1:13-19
God has revealed to us a one-word description of the Christian life; holiness. Peter explained it this way:“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” (1 Peter 1:14-15).
That word conduct means“in all you do, in your behavior.” Being holy means “being set apart.” It means different—not weird, bizarre, or obnoxious—but set apart. Peter basically said, “Don’t be squeezed into the pattern of the world the way you used to be when you lived in ignorance.”
In your BC days (Before Christ), you didn’t know any better. You may have thought that illicit sexual experiences, addictive substances, or selfish pursuits would make you happy, but now you know they’re like quicksand. Maybe you used to think that being a Christian would be restrictive and stiff, but now you see that God’s laws are established for your own good. When God says, “Don’t,” He means, “Don’t hurt yourself.” The standard of holiness is a protection of your happiness, given by a loving Father.
You’re a different person than you once were. You have different priorities, passions, pastimes, and practices. Your goals have changed. You now want what God wants for you. You have heard the call to holiness, and because of God’s Spirit in you, it’s what your heart hungers for.
But remember, “be holy” actually means“be becoming holy.” It’s a process. Holiness is formed over a lifetime; it’s not like poof—the moment you turn to Jesus, you’re the final thing. Holiness comes by trying, failing, and continually learning to live a life set apart from the world’s mold.
Holiness takes root in your life as you get into God’s Word and with God’s people, increasingly surrendering your mind and your body to the life God has called you to.
Here’s the good news. It’s happening today. God is pouring His character into you with every righteous decision you make to be like His Son.
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.