As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But 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 14-16
Hello readers. Welcome to my heart. Let's begin.
This verse sheds some light on this new revelation I've been having about how tense the Gospel is---And I'm starting to love it. For the ones who understand the Gospel, you may have not even realized that there is tension. Here's what I know about us.
When we are forced to live up to a certain standard, we are resistant. And I don't know why we respond to correction with resistance, but we do. And the weight of this text above, God is telling us to be holy because He is holy.
God and His sense of humor. Be holy like Him. And especially since throughout the Bible, it's clear that we are unable to live up to God's law. And throughout the Bible, we see time and time again faithful and well respected men of God who seem to be deeply in tune with God is falling short and God is just simply going to say, "Hey kid. Be holy like me."
But imagine this. Let's look at the reality. Have you ever been around someone that you hold to a high standard? Like let's say your favorite celebrity walks into the room you're in right now. And innately, you feel this tension to impress them. Maybe if you're prideful it's the other way around, but all of us have someone that we hold to a high esteem, to a high standard, and the thought of that person walking into the room makes us want to be sure we're on our best behaviors.
We don't ever want to admit this. But to keep it simple, if your parents walked into the room with you right now, you will more than likely talk and act a little differently than you would if they wasn't in the room. Or if your favorite pastor walked into the room, you'd be extra careful to be sure you're life giving and serving with a smile. Or if your favorite actor came into the room as you're acting, you would want them to see your best performance. Or if your significant other is present when you're doing anything, you're going to want to impress them.
So why is that?
When we are pressed up against someone or something that we set apart from us, it forces us to consider conformity. It demands us to. If you're in a nice restaurant, you're not going to just kick your shoes off and eat with a plastic spork you just so happen to have in your purse. The set apartness of that restaurant will force you to consider conforming to how the environment expects for you to act.
Here's my point.
The Gospel invites this kind of response to God---Even though many of us don't. I'm starting to think that people have an innate understanding of how holy God is and how set apart He is. Is it not interesting how when we sin we run from God? To me, that is an accurate response for something such as sin. Now I'm not saying that's a CORRECT response, but it is accurate one. Meaning that since God is so set apart and so holy and we are so much of an offense to His very nature with our sinful nature, we should respond with hiding and shame. But the Gospel invites you into fellowship with Him. The Gospel tells us that we are able to enter the throne of grace boldly because we know that God doesn't see our sin because of the precious blood of Jesus covers us and is our righteousness and so therefore we are seen as holy and blameless before Him. Not that we are holy and blameless on our own accord and because of our own actions, but because Jesus, God Himself in the flesh, became the sacrifice to pay the debt of our sins.
So how are we to be holy like God is holy?
We must respond to the Gospel. We must respond to the fact that we are invited into fellowship with Him. And from that response, we press up against God's holiness and how set apart He is, and then we are forced to consider conforming to Him. So your starting point is here. The Gospel.
Your starting point is here. That you are accepted and loved because of what Jesus did. So that gets you in fellowship with God. That gets you in the door. Now as we press up against His holiness, it's going to force us to consider conforming to Him. This is why relationship is so vital. It's the catalyst of how we pursue holiness. We don't pursue holiness to be accepted by God, that's already been done with Jesus. But we pursue holiness to be like Him and to know Him. And we become more like Him the more we get to KNOW HIM.
You cannot miss that. The Gospel of Jesus invites you into fellowship with God, and from that fellowship and from being in relationship with Him we are forced to consider conforming to his holiness. So you're not going to hate sin as much as God hates it if you're not near Him. You're not going to value His character if you're not close to Him. So get near Him. Respond to the Gospel and get near Him. There is where you'll find your pursuit of holiness with be truly freeing and life enriching.
The starting point is God. You have to know where you are before you can get where you want to go. We must realize our condition as sinners, imperfect in every way. And that it'll take being near a holy God to even know and understand what holiness is---and responding to the fact that the Gospel invites you into knowing Him.