1 Peter 1:15-16
But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
Can I have sex outside of marriage? Is it okay to do drugs? What's wrong with living with my significant other? Can't I lie as long as no one is hurt too badly? What does it mean to be holy? Can I be holy? These are questions of significant consequence. When Peter issues this imperative, he is repeating what God declared to Moses in Leviticus 19:2 and what Jesus affirmed in Matthew 5:48. When Peter wrote this letter, we can imagine the world was much like it is today. The struggles to live life as God requires was just a daunting.
One of the many things that we love about our Heavenly Father is the fact He models the behavior He expects of us. God says, "Be holy because I am holy." How many times did you hear a parent or authority figure say, "Don't do as I do, do as I say!" We will never hear that statement from the Lord. He tells us what He wants us to do, then, He shows us how to do what He wants to be done! God provides the blueprint, the pattern, the ultimate schematic of how we are to live. He doesn't leave it to our own imagination to figure out how we should live out what He requires. He demonstrates it to us. Living holy is entirely possible because the primary obstacle to holy living is completely defeated; that impediment is sin.
Sin is defeated! What does that mean? It means the power of sin to control our lives has been severed. Before Christ came to bear our sin like an ox yoked to plow a field, sin hung around our neck, partnering us with thoughts and actions contrary to the ways of God. No matter how we tried to separate from it, sin held fast to us like a drowning swimmer’s death grip. No amount of prying, pulling or pushing could remove its hold on us. It means the penalty of sin (death) has been satisfied. The death sentenced weighed heavily upon us and was sure to be carried out until Jesus stepped in and took our place. He was bound – we were freed; He died – we lived. Sin’s defeat meant that being holy was not an unattainable dream, but a present reality to be experienced because of our relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Our salvation through Christ is a precious gift purchased by His blood. In this New Year, let your life reflect your thankfulness and gratitude by living in the power of the Spirit that produces holiness in you.
1) Has your definition of being “holy” made you think it was impossible for you to live it?
2) After reading today’s devo, how has your definition of being “holy” changed?
3) How does knowing “sin is defeated” empower you?