God the Father repeatedly commanded the children of Israel, “Be holy” (Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7). He said, “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” The concept of following the example of God is not limited to following the Son, as we are commanded in the New Testament. The Israelites of old were commanded to follow the example of God the Father and to take on His holy attributes as well.
The word “holy” is defined in several ways in Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, including, “pure, sinless, upright, holy,” and, “set apart for God, to be, as it were, exclusively his.” Jesus is identified as “holy” in the Scriptures (Mark 1:23-24; Luke 1:35; Acts 3:14-15; 4:27-30). Jerusalem was called “the holy city” (Matthew 4:5); inspired men of old were called “holy prophets” (Luke 1:70; 2 Peter 3:2); the celestial beings in heaven are “His holy angels” (Matthew 25:31); Paul writes of “the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). And, of course, the third Person of the Godhead is the Holy Spirit.
As Christians, we are not only expected to be holy, we are commanded to be holy. How important is holiness in the life of a child of God? Read Hebrews 12:14; Matthew 5:8. Just as the Hebrews writer says faith is needed to please God (Hebrews 11:6), in 12:14 he says that holiness is required to “see the Lord.”
To be holy is to be different from the world. If we are “set apart for God…exclusively his,” then we must lose our minds and take on the mind of Christ. Read 1 Peter 1:13-16. “Not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance.” Those who are raised in the church have a definite advantage, as they are taught from a very young age what is right and wrong. But those outside the faith chase after selfish desires, ignorant of the truth.
Read 1 Peter 2:4-5; 2:9-10. When the Lord adds a person to His church, He adds them to “a holy priesthood” and “a holy nation.” We repent of sin, turning away from the things that war against God’s will. Your friends are going to think it’s weird that you oppose the things the world openly accepts, whether it is foul language, sexual sins (both the heterosexual and the homosexual variety), alcohol and drug use, and the like; you might be called names, suffer loss of social status, or even physical persecution. Peter says by inspiration that we should expect such things. Read 1 Peter 4:1-4.
What can we do to help ourselves be holy as God is holy? What do the following Scriptures suggest?
— Psalm 1:1-2 – be careful where you walk, stand, and sit, and meditate on God’s Word
— 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 – watch out for temptation, and recognize God’s “way of escape”
— 1 Corinthians 15:33 – choose your friends wisely
— 2 Timothy 2:22 – run away from sin and run toward righteousness
— 1 John 1:9 – recognize our sin, confess it and repent
— Romans 12:1-2 – commit yourself fully to God’s will
— Philippians 3:12-16 – be motivated by the goal of heaven
The more time we spend in the Scriptures, the better equipped we will be to guard against sin and live the holy life God demands. Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
As we go about our lives this week, let us make a concentrated effort to lose our minds, and allow Christ’s attitude of holiness be in us.