As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the one who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy. (1 Peter 1:14-16)
Pastor John’s Notes:
The call to holiness would distress any reasonable person. If we would be honest about our actual spiritual condition, we immediately question how holiness is even possible for us. And were we to consider what we truly are as members of a fallen race, we would be absolutely correct. God is holy, and we are not. But there is great hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Through the work of Christ on the cross and the outpouring of his Holy Spirit, we can live in newness of life.
The work of our redemption is in two parts. First, the cross of Jesus Christ is the means by which we find the forgiveness of our sin. Jesus died in our place so that we might be redeemed and restored to God. This first work is called “justification.” Jesus’ atoning death is a sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the entire world, yet God will not force his salvation upon any of us. God invites us to respond by accepting Christ as Savior. When we do so, we enter into a new, permanent, and restored relationship with our Creator. But this is only the beginning.
The second part of our redemption is in the work of the Holy Spirit. This work is called “sanctification” which means the process by which we are made holy. Sanctification is an ongoing and life-long process by which we grow more and more into the likeness of God. It is through the process of sanctification that we begin to taste of holiness. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and shows us new ways of living. We no longer conform to the ways of the world but are transformed by the renewing of our mind. By the Spirit, we learn the ways of holiness.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the salvation you have made possible in Jesus Christ. Thank you also for the holiness that comes through the working of your Holy Spirit. Teach me how to listen to the Spirit and learn the ways of holiness. And let the practice of holiness become the joy of my life.