but, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct, for it is written, “Be holy because I [am] holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16 NABRE
Peter writing a circular letter to many communities in Asia Minor is challenging them to live a good life. He is speaking to them about living a holy life. To be holy is to be separated, to be other than those who are not holy. It also means to be like God. God is referred to as the Holy One many places in scripture. Jesus too is referred to as the Holy One. To be holy Peter is challenging the community to change its conduct, to act like God would want and to act like God. The part of the verse quoted comes from the Book of Leviticus, a book of laws shared with the Hebrew people, attributed to Moses. We read, “Speak to the whole Israelite community and tell them: Be holy, for I, the LORD your God, am holy.” (Leviticus 19:2) Soon after this verse we have the verse about loving neighbor as we love ourselves (see Leviticus 19:18). Peter ties holiness to a covenant God made with the people of Israel. Holy conduct is not just virtuous behavior but is defined as an impersonal ethical system. It is rooted in the character of the Father and His holiness. Because He is holy we should act in a holy ways as well. God’s conduct is more than just behavior, it includes values, norms and commitments that constitute an entire way of life. We are called to this conduct.
Is it possible for us to be holy as the Father is holy? Of course; we are made in the image of God and are called be like God in every way possible. Jesus came to teach about the Father so we could know the Father well enough to imitate the Father and the Son, both examples for how to live our life.
Do you conduct yourself in a holy manner? Can others recognize your holiness when they see you?Jesus came to teach about the Father so we could know the Father well enough to imitate the Father and the Son, both examples for how to live our life. Click To Tweet
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