Tonight as I was reflecting on a passage in first Peter with my missional community we came across that familiar phrase “You shall be holy for I am holy.” I’ve heard that phrase used a lot in certain circumstances where someone was attempting to tell me I had to do something or I couldn’t do something in order to be holy, but tonight as I reflected on the verse I noticed the word “shall” or “will.” Hear Peter quotes God saying, “You will be holy because I am holy.” I find this interesting because just as God commanded the Earth to be formed He commanded us to be holy. But He didn’t leave us with a task in which we must earn or work for this holiness. He simply commands us to be holy.
This has several ramifications. The first is that God in His sovereignty does not design anything wrong. God has created us in His infinite wisdom and we will be what He wants us to be. Now we can resist this work of God in our life but God in His power will see His work accomplished whether it is through His grace or His discipline.
The latter part of this point shows us the power of this holiness. If we are going to be holy we can’t do it on our own. We must appeal to the power of God’s holiness. We manufacture a false sense of holiness when we try to do it in our own strength. When we approach this with the mindset that we must be good enough to be like God, to be loved by God, or to be valued by God, we forget the power which drives our ability to be holy in the eyes of God. When we become the driving force of our own holiness our holiness falls short of the glory of God. But when we fear God and pursue Him, He becomes the driving force of our holiness. Then and only then can we be holy as God is holy.