"Be holy because I am holy."--1 Peter 1:16
What? I read this and am confused. How can I be holy? How could I ever match the holiness of the Lord?
However, my feeling of inadequacy and incompetence doesn't erase what the scripture says: Be holy.
To be holy is a command.
To be holy is an essential and fundamental command that is necessary to the Christian life.
So, why don't we experience it more?
Why are Christians constantly feeling defeated and won over in their struggle with sin, when really, we should be daily experiencing this holiness?
I think there are several reasons for this.
We have become more concerned about defeating the sin ourselves than we are about how much our sin hurts the very heart of the Lord.
Whenever we think about sin in terms of a victory, it's all about ourself.
However, when we think about sin in terms of obedience, it becomes oriented towards God.
We also don't seem to understand this concept of salvation through faith. We have somehow become more focused on'faith' rather than the effort and responsibility it takes in order to pursue a holy lifestyle.
"Without holiness, no one will see the Lord."--Hebrews 12:14
No, we can never be holy in the sense of attaining our own salvation. Nothing that even the most morally conducted Christian could do would merit their own personal salvation.
The holiness we have before God depends solely on the power of Christ living inside of us.
Like I said before, we can do nothing to earn our own salvation. We can never be 'holy' enough. However, true and authentic salvation brings a desire within us to be made holy. To continue and remain in sin is contrary to the very nature of the salvation in the first place.
We desire to become holy when we recognize the grace has saved us. If we aren't constantly striving to be holy, we may not really understand the concept of salvation.
Jesus was a perfect man.
He died to save you.
You should have been the one to die--but he ever so graciously took your place.
Because he took your place, you have been freely offered grace.
This grace allows you to have faith in God and to be saved.
Because you have been saved, and understand this amazing love and grace, you have no other option but to return this through seeking to be holy.
Holiness is not a call to perfection. Holiness is not a call to follow a moral standard. The issue with us not being holy is that our hearts are not aligned with the holy one.
The Lord, however, is both holy and perfect. He is the only blameless one. No matter how good we think our actions are, they still stand as filthy rags before the Lord.
When it comes down to it, holiness is simply a complete desperation and desire to be pure in the sight of the Lord. This is a desire that comes when we long to be clean before our Maker. The more we seek a higher calling, the more we seek to be like Him, the more holiness will follow. Holiness is completely a heart issue--not a matter of conduct.
May we be people who seek the very heart of our Lord that our response is nothing other than a complete and total desire to surrender everything that we have and pursue holiness.