Living Like Christ: Holiness

I Peter 1:13-22

For years, an elderly gentleman could barely hear.
Finally, he went to a doctor and was fitted for a set
of hearing aids that fully restored his hearing. A
month later, he had a check up, and the doctor
said,
“Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be
really pleased that you can hear again.”

“Oh, I haven’t told them yet,
” the man replied. “I
just sit around and listen to the conversations. I’ve
changed my will three times!”

I hope you were blessed by the wisdom series we just
completed in the book of Proverbs.
Today we are going to start a new series titled:
Living Like Christ.
The point of this series is to highlight the attributes of
God that Jesus modeled during His life on earth and see
that God intends for us to live like Christ.

The attribute we are looking at this morning is Holiness.

Before we get to the text, let’s talk about holiness.
The Greek word for holiness means set apart / dedicated.
God is holy.

He is our creator and the one who gives us life and
breath. Isaiah tells us that His ways are higher than our
ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

When we think about being set apart, don’t think about
being strange or awkward. It’s more about living
differently. Different from the way we used to live which
is probably how the world encourages everyone to live.
Doing whatever pleases you.

Once God saved us, He transformed us.
Set us apart for a different way of life.
Our old life has passed away and we are made new in the
image of God.

I Peter 1:13-22

I would say the focal verses of this text are vv.15-16
“but like the Holy One who called you, be holy
yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is
written,

‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”

God is the Holy One who calls His children and
commands them to be holy as He is holy.

This is not a new concept. Peter is actually quoting from
the OT. Several times God tells His people to be holy as
He is holy. One reference is found in Leviticus 19:2.

God is telling the Israelites He has chosen them and set
them apart to be His people. He wants them to follow
Him and keep His commands.
But it’s even deeper than just keeping a set of rules.
God IS holy.
It is only by His grace that we can be holy like He is holy.

As I mentioned earlier, this series is about
Living Like Christ.
In all our behavior
These verses provide us with
4 Instructions for Holy Living

The first instruction is found in v.13
Discipline your Mind for Action
The New King James translation translates discipline or
prepare with the phrase “gird up the loins of your mind”.
We know that people normally wore a gown and an outer
robe. This would get in the way if someone was in a
hurry to get somewhere, before departing, he would
gather up his loose clothing and tuck it into his belt so it
wouldn’t hinder him from getting where he is going.

Likewise we ought to listen to Peter’s guidance and do
the same thing with our minds. Gather up our thoughts
and fix our mind on things above.

If we want our actions to honor God, we have to set our
mind to doing those things that bring Him glory.

It takes discipline to keep our focus on God. The world is
full of distractions that are trying to keep us away from
God.

Recall Paul’s reminder to the Philippian church
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever is true,
whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever
is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good
repute, if there is any excellence and if anything
worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
What we think becomes what we do.

Peter also writes keep sober in spirit. This is about self
control. Once again, it’s about living in a way that honors
God. When we lose control, we do things we will regret
later. Exercising self control is a great way to discipline
our mind. It’s making a conscious decision to be filled
with the spirit not getting filled with other spirits.
Discipline our minds for action.

Our second instruction for Holy living is
Don’t Backslide
Peter calls his readers obedient children and warns them
against being conformed to the former lusts.
They know God expects them to be holy as He is holy, so
backsliding is to ignore what they have been taught.
This word conformed is the same word Paul uses in his
letter to the church at Rome.

He tells them not to be conformed to this world but be
transformed by the renewing of your mind. It’s the same
thing Peter just mentioned in the previous verse.
Discipline your mind for action.
Obedient children set their mind on doing what God
desires of them.
What Peter is saying is don’t slip back into the same way
of life you lived before you knew Christ!
They were children of disobedience.
Ephesians 2:1-3 “And you were dead in your
trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked
according to the course of this world, according to
the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that
is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among
them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our
flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the
mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even
as the rest.”

What a stark contrast. We were children of wrath, but by
the grace of God…we are now children of obedience.

My favorite part of the passage in Ephesians is verse 4-5
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love
with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our
transgressions, made us alive together with Christ…”

The third instruction for holy living is to
Live in Reverence (v.17)
My translation reads, conduct yourselves in fear, but we
understand that fear in this context means a healthy awe
and reverence towards God.

Peter also reminds his audience that they are sojourners
here on earth. Believers share in the inheritance with
Christ. While we are here on earth, we must represent
God in such a way that people want to know more about
the God we serve. Living in awe and reverence shows
that our focus is living as God instructed us.

Peter then spends a few verses writing about how God
redeemed believers. He paid our ransom by sending His
Son Jesus to die for the sins we committed.
Jesus was the spotless lamb that was slain to cover our
sin. It wasn’t jewels or gold, it was the precious blood of
Jesus that saved us.
When we consider what it cost Him, why wouldn’t we live
in reverence?

The final instruction for holy living is to
Love One Another
We are going to spend a whole week talking about loving
like God does, so today we will just mention it briefly.
It’s the second greatest commandment, love one another.
If we are holy as He is holy, love comes naturally.
The idea is to view people as God views them.

When we view them in response to how they behave it’s
much too difficult to love them and sometimes even like
them.
But when we realize that God created them in His own
image, we can see them through His eyes and we are
able to, through Him, love them.

APPLICATION

Focus on God and His Holiness
Earlier I stated:
what we think about becomes what we do.
Therefore, we must make sure our thoughts are focused
on God and His holiness.
When we focus on what is right, true, pure and lovely,
that is what we are going to do.
Our lives will reflect the Holy One because we are trying
to be more and more like Him with each passing day.