Holy Living

Text: 1 Peter 1:15-16
Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; for it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ (NRSV)

There are several schools of thought about what theologians call “sanctification”.  One simple definition of sanctification is “to become perfect in goodness and righteousness”.  To be perfect in goodness and righteousness is also a definition of what it means to be holy.

Some schools of thought declare that sanctification is instantaneous when you receive the forgiveness of sins and the baptism of the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ.  The thought is that dying to your old-self and being born again in Christ happens in an instant and causes one to be sanctified—to be holy.  Others believe that sanctification is a life-long process that begins when you receive the gift of forgiveness and the Holy Spirt through your relationship with Jesus.  In this school of thought is the understanding of “already and not yet” bound together waiting for the second coming of Jesus.

In all schools of thought about sanctification however, the understanding is that one who has received salvation from God through Jesus Christ is either already living a holy life or is striving to live a holy life.  Peter is making the case for this in his first letter; “…be holy yourselves in all your conduct” (emphasis added).

Those who have claimed the salvation of God through Jesus Christ have lost any entitlement to the argument that the reason they sin is because it is within the nature of all human beings to sin.  Peter makes it clear here that those who are called by a holy God are themselves to be holy in all their conduct.  Whether or not this holy living—this sanctification is instantaneous, or a process is still debated.  But what is not debated is the duty of every believer to strive to live a holy life bringing honor and glory to God.

Pray with me:

Holy God, you have called me into relationship with you through your Son and have given me the power of your Holy Spirit for my life.  May my life in Christ be a holy life bringing honor and glory to you in all that I say and do.  AMEN.

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