Wednesday in the Sixth Week of Ordinary Time

1 Peter 1:13-16

Called to Be Holy

God desires a people—not just any people—but a holy people.  Indeed, that is the only people God will have.  God will not tolerate sin in His presence.  That’s not because He’s intolerant; it’s because of His own holy nature.  Of course, He rejoices in His holiness, for holiness is the very essence of His being, all other attributes and activities deriving there from (including love).  But His holy nature will not allow God to mingle with sin.  A cynic might call that a deficit, but that’s why they’re cynics—and blind.

So God must have a holy people.  He does this in two ways.  The first is by sanctifying a people through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ; that is, God washes away our sins upon saving faith in His dear Son—the sinless one for the sinful one, the holy for the unholy, the Son of God for sons of men.  It was God’s will to make this exchange, his prerogative and that without obligation and out of His great love and desire to obtain a people for His very own.  And He has accomplished this through His Son’s death and resurrection.  This is what might be called the Christian’s “stand” before God.

But there is also the Christian’s “walk” before God.  This walk is less than perfectly holy, to say the least.  But God, who birthed us anew through His Holy Spirit, now further sanctifies us through the Spirit to grow us in His grace so that we become less like ourselves and more like Him.  This walk with God requires that we participate in this growth in grace, that we do our part, so to speak.  Now, we could never grow at all if God did not provide the grace; but, given that provision, we must comply withal. 

There are some who might balk at this saying that such a position robs God of His glory.  I disagree.  As I said, we only grow by God’s grace.  But as we read these verses, it is clear that we have something to do in this process of sanctification.  In fact, the Apostle mentions several things we must do: prepare our minds for action, be sober-minded, set our hope fully on the grace that will be brought to us at our Lord’s return, be not conformed to the passions of our former ignorance (i.e., before we were saved), and be holy in all our conduct.  These are not suggestions but expectations; this is what people born of the Spirit do as the Spirit carries them along.  Paul says the same in Romans 12:1-2 when he implores us to become “living sacrifice[s], holy and acceptable to God.”  It is actually our privilege to participate in this process, to mortify the flesh, to live in the Spirit.  Don’t miss out on this wonderful blessing to answer the call to live a holy life.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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