Focal Passages: 1 Peter 1:14-19, 22-25
Reading through the book of Leviticus, one can begin to see a common theme or purpose to why God is commanding the Israelites to adhere to specific laws and regulations. In Leviticus 19:2, the Lord tells Moses to say to the Israelites, “Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.” This command was not just specific to the Israelites in the Old Testament.
We know this because Peter refers to it again in the New Testament, “But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy because I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:15-16).
In last week’s lesson, we learned that faith must be focused on and founded in Christ. In our passage this week, Peter shares what we must do in obedience as a result of our faith. In other words, we must have an active faith that pursues holiness.
The process of being conformed into the image of Christ is called sanctification. When we become more holy, we become more like Christ. An abbreviated way to think of holiness is to be “set apart.”
God, in His holiness, is set apart from sinners. To be set apart is to be separate or distinctive.
Jesus said, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world” (John 15:19).
He says again in reference to His disciples, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; Your Word is truth” (John 17:16-17). As God is holy and set apart, so we must be as well. We must no longer conform to the pattern of this world.
How can we be distinct from the world? Peter gives us at least three ways in our passage:
We must be obedient and not conform to evil desires (v. 14);
We must live our lives in reverent fear of God (v. 17); and
We must also love one another deeply (v. 22).
What are other ways can we pursue holiness?