Reflecting God’s Holiness
1 Peter 1:13-17
I wonder what would be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of God. For millennia people have wrestled with the question. Who is God? Throughout Scripture God has revealed himself to us so that we learn about who he is. The Bible tells us about God’s communicable (transmittable) attributes. Those of God’s traits that can become true of us. For instance, God is holy, loving, just, good, merciful, gracious, faithful, truthful, patient and wise. How should the knowledge that God is______ change the way we live?
Of all the attributes of God the one that is repeated more and talked about more in the Bible is Holiness. God is holy.
Holiness can be defined as the sum of all moral excellency. It carries the idea of set apart, sacred, separate, possessing utter purity of character.
The word holy appears in the Bible over 500 xx\
The verb form “sanctify” appears over 200 xx
29 times the Bible mentions God’s Holy name. Yahweh is called the holy One of Israel 25 xx in the book of Isaiah. God’s holiness distinguishes him from all other rivals. Ex.15:11 Who is like you O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you. Majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deed, doing wonders?
1 Samuel 2:2 There is none holy like the LORD; there is none beside you; there is no rock like our God.
Holiness is the only attribute of God repeated three times. The angelic beings talk about God as Holy, holy, holy. Isa.6:3; Rev.4:8
You will never find in the Bible any other attribute repeated like this.
Holiness saturates the entire Christian calling; it lies at the very center of the gospel. It is one of God’s attributes that we can reflect.
How do we reflect God’s holiness?
The Bible teaches us that humanity was created in the image of God. God gave us something he did not give to the rest of creation. Humans were distinct or separate from the rest of God’s creation. God created his people to reflect his image, his attributes. After the fall of man, God’s image in us was distorted, we didn’t lose the image of God in us, but it was damaged, or twisted by sin. We distanced ourselves from God, but God took the initiative to pursue us to bring us back to himself. God’s people is always called to reflect his image in this sin-saturated world.
When God chose the nation of Israel, he commanded them to be holy because he is holy. Lev.11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7, 26 Be holy because I am holy, consecrate yourselves. God called his people to be separate, distinct from the other nations around.
Holiness is both given to us and asked of us. Once we come to Christ, God sees us as holy since we are given a new identity. We are set apart for God because of Christ’s sacrifice. Heb.10:10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
God’s people are called to be holy in this world. 1 Pet.1:13-17
We are called to reflect God’s image in living holy lives for God in this world.
What does it mean to be holy? To live a life of obedience to God. Obedience to his will.
– You reflect God’s holiness when you don’t live to please your sinful desires. When you don’t conform to your sinful desires. (v.14) As obedient children, do not follow to the passions of your former ignorance.
Since God called you to be holy, be holy in all you do. (.v16)
Holiness is evident in your actions. God is calling his people to do things that reflect his nature. Being holy in this world means to live lives in obedience to God’s standard and not the world’s. Our actions, or deeds must reflect our God.
God wants his people to be set apart in this world. There should always be something that separates us from the world. How we live our lives, how we conduct ourselves in this world, how we do business, how we talk. Our actions must reflect the one who called us and saved us.
Being holy means to live as strangers in this world. (v.17)
Living for God should be so evident that people may think you are a foreigner living among them. Your ways should be strange to them; your conduct should be different. You belong to a different kingdom; therefore, we are to show it in how we live in this world. If the ways of the world are too familiar or too comfortable to us, then we are conforming to its mold. We are not living up to our call.
God has called us to live holy lives for him in this world. It is his will that we live lives that reflect his nature.
As he who called you is holy, be holy in all your conduct.