Day 3 of our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting focused on God’s holiness and we looked at 1 Peter 1:14-16:
14As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
We participate in the 21 Days because we know our hearts need to draw closer to Jesus. It’s a time to focus in on the Gospel and to confess and repent of our sins. It’s a time to put to death our sin and our idols and put on Jesus (Ephesians 4:22-24).
When we talk about holiness, this is what is taking place. Peter is encouraging us to not get sucked in to the passions and desires of the world which were our passions and desires before Christ saved us. The Christian Life is a pursuit of holiness, not a pursuit of anything else. Peter also gives us the model of holiness: God himself.
I think this is important for us to grasp because God has established the definition of holiness. It’s not a man’s definition or it’s not what we perceive to be holy. Holiness for us is what God says it is because he is a perfect display of what holiness should look like.
Peter is encouraging us to not have a passion for the world, but to have a passion for God’s holiness. This should be our prayer: God, give me a passion and adoration for you and you alone. J.I. Packer says, “The life of true holiness is rooted in the soil of awed adoration”. We are pursuing holiness when we are pursuing God and when we are pursuing God, then we are not pursing sin. Pursuing God is knowing that he is far greater than the passions of this world and the passions that we have outside of Christ.
Fight against the sinful and selfish desires and passion you may have and pursue Jesus. Find your awe and adoration in who he is and what he has done for you. Be holy, because God has called you to be holy, just as he himself is holy.
“To run hard after holiness is to run hard after God”. – Kevin DeYoung
If you are looking for more on the subject of Holiness, check out The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges and The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul.