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)
The word “holy” has always been a little scary to me, and I’m sure to many of us. It has connotations of a list of things that you can’t do, and who wants to give up all that stuff. The scripture quoted above from 1 Peter clearly instructs us to be holy. It bears repeating.“
The Greek word for holy as used in 1 Peter is hagios. The fundamental meaning of hagios is ‘different’. In the New Testament it has the meaning “different from the world” being “as the Lord.” It implies being set apart and being special to the Lord.
If being holy is a worthy goal, then as one that wants to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ, I decide that I want to be holy. That is step one. Now that I have decided that I want to be holy, I want to be different from the world and more like Jesus; and I want to be separated unto him, I move on to step two – facing the fact that I can’t. Jesus was perfect after all. He never sinned. I on the other hand am far from perfect, and probably sin more often than I would want to admit to anybody other than Jesus. The fact is I cannot will myself to be holy. Therefore, if I have decided that I want to be holy, and I realize that I cannot do it, I must move on to step three – trust that God is going to do it in me. This is where faith comes in. God clearly wants me to be holy and I have decided that I want to be holy so by faith I expect him to do it in me. It’s no different than having faith to accept Jesus as Savior, or having the faith to believe that God wants what’s best for me.
So now I have decided I want to be holy, I have faced the fact that I can’t be holy on my own, and I have decided to rely on faith to believe that God can make me holy. So, step four – act accordingly. Since contemplating this assignment and praying about it, and meditating on what it all means, I am already finding that I am beginning to act a little differently when faced with a temptation, or something that might cause me to be less than holy. In short, I am acting out holy in situations where I might otherwise be less than holy. This is the result of the Holy Spirit doing holiness in me when I have no power to do it on my own. Now that I have reached that point, step five is critical – I must stick with it. It’s like the WWJD (what would Jesus do). When faced with a test, remember, what is the proper response for somebody that God has made holy. That is what I must choose.