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Living into God’s life-affirming holiness

Posted May 17, 2017

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Daily Scripture

1 Peter 1:13-16

13 Therefore, once you have your minds ready for action and you are thinking clearly, place your hope completely on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14 Don’t be conformed to your former desires, those that shaped you when you were ignorant. But, as obedient children, 15 you must be holy in every aspect of your lives, just as the one who called you is holy. 16 It is written, You will be holy, because I am holy [Leviticus 19:2].

Reflection Questions

Holiness is a broad Bible word, taking in all of God’s vast love and goodness, and all the good things God desires us to be. Many scholars believe 1 Peter particularly spoke to new Christian converts. “The quotation of Leviticus 19:2 shows Peter’s [mainly] Gentile audience that…God’s call to Israel to be distinctive and set apart is the same call God has given these Christians in Asia Minor.”* Peter invited his Christian readers to “let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness” (verse 15, The Message).

  • Scholar William Barclay wrote about these verses, “The word for ‘holy’ is hagios whose root meaning is ‘different.’ The Temple is hagios because it is different from other buildings; the Sabbath is hagios because it is different from other days; the Christian is hagios because he is different from other [people]….There is laid on the Christian the task of being different.”** Do you shy away from being “different,” not care much one way or the other, or welcome the experience if it‘s for a good cause?
  • God does not redeem us to leave our lives unaltered. How did Peter express God’s call on our lives? Are there part(s) of your life in which God is calling you to greater holiness? How does your heart respond to Peter’s call to be set apart for God, to be different by living as God’s blazing light in a darkened world? Are you willing to step up and say, “Yes—count me in”?

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you once said that no one lights a lamp just to hide it under a basket. Keep me growing into a person who lets your light shine wherever I go. Amen.


* Jeannine K. Brown, study note on 1 Peter 1:15-16 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 463 NT.

** William Barclay, Daily Study Bible Series: The Letters of James and Peter. (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, revised edition 1976, p. 188.

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Steven Blair

Steven Blair

Steven Blair is the Congregational Care Pastor of Live Forward and Live Well Emotional Wellness Ministry at Church of the Resurrection.

Perfect doesn't always mean flawless. In bowling, a perfect game means bowling nothing but strikes until you end with a perfect 300. In baseball, however, pitching a perfect game includes mistakes. It includes missing the strike zone and having the other team hit the ball often very hard. At the end of the game, a pitcher may have made a number of mistakes but the term 'perfect' game is still the best description.
 
When I hear the call "to be holy as God is holy (1 Peter 3:16)," I hear a call into this type of perfection. To love God and neighbors thoroughly in every part of our lives. To make mistakes but to even handle our mistakes in a way that is deeply divine.

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