Reading: 1 Peter 1:15
Holiness is not a theory or an ideal; it is a fundamental part of true Christianity. A true Christian will display holiness and desire holiness. Consider Peter’s treatment of this subject in these four aspects:
The pursuit of holiness. Christians have a responsibility to “gird up the loins of their minds and be sober.” This word picture draws lessons from the time when eastern men wore long garments and therefore if they were going to run, work, fight, or do something else energetic, they would have to gather up their robes and hold them tight. The reference suggests gathering up of something that would hinder, getting things together so that you could give yourself to some particular work. The picture works well in the spiritual realm. As Christians we must pursue holiness with all of our might. We must understand the issues, think about the will of God, guard our mind, fill our hearts with the most important things, and take heed to things that are good and godly while refusing things that are sinful and ungodly.
The pattern of holiness. True holiness is simply Christ-likeness. It is not holiness just that we are different from others: it is holiness so that we become more and more like Christ. He is our pattern.
The perseverance in holiness. There are things in life that are intermittent and occasional, but not true holiness. It is something we must continue in.
The power for holiness. This is where one of the great questions lies. We know we should be holy, but how? After all, we fail, sin, disappoint ourselves, and grieve the Lord. So, how can we pursue this as we should? Only by the grace of God. Lord, give me the grace of holiness! Holiness demands thought and earnestness and a clear dependence upon the Lord.
There is no attaining to happiness, or arriving at the enjoyment or sight of God without holiness. No happiness without seeing the Lord, no seeing the Lord without holiness, without following it.” (David Clarkson, Works, 1:297).