1 Peter 1:14-16 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 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.”[
I have the impression that before he met Jesus, Peter was a pretty profane sort of guy. However, Jesus transformed him completely, and here he delivers one of the most straightforward commands to holiness in the whole Bible. He’s not abstract about it either. In the verse before this he talks about being self-controlled, and about God’s grace. He was very aware that we are not naturally holy! He also was aware that it starts with how we think, so we have to get our minds in on it. (OK, so I’m really writing on 13-16!) We’ve got to remember that we are God’s children, and live so as to please our Father. We see children of all sorts around us. Some are a delight to their parents, and some not so much. A little reflection will show us that we have had time in both those camps! However, Peter here isn’t focused on our physical parents, but on Father God, which makes our response of utmost importance. We start out as ignorant, and operate on the principle that was widely quoted around the time I was in college: “If it feels good, do it.” That’s not the way of holiness, or the way to please our Father! However, God in His grace reveals more and more of Himself to us, particularly through the Bible but in many other ways as well. That said, we can’t accomplish holiness on our own. We have to start by accepting what God has done for us in Christ, and then allow that to be worked out in every detail of our lives. As Paul said, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Again as Peter said in verse 13, that grace will be revealed fully when we stand before Christ Jesus our Lord.
This certainly applies to me! Actually, I can’t really claim ignorance as an excuse, because I was raised in a home that was awash in Scripture and faith and love for God. That gives me no excuse for all the times I succumbed to evil desires! I am all too aware that our enemy indeed “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) He constantly dangles his bait under our noses, so to speak, so we must not let down our guard, but be active in submitting to God and resisting the devil. (James 4:7) As Don Francisco sings, “Holiness. It’s the Lord’s command, not the Lord’s request.” We all stumble at times, but 1 John 1:9 is operative, and God will indeed cleanse us from everything and restore us to the holiness He provided for us in Christ.
Father, thank You for this strong reminder. Help me live consistently as Your obedient child, recognizing and avoiding the traps of the devil and representing You to those around me, drawing them too to repentance and faith, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!