Friday, October 14, 2022

The Goal of Holiness (1 Peter 1)

"But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct" (1 Peter 1:15).

As a Christian travels through this life, fighting the temptations of the flesh and guarding against the fiery darts of Satan, what is his aim? What is the purpose or goal of the Christian life? We can say that heaven is our goal, but it is more than that, for heaven is not just a place—it is a state of being. The ultimate goal of the Christian life is holiness. God commands us to be holy as He is holy—this is our goal.

To understand more fully how holiness is the goal of the Christian experience, we must look back in history to the very beginning. When God created the heavens and the earth, He completed His work, not with the creation of man, but with creation of the seventh day—the day He declared to be holy and on which He rested. The Lord’s Day, or the Christian Sabbath, reminds us of the purpose of God’s creation—for His glory and holiness.

God created mankind in His image—an image of holiness. Before man plunged into the depths of sin and disobedience, he wore this untarnished mantle of holiness. But with sin, that mantle fell from his shoulders. Fallen men and women now walk about in darkness, stripped of their holiness. The goal, then, when God regenerates His people and sets them on the course toward heaven is to restore that holiness, to renew in them that blessed state of purity in which they once lived.

Because we have been created for holiness, to be without it translates into a life of suffering, loss, restlessness, and deprivation. People live in delusions when they think sin, not holiness, will make them happy. To overcome these pitfalls, God has given His people the Holy Spirit, who is renewing us and making us holy every day. Peter wrote, “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’ ” (1 Peter 1:14–16). In all you do, whether in prayer, service, fellowship, or work, be holy. Sin opposes holiness, so you must put to death your desires to follow after the sin nature. Set your mind on what the Spirit desires, which is nothing less than holiness.

Read Exodus 34:29–35. How did fellowship with God affect Moses? How can fellowship with God change you? Think about how much time you spend with God during the day and how much time you spend in the world. If you want to be more holy, what changes will you have to make?