The answer to this question is related to the direction I am headed that was discussed in the previous post. If my desire is significance, then I must be here to do something that people will notice and reward me for. If my desire to become like Jesus, fully human, then my purpose is to pursue that. I’m a task oriented person and I want to accomplish things. Peter seems to put more emphasis on my being then he does on my doing.
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1Peter 1:13-16 ESV)
It isn’t hard to spout off the definition of holiness. Wilbourne provides a good one in his book.
When used in reference to human beings, holiness means to be set apart to reflect God’s character in all of our ways—his goodness and love, his kindness and compassion, his concern for justice and the poor. – Union with Christ by Rankin Wilbourne
The challenge to being set apart is just that, I must desire to be set apart. I must be comfortable being different. There are a few people who seem to be comfortable enough in their own skin to consider this no challenge at all. I’m not one of those. To be holy means that I desire and act out what God desires regardless of how other people respond.
I’m not very good at this, so this becomes one of those now and not yet things. Since I am in Christ I am set apart from those who are not in Christ. The struggle is that my behavior often indicates something else. I am not yet conformed to what God desires me to be. God has provided me with all the resources I need to become conformed and has promised to partner with me in the process. What he has not promised is to do it all for me.
The Greek poet Pindar wrote, “Become what you are.” Our grandkids sang two songs on Sunday. I don’t have permission to post their version, so here is the official version with lyrics. The song is “Live Like You’re Loved” by Hawk Nelson.
The early church lived this way. They lived as if they already had eternal life, which they did. What would your life look like if you lived every day like you were already just like Jesus?
Jerry Bridges provides a summary: No one can attain any degree of holiness without God working in his life, but just as surely no one will attain it without effort on his own part, God has made it possible for us to walk in holiness. But He has given to us the responsibility of doing the walking. – Union with Christ by Rankin Wilbourne