Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 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 Peter 1:13-16)
Holiness - it's a pretty tall order isn't it? Living a life of holiness is not about following a list of dos and don'ts. It's allowing the HOLY Spirit free reign in your life. In the original Greek the word be means to begin to be; to come into existence. As we begin to walk in holiness, the Holy Spirit will come alongside us and aid us in our quest. Holiness is a natural outcome of the life fully surrendered to the Spirit. You won't have to strive for it - the Spirit will produce it in you. I Peter 2:4 says, "As you come to him, the living Stone - rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him - you also like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." Those are some powerful words written by Peter under the direction of the Holy Spirit of God. As I read those verses I thought of the movie Field of Dreams and it's famous line: "If you build it, they will come." God says to us just the opposite: "If you come, I will build you." Wow! If we will come to Jesus, He will build us into "a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood.." How do we come to Jesus? We spend time in His word. We spend time in prayer. We obey what He has told us to do. We rid ourselves of things that are standing in the way of our pursuit of holiness.
I Peter 2:1 gives us a list of five things to get rid of in our lives. They are malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. When we read those words, we may not fully understand all that they imply. In the original language, those words carry much more punch. Malice means wickedness as an evil habit of the mind - not only doing evil but being evil. Deceit or Guile (KJV) means to bait; fraud; craftiness; manipulation. Hypocrisy is defined as to pretend, a sin which glories in misleading another by smooth flatteries; averts holiness. Envy means jealousy; pain felt and malignity conceived at the sight of excellence or happiness; bursts of envy. The New Testament dictionary went on to say that this word envy is incapable of good and is always used with an evil meaning. Slander means blasphemy, defamation, condemnation, accusation, blame, indictment. If the bride of Christ would pursue holiness just in these five areas how different would the church look? How about if we just took one thing - hypocrisy - and pursued holiness in this one area? I believe revival would start as a result. No more gossip, no more backbiting, no more pretending, no more flattery, no more masks - can you imagine? As the bride of Christ we must begin to pursue holiness with all our heart. As we come to Him - our bridegroom - He will build us into His beautiful, holy bride. Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. (2 Corinthians 7:1)