by J. Gerald Harris

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Before getting into the details of our text, let us examine the last two verses. In these verses there is an unfortunate translation. As you and I read it, there is a tendency on our part to say, "This is impossible. How can I possibly be as holy as the Lord Jesus Christ? He is perfect and I am imperfect and finite. I cannot achieve this goal."

The word "holy" comes from the Greek word "hagios." It is also translated "saint" and "saintly" or "one that is worthy of admiration or honor or praise."

Obviously you and I cannot possibly be worthy of praise and honor. We are far from saintly. We cannot possibly be as holy as our Lord Jesus Christ. But Peter actually does not use the word "be." He has more intelligence than that. And the Holy Spirit that inspired him to write was more intelligent than that. Instead of "be" he uses the word "become." It should read like this: "But as he which hath called you is holy, you become holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Become holy; for I am holy" (I Peter 1:15-16). It is a matter of becoming, not being. It is a process, not a completed work. We as Christians are to set Christ up as our example, and we're to seek to become holy as He is holy. We will never make it, but nevertheless this should be our goal.

Now, how are we to do that? There are four demands in verses 13 and 14 that we must implement daily in our lives. So, in essence, holiness requires right thinking, sober living, hopeful optimism and Christ- like obedience. Let us look at each one.


Peter says, "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind." This simply means that the Christian is to be alert mentally. The Greek word for "gird" actually pictures a biblical character with a long flowing robe. Around the robe this biblical character would have a big belt called a girdle. When the time came that he had to move swiftly, he pulled up the robe and tucked it over the belt. In other words, he girded ...

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