top of page

How Holy Should I Be?

Peter made a profound call for holiness to the Christians who were scattered throughout the provinces of the ancient world. His call was triumphant, and ringing with enthusiasm. But it was also deep, serious, and rooted in the power of God and his love for the people who belong to him. In his letter’s greeting to the scattered Christians in 1 Peter 1:1-2, he celebrates the powerful predictive knowledge of God, and reminds us that we were chosen through a mysterious prophetic process. But more importantly, he argues how that mysterious process was a sanctifying one! The word sanctify means to be set apart. In fact, it shares a root with the same Greek word from which we get the English word, “holy.” So according to Peter, God chose us to be separated in some way from the rest of the world. Peter goes on to say exactly what that way is. It is to be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus. To modern ears, that’s a confusing phrase with disturbing, morbid overtones. But first century Christians with a grasp of their Hebrew roots would not have succumbed to a knee-jerk, ghoulish interpretation of sprinkled blood. It would have been the opposite. Blood was something associated with the life force of a being (Leviticus 17:13-14). To be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus was a spiritually metaphorical way of saying that we have been identified with the holy, set apart life of Jesus! Jesus was set apart to glorify God through a life of suffering, death, and glory, and to rescue us in the midst of those same elements.

The reason Peter’s call was triumphant, enthusiastic, and even celebratory is that he is reminding us that we have been separated from the life of the world, which is really a kind of death, and identified with the life of Christ, which is a victory. Christ, after all, overcame a world of death and trials (John 16:33). This great victory makes us obedient, and gives us a brand new way to live in confidence!

After praising God for our miraculous rebirth and identification with Christ (1 Peter 1:3-12), he highlights our future oriented faith, which is the result of the resurrection, and our belief in a powerful and unfading inheritance. So great is the mystery and significance of this miraculous inheritance, that even angelic beings yearn to understand it in the way that we will (1 Peter:1:12).

But his greatest emphasis appears to be on a call to holiness. For much of the remainder of the chapter, he commands us to be set apart from the world in the same way that Jesus was set apart. Study the life of Jesus, and ask yourself the following question, “Am I holy (set apart) in the same way that Jesus was?”

41 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page