Often when we tell people that Christ has already made you holy, we are greeted with opposition and they would rely on this verse.
We are told that while we have a “positional holiness” we are not “practical holy”.
The above verse is actually taken by Peter from
44 I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground.
This is how it is principally written.
Let’s study Peter and what he is actually saying.
When the verse was first spoken about in Leviticus it was about foods and practices.
44 I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground. 45 I am the Lord who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.
46 “ ‘These are the regulations concerning animals, birds, every living thing that moves in the water and every creature that moves about on the ground.
So this “holiness” has nothing to do with character but more of health, separation and distinction from the rest of the nations.
That is what holiness is. Being separated. Being called out. Being distinct.
So what is Peter trying to say? Is he saying you are not holy and that you are still in a state of sin? Is he saying that you have to labor to be holy?
Let’s look at some of the things he says.
1 Peter 1:1
1 To God’s ELECT, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,
1 Peter 1:2
2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying WORK of the SPIRIT, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood:
1 Peter 1:3
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has GIVEN us NEW BIRTH into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1 Peter 1:9
9 for you ARE receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
(Note you ARE receiving not you MAY be receiving)
Now note what he says after the injunction to “be holy”.
1 Peter 1:22
22 Now that you have PURIFIED yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.
1 Peter 1:23
23 For you HAVE been born again, not of perishable seed, but of IMPERISHABLE, through the living and enduring word of God.
1 Peter 2:2-3
2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
(Note he says that you may grow up in your ALREADY INHERITED salvation and that they HAVE tasted the Lord is good.)
Then he speaks about God building a house. Totally out of the blue. Let’s leave this thought later.
He then says this in 1 Peter 2:7
They stumble because they disobey the message–which is also what they were destined for.
I want us to see that this does not refer to believers but the Jews of that time.
This is what he says about believers.
1 Peter 2:9-12
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
If you read the whole thing in its context you will realized:
A) you are already a holy nation.
B) you are already saved.
C) you are already a royal priesthood. You cannot get holier that who you already are.
D) you are born out of imperishable seed. You cannot die to your salvation.
E) you are this house he is building.
So what in the world is this house?
The problem with Christianity today is that they think God lives in heaven and Jesus is out there.
That is furthest from the truth. If you read from Peter’s first epistle, he is actually speaking about an event which would seem to be the end of the world. His world.
You must understand that Peter was speaking about what Jesus had talked about in Matthew 24. That is the destruction of the temple. He calls the heavens and the earth.
Hence he speaks about God moving his house. He is ready to move away from the temple to a
The writer of Hebrews calls this “moving from Sinai to Zion”. In the old days, if someone wants to speak about the greatness of their God they would point to the house which their God stays. So when Peter told Jesus in Matthew 24 how wonderful the temple was, he was trying to tell Jesus how majestic Jehovah was. Let’s follow the conversation.
1 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
Jesus was telling him of an age where God’s majesty shall be shown not by temple made by human hands but a temple that is made by His divine Spirit.
So Peter talks about God’s new house.
1 Peter 2:4-5
4 As you come to him, the living Stone –rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him– 5 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.
What Peter is saying is this. You are part of that house. In those days buildings are build by first laying of the cornerstone. Jesus is that stone. Then the other stones are build around it and on it. Peter is saying you are those stones.
Here is what Peter is trying to tell you. God is building a brand new temple to show creation how majestic and kind He is. He is showing it through his brand new home. His brand new temple.
You are that temple!
This is how Paul puts it.
10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Here’s the question. How holy are you? Can you be holier than the
Holy of Holies? Can you be holier than God’s indwelling place? Can you be holier than the throne of grace on earth?
The answer is this you are as holy as can be. Then why does Peter ask you to be holy?
He is saying “you are already like him”. The problem is this because you are already holy act like it. Behave like it. Walk like it. Behave like it. This is because if you believe that you are already holy you will act like it.
I want to say that it is possible now for man to have God’s kind of holiness.
1 Corinthians 1:30
30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
I hope that clarifies things. Steve Edwards, this note is dedicated to you for your love for Jesus.