14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 1 Peter 1:14-19
I remember the servant’s characterization of his master in Matthew 25:24, “I knew you to be a hard man,” he said, to justify his actions. I don’t think we feel the same about our master. I think we tend to think he cuts us slack. There’s a lot of reliance on his lovingkindness and grace, when we might be at the same time skipping along in sin.
I can’t find that kind of latitude in this passage. There’s no wiggle room that I can see. We need to be obedient. We can’t be conformed to former lusts, but to the one who set the standard, the holy one. This holiness is required not in some or most but in all our behavior.
What’s really scary is that our Father is an impartial judge. And that’s the point. He wants to invoke our fear.
It’s high time we leave our futile ways behind and give some credence to the precious blood that was spent to give us the power to live holy. We need to embrace this lifestyle now, as it will be ours for eternity!
Just study the life of Jesus to know how to live life holy yet winsomely. He didn’t appear to be a monk, but walked and talked with friends, asked a lot of questions, fished, attended weddings, shared meals, even with publicans, told stories, but ministered as he went. He was engaging, but he was still holy.