Holiness: Overview – Gospel in Life

Holiness: Overview

Tim Keller |  October 17, 1993

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  • Sanctification
1 Peter 1:13-21
RS 250-06


1 Peter is about how we can live in such a way that the trouble and pain and suffering that inevitably comes into our lives will not crush us or make us weaker things, but instead make us stronger–refine our character, turn us into great people. How does that happen? How can the sufferings of life actually become tools that hone you and polish you and refine you?

What we need is right here in verse 16: “Be ye holy; for I am holy.” That’s the heart of this passage. First of all, it teaches us God is holy. Secondly, it teaches us we can be holy. Thirdly, we can be holy because God is holy. No hope otherwise.

1 Peter 1:13–16

1 Peter talks a lot about the idea of holiness and how it can get us ready for important events like the Lord’s Supper. It tells us that life can be hard, but we can use those tough times to become stronger and better people. The secret to doing this is holiness, being ready to act, and putting all our hope in Jesus Christ’s grace. We’re asked to be holy, just like God is holy.

1. God is holy

In the Old Testament, being holy means being unique and different, just like God’s power, love, and wisdom are. Understanding that God’s holiness, His ways, and thoughts are better than ours can give us peace and comfort. It’s very important to remember that God’s holiness is beyond our understanding, so we need to trust Him fully.

2. Because he is holy, we must be holy

Being holy means dedicating ourselves entirely to God. This even applies to things that aren’t alive but are used only for God. The story of David and his men shows us that being holy means caring more about other people’s needs than our own wants. The most important thing is understanding what God wants and showing love and care to others.



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