So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-16
It’s an uncomfortable balance, this salvation by grace and the call to be holy. We are saved because of nothing we do. We don’t earn it, we aren’t worth it, we don’t deserve it. There is nothing to work out…and yet there is everything to work out. We are called to be holy, to think clearly, to be and do all sorts of things. It’s awkward. It tempts us to focus on self and think in terms of what we do instead of who is working in us.
Peter helps us along the way.
Right in the midst of his call to be holy Peter reminds us to look forward to the salvation that Jesus Christ is bringing. The reminder, for me, is the very clear distinction regarding why we are called to be holy. The actions we are called to display are not about our salvation, they are about our love. Behaving as children of the light is not about the position of our soul—we are positionally set right with our Father when we accept Jesus as the Son of God and our Savior. Behaving as children of the light is about loving our Father well.
We are called to live as obedient children. Obedience is how we show love for our Father.
All who love me will do what I say… John 14:23
We are called to stop living simply to satisfy our own desires.
You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Our call to be holy is not about earning and it’s not about proving worth. It’s about loving the one who loves us. It’s about being in relationship with the holy God of heaven. He has given us his Son and asked that we give him our lives. If we are looking forward the salvation that will come to us when Jesus Christ is revealed, this call to give him all will begin to be recognized for the small sacrifice it truly is.
Come now children, let us live in obedience. Let us love the Father well.