Through Christ we have a new birth and a new identity that gives us a new way in which we are to live. Our speech should be different. Our attitudes should be different. We should live our lives in a manner in which our conduct reflects the holiness of God.
This is why Peter says in verse 14,
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
The word “holy” means set apart. We are to lives our lives not physically separate from the world but our attitudes and our hearts should be set apart from the things of this world. We are to live our lives set apart from sin.
Peter quotes the Old Testament to remind his audience that these are not his words but they are the very words of God.
Leviticus 11:44-45 says, “For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy.”
That word consecrate is a word that also means to set yourself apart for something, to give yourself to something. And so God is telling Israel to give themselves to Him and be holy as He is holy. This is the same attitude that God calls us to as Christians. We are to live our lives set apart for purposes and glory of God.
And if we are going to live our lives set apart then it requires we live a very intentional life. It requires that we are not spiritually complacent but spiritually disciplined. It requires we set our minds on the things of God and not on the things of this world.
It requires purposeful action. It requires that we prepare our minds as verse 13 says.
Is that how you would describe your life as a believer in Jesus Christ—one in which you are living with purposeful action. When you look at your life, are you able to say, “I am living my life in a manner in which I am pursuing holiness.” Because it does not simply happen by being involved in church activities or hanging out with other Christians.
It requires living out the words of Colossians 3:12-15:
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.