“Be holy, because I’m holy.” 1 Peter 1: 16, is a reference to Leviticus 11: 44; 19: 1ff and other references to the LORD as the Holy God in the Torah and Writing (Jewish Bible, aka Old Testament).
“May the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until that day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God who calls you is faithful; He will do this.” (1Thess. 5: 23 – 24)
The good news is salvation is by grace and anyone who wills can receive it; the caution is living under the grace of a loving God does not negate His holy nature. The God of the Dispensation of the Law is also the God of the Dispensation of Grace. His nature never changes. Christ said He did not come into the world to nullify the law of Moses, or the teachings of the prophets, but to fulfill them. The law of Moses and the teachings of the Prophets dealt a lot with Israel’s relationship to the Holy God.
Much as Christ loved the world and mingled with ordinary sinners like you and me while He was on earth, nowhere in all of His teachings did He ever promote sin. On the contrary, He told some of those whom He healed, or helped, “Your sins are forgiven,” or “Go and sin no more” (Luke 5:17ff; 7: 47 – 48; John 8: 9 – 11). Christ came to perfect our relationship with God and return us to the paradise period when human beings communicated directly with God.
Hebrews says, “Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received a full knowledge of the truth, there is no other sacrifice that will cover these sins. . . Think how much more terrible the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God and have treated the blood of the covenant as if it were common and unholy. . . . .” (Heb. 10: 26ff)
Christ came to die so that He can be the Mediator between God and us, because we are not holy to communicate directly with God, let alone come into His presence. Our sin separates us from Him. God is love and has always been love, but if He didn’t care about us being reconciled to Him, He would never have sent His only Son to suffer such a gruesome death on the cross (2 Corinth 5: 18 – 21). So, it is important to Him that we should also pursue holy lifestyles, as much as we strive to love other people through His power.
Example of a prayer that anyone can pray:
“Holy, holy, holy are you Lord God Almighty. You are the God who was, who is and who is to come. You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power and blessing. You created everything and they exist for your pleasure. You reign supreme and will not share your glory with another. You are the light of the world. You shine in the darkness and darkness will never overcome You. You make pure all who submit to you. I submit to you, LORD. Transform me into your image and set me apart for Your glory. Help me abide in Christ, that I may not sin against you. Make me holy in every way, and keep my whole spirit and soul and body blameless until that day when our Christ comes again, I pray in His Name. Amen.”
Example of a shorter version to pray:
“Heavenly Father, make me holy in every way, and keep my whole spirit and soul and body blameless until that day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. Thank you that you are faithful and you will do this to glorify your Name. Amen.”
Example of a prayer a child can pray:
“God, thank you that because you are holy, you want me to be holy also, so my life can honor you. Help me to be holy, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
2 Peter 3: 8 – 15
Revelation 4: 1ff
Exodus 3:1 – 6; 19: 1ff
Lev 11: 44 – 45; 19:1ff
Isaiah 6: 1 – 7
Luke 5:17ff; 7: 47 – 48;
John 8: 9 – 11
Hebrews 10: 26ff