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.”
Immediately before writing the words above, Peter had instructed his audience to be “obedient children,” and to not be “conformed to the passions of [their] former ignorance.” All of this instruction follows his earlier words about the great mercy of God who sent Jesus Christ as the revelation of God—the hope of our salvation and the guarantor of our eternal inheritance in God. In other words, Peter begins his letter by emphasizing the great blessing that it is to be God’s people. He highlights the great joy that it is to be people whose souls are secure in the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is important, and it is significant, that Peter begins with this reminder. As we have shared together over the last several Sunday mornings: we need to be regularly reminded that we are beneficiaries of eternal blessing and hope.
Yet it is also significant that Peter does not end with the reminder of blessing. It is critical that, as the people of God, we recognize the demand that God places upon us that we live out the blessing that God has so graciously bestowed upon us in Jesus. It is imperative that we not only know that we are precious and special and holy, but that we also live and walk and act in this world as those precious, special, and holy people. God has set us apart for his good purposes. It is for his honor and for his glory that God has saved us. As a result, we bring great honor to God when we walk as Christ walked in this world.
Today we begin to discuss our responsibility as the children of God. It is good to be here.