for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." 1 Peter 1:16 NIV
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. Heb 12:12 NAS
Many teach that these verses are a command to follow God’s letter of the law and be holy/righteous in a practical manner to assure our salvation. In other words, if you do not act holy, you will not see the Lord. This creates a lot of doubt, fear, and guilt in the body of Christ, which is exactly what Satan wants. It is a teaching that keeps our eyes on ourselves and off Christ and falsely places the burden of God’s promise of salvation on the believer. When the burden of a promise as we see in verses like John 3:16 are always upon the promise maker, in this case God who cannot lie. Therefore, to claim we are to act holy so that we are saved, or to act holy to maintain our salvation, is a false teaching. Now to be clear, I am against sin just like Paul, “should we sin since we are under grace and not the law, No.” We should always do our best to do the next right thing. I also agree with Paul when he tells us repeatedly that a believer is no longer under the law, we are under grace. Therefore, you will not lose your salvation by sinning. Doubting this truth will lead to fear and doubt and fear of God’s love and your total forgiveness is what leads to acts of sin.
The verses in question are not a command to obey the law and try to perfect the flesh. God clearly tells us to see our flesh as crucified and dead with Christ. Christians are set free from the law, our guardian until we come to Christ – Gal 3:23-24. We have been placed under grace where Sin (our fallen Sin nature) has no dominion over us any longer. This means our actions of sin generated by our inherited Sin nature no longer lead to death because God is not counting or imputing our sins apart from the law. Thus, Sin (our fallen Sin nature) no longer has dominion over us, cannot kill us, because we are under grace and not law.
For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. Rom 6:14 ESV
If you think about it, it is very prideful, self-righteous and hypocritical to think or suggest we can be holy as God is holy by our actions, even after we are born-again.
The truth is that "Be holy because I am holy" is a prophecy of God for all who believe the gospel. Under the New Covenant of grace and truth, Jesus shed blood makes our Spirit holy, sanctified, righteous and perfect. This is the only way we could ever be holy, by a work of God.
God sees you believer, and He says over you “be holy,” and you are holy. It is the same as when God said, let there be light, and there was light. God speaks, and it is as good as done. Being outside of time it is already done from God’s perspective. In the same way, God has told us that our flesh is crucified and dead, it is a done deal. That is how God sees it, and we begin to have victory when we believe God’s word and start looking at things as he does. Our flesh is never redeemed, made righteous, sanctified or perfected like our Spirit. Therefore, our flesh must die. In our flesh, the fallen nature we inherited from Adam still resides – Rom 5:19. Actually, our flesh, this temporary tent and body of death as Paul calls it, pays the ultimate price for sin when it dies. While we should always try to do the next right thing, to try and perfect our crucified flesh by the flesh is a waste of time and puts our focus in the wrong place, on ourselves.
You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Gal 3 1:5 NAS
We are not our flesh, and all who have trusted in Christ have life eternal in the Spirit. We are holy and sanctified now. It is a done deal in God’s eyes. Holy and sanctified mean set apart. We are set apart in Christ and safe and sound, with our Spirits sealed by the Holy Spirit. After death here, we will receive a new glorified body, without a fallen inherited Sin nature that creates havoc and feeds on actions of sin. Then our redemption will be complete. It will all happen in the twinkling of an eye because God has spoken it.
If the first piece of dough is holy (Jesus), the lump (us) is also; and if the root (Jesus) is holy, the branches (us) are too. Heb 11:16
The Bible is very clear that under the New Covenant of grace and truth our Spirit is already sanctified, holy, righteous and perfected in Christ.
The Greek word used in the New Testament for holy is the same word used for sanctified. If it says you’re holy, it means you’re sanctified and vice versa too.
Hagiazó - Short Definition: I make holy, sanctify
And by that will, we have been made holy/sanctified through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Heb 10:10 NIV
Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified/made holy, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor 6:11 NASB
For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified/holy are all from one [Father]; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren Heb 2:11 NASB
And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build [you] up and to give [you] the inheritance among all those who are sanctified/holy. Acts 20:32 NASB
that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified/made holy by faith in Me.' Acts 26:18b NASB
For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified/holy. Heb 10:14 NASB
Paul even calls the Corinthians who were caught up in sexual sin, sanctified/holy. Like us, I bet that is not what they saw when they looked in the mirror or at the flesh of their brothers and sisters in Christ. He also called them Saints.
To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their [Lord] and ours: 1 Cor 1:2 NASB
God even tells us that what he has cleansed, made holy, no one can call unholy. The redeemed can never be called unholy because their redemption is of God not their own efforts.
Right now, Christian, You are on the Highway of Holiness Isaiah saw and wrote about.
A highway will be there, a roadway, And it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, But it will be for him who walks that way, And fools will not wander on it. No lion will be there, Nor will any vicious beast go up on it. These will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk there, And the ransomed of the LORD will return And come with joyful shouting to Zion, With everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, And sorrow and sighing will flee away. Isaiah 35:8-10
Never let yourself be deceived.
Do not let anyone deceive you into thinking Jesus blood did any less for you by using verses from the Old Covenant of law where blessings came only through strict obedience and the curse came for disobedience. You have obeyed God in the New Covenant by believing the gospel and trusting the finished work of Christ. In doing this, you have exalted the law. By admitting you need Jesus, you said the law is holy, just and good and that is exactly why you need a savior. Without Jesus, you could never qualify. With Jesus, you are already qualified. He fulfilled the law for you.
giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. Col 1:12 NAS
You are holy, right now. See yourself as God sees you and experience victory. Take your eyes off yourself and perfect your faith by keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus and his finished work. This is where victory, peace, and joy come from.
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb 12:2 NAS
Leave the Burden on God
God Said a Believer Can Never be Considered Unholy
God WILL NOT Erase Your Names from of the Book of Life Christian
God SWORE I Will NOT be Angry With or Rebuke Believers
See Yourself as God Does, Stop Doubting, Rest in Him, Walk in Peace
Doubt and Unbelief are the Precursors for All Sin and Turmoil
What is the One Unforgivable Sin?
God Forgets Our Sins For His Own Sake
Sins Are NOT Counted Under Grace
Christians are Blessed Because God is Not Imputing our Sins
Can a Christian Lose their Salvation by Sinning? NO
Who is Jesus Talking to with Depart from Me I Never Knew You?
These People Will Not Inherit the Kingdom of God
Holy Spirit Does Not Convict a Believer of Their Sins
Do Not Let the Holiness of God Blind You to the Love of God
Jesus is The End of The Law for Believers
I Am Holy, I Am Sanctified, I Am Perfected
I Am a New Creation IN CHRIST
Many more New Covenant Bible Studies HERE. Jesus poured out His blood for the New Covenant of grace and truth, replacing the Old Covenant law of Moses. Believers are exclusively under the New Covenant, the last will and testament of Jesus that began after the cross.
And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. Luke 22:20