Peter began his first epistle by reminding believers that we are not of this world; our true citizenship is found in God’s kingdom. As such, we live in the present world as exiles and ambassadors—representatives of our true King.
With this reminder established, Peter explained how Christ’s ambassadors are to live, which can be summed up in God’s words recorded at the end of 1 Peter 1:16, “Be holy, because I am holy.” Peter draws this imperative from Leviticus 12:44-45, where God had told the Israelites this twice in rapid succession.
To be holy is to be set apart, to be different in a good way. As such, holiness is at the core of the Old Testament law. The reason behind many of God’s commands that may make us scratch our heads is holiness. These commands were to teach Israel what it means to be holy and to model holiness to the watching world. All of this points us to the even greater idea of God’s holiness. God’s people—His image bearers–are to imitate God.
So far so good, right? But this is where the wheels fall off of the cart. When we turn our attention to God’s holiness, we quickly come to the point of recognizing that this is an impossible standard. God is perfectly holy. There is absolutely no sin in Him. He is perfectly loving, kind, and good without an ounce of hate or evil. How are we supposed to be thisholy? Why would God command us to do something we cannot do?
The answer to that last question is that God gave this command exactly because we cannot do it. We cannot be holy enough—not even close. Not on our own, that is. But the beauty of the gospel shows us another way. We can indeed be holy as God is holy because Christ is holy. And when we trust in Christ, our sin is removed and in its place we are credited with Christ’s perfect righteousness. (2 Cor. 5:21) We obey this command of God by trusting in Christ!
But it doesn’t end there. We are holy in our identity in Christ, but each day we are to strive to live out our new, true holy identity. Every day, our goal is to live as who we now are, rather than who we were. Even this though, is done not in our power, but in Christ’s power. No one is like God in His fullness, but in Christ, we as His children are called and empowered to be like Him in many ways.
FAMILY TALKING POINTS
This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.
- Babies & Toddlers: Jesus shows us what God is like.
- Younger Preschool: No one is like God. He is holy, good, and loving. Jesus shows us what God is like. God can make us more like Jesus.
- Older Preschool: No one is like God. He is holy, good, and loving. Jesus shows us what God is like. Jesus is holy. When we trust in Jesus, God makes us holy. God can make us more like Jesus.
- Kids: No one is like God. God is holy, good, and loving. Jesus shows us what God is like and gives us hope. God can make us more like Jesus. We can trust Him and live joyfully for Him.
BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER
This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.
- Younger Preschool: What is God like? There is no one like God. He is perfect, good, and loving.
- Older Preschool: What is God like? God is holy, good, and loving.
- Kids: What is God like? God is holy, good, and loving.
This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.
- Babies & Toddlers: We praise God; He does wonderful things. — Exodus 15:11
- Younger Preschool: We praise the one true God. He does wonderful things. — Exodus 15:11
- Older Preschool: LORD, who is like you … glorious in holiness, revered with praises, performing wonders?— Exodus 15:11
- Kids: LORD, who is like you among the gods? Who is like you, glorious in holiness, revered with praises, performing wonders? — Exodus 15:11
** Next week: God Encouraged Joshua (Joshua 1)