I Peter 1:15 tells us to “be holy in all your conduct…” For years I read this to mean my conduct created holiness. Get “right and wrong” right, behave right – and then I will be holy. But what if I already am holy because God gave me a new nature that is righteous and holy? Could this then not be directions on how to become holy, but rather a description of how to express the holiness I already have?
God in his grace has not only given me a new motivation to obey, but a new ability to obey. That ability begins with Him giving me a new heart that is righteous and holy. Ephesians 4:23 tells me that this new nature I have is created after the likeness of God, in true righteousness and holiness. Now I no longer obey to become righteous and holy, rather my obedience is the evidence of what God has already done in me. I can stop striving to become someone and something different from who I am…as though I could do that! What if my behavior did not create holiness, but was the result of holiness?