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The Holy God – I Peter 1:15-16
by Alex M. Lindsay
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Reference: Psalm 97:1-12

This Psalm encourages us to bless and praise God (Psalm 34:1); to literally brag about God (Psalm 34:2); to magnify God / make others to understand and appreciate God (Psalm 34:3). We should all have "God stories" - testimonies about God's work in our lives (Psalm 34:4-6). We are here to encourage others to "taste and see" God's goodness (Psalm 34:8-11).

It is in the spirit of this Psalm that Peter begins his thoughts in the second chapter of the book of I Peter. See I Peter 2:1-3. Various translations tell us to taste and see that the Lord is good/gracious; or that we should taste and see the kindness of the Lord. Let's take some time to taste some of the goodness of the Lord and see what that should produce in our lives. As we learn about God from Scripture, God Himself will guide us and develop us into the image of His Son (Isaiah 54:13; John 6:45; II Corinthians 3:18; Romans 8:28-29; 12:2; Matthew 11:28-30; Ephesians 4:20-24; II Peter 1:2-4; 3:18).

1. The Blessed God - I Peter 1:3
2. The Holy God - I Peter 1:15-16
3. The Glorious God - I Peter 4:14; 5:11
4. The Mighty God - I Peter 5:6
5. The Gracious God - I Peter 5:10 cp. 2:1-3 (KJV / NKJV)

The Holy God - I Peter 1:15-16
When we say God is holy, we don't just mean that He is perfectly good. We are saying that God is separate of all created things. He is uninfluenced by all the things that influence us. We cannot compare anything in the universe to God. He is like no one else. He is like nothing else. Therefore, God does not have any of the limitations, weaknesses, and sinfulness that we have.

God's children should take on His nature (II Peter 1:4 cp. Matthew 5:44-45). We should seek Him with fear (reverence and respect), not just for knowledge, but for holiness (I Peter 2:11-19; 3:8-18; Ephesians 1:3-7, 12; 2:8-10 [cp. Philippians 2:12-13 "work out" - not "work for." cp. NLT]; 4:21-24; II Corinthians 6:14 - 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; II Peter 1:2-11; 3:10-14; 17-18). Consider that righteousness is doing right (II Timothy 3:16-17). Godliness is being like God (I Timothy 6:3, 11).

Note: Peter says, "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am Holy" (I Peter 1:16). This is not just one isolated quotation. In the book of Leviticus, God often uses this phrase to emphasize the personal motive that He has for giving us His commandments and also the personal motive that He wants us to have for keeping His commandments. See Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7-8, 26; 21:8. It is the living God, who wants to save us from sin and preserve us unto Himself, that gives us commandments for our good. When we break a commandment, we don't just violate a rule or principle. We contradict the Almighty, Holy, Sovereign, Loving God of the Universe - Our Father and Savior. It is a personal matter, not just an ethical one. See Exodus 20:1-7; Deuteronomy 32:1-6, 15-18; 33:1-3; Isaiah 1:2-4; 45:18-25; 65:2-5; Jeremiah 2:5, 13; Micah 6:3; Hebrews 4:12-13 [note: "His / Him" - vs. 13]; 12:28-29; James 1:12; 2:10-11; ["…He that said…"]; 4:4-10; I John 2:15-17. See also Psalm 97:1-12; 116:12.

Originally delivered September 30, 2018
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