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1 Peter 1:15-16 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
15 but like the Holy One who called you, you also be holy in all your conduct; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
But like the Holy One who called you. On the word called, see Eph. 4:1. The meaning here is, that the model or example in accordance with which they were to frame their lives should be the character of that God who had called them into his kingdom. They were to be like him. Comp. Matt. 5:48.
You also be holy in all your conduct. The meaning is that since God is holy, and we profess to be his followers, we ought also to be holy.
Because it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy. Lev. 11:44. This command was addressed at first to the Israelites, but it is with equal propriety addressed to Christians, as the professed people of God. The foundation of the command is, that they professed to be his people and that as his people, they ought to be like their God. Comp. Micah 4:5. It is a great truth that men everywhere will imitate the God whom they worship. They will form their character in accordance with his. They will regard what he does as right. They will attempt to rise no higher in virtue than the God whom they adore, and they will practice freely what he is supposed to do or approve. Hence, by knowing what are the characteristics of the gods which are worshiped by any people, we may form a correct estimate of the character of the people themselves; and hence, as the God who is the object of the Christian’s worship is perfectly holy, the character of his worshipers should also be holy. And hence, also, we may see that the tendency of true Christianity is to make men pure. As the worship of the impure gods of the heathen molds the character of the worshipers into their image, so the worship of Jehovah molds the character of his professed friends into his image, and they become like him.
By Albert Barnes and Edward D. Andrews