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Conformed in God's image

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the one who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16 CSB

From the previous verse, Peter urged the believers to prepare their minds for the challenges ahead. In this section, Peter then challenges the believers to conduct themselves in a holy manner. Conducting ourselves in a holy manner is a mark of being a part of God’s family. Notice how Peter starts with “as obedient children.” In the beginning of this letter, in verse 3, Peter opens with, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This means that God has placed His mark of holiness into the lives of His children. So, if God is not Your Father, it is impossible to live a holy life. As Paul puts it in Ephesians 2:1, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins.” Now that we are alive in Christ, our belief in Him should lead us to obedience. Part of this obedience is to not conform to our evil desires. To conform is to be fashioned into something. This word describes the practice of adopting ourselves to a pattern or mold of life that is changeable and unstable. In the past, before we became believers, we sought out our own sinful desires. Now, as obedient children to the Lord, we are called to a change of purpose. We are called to conform now, to be fashioned, after Christ, distinctly from the world. And as we conform to Christ, we take on a life that may lead us through suffering in this world, for Christ too suffered. So, as we go away from the world’s mold and become more like Christ, we conform to holiness. One of God’s characteristics is His holiness. We see verse 16 as a reference to Leviticus 11:44-45, 19:2, and 20:7. In those passages in the Old Testament, the Lord commanded His chosen people, the Israelites, to live by specific laws and regulations so that they are set apart from the neighboring nations. One primary key distinction that sets them apart was being a monotheistic nation, worship and allegiance to One true God, as opposed to the pantheons of false gods that the other nations believed in. Through Christ, we are now called to the same command of holiness, to be like our Father. Out of our belief and trust in the Lord does our heart change from pursuing the world to pursuing God and His holiness. The more and more we spend time in our walk with Christ and obey His Words, the more we are molded to be like Him, like a child growing in the ways of their parents. “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).


Isaac De Guzman


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