Could you explain 1 Peter 1:15-16, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” Is it saying that believers are actually seen as holy since Christ lives in us and that’s why we should strive to live holy lives?



Hello Kelli,

Neat passage and practical question! Let’s start with the Old Testament quotation in verse sixteen to help us understand the imperative of verse fifteen.

“Be ye holy for I am holy.” Simply put, you can be ye because I am in you. There is no other way. Only God meets the standard of God. That is why we need imputed righteousness for justification and imparted righteousness for sanctification. At salvation “God’s seed” or divine nature was implanted in you (1 John 3:9), and the Holy Spirit began indwelling you to lead and empower you. This is the provision for real holiness—the Holy One living through your personality. But how?

The command of verse fifteen is in the passive voice. The idea is to allow yourself to be holy in all manner of living. The passive reveals that this is accomplished through faith, and passages like Galatians 2:20 echo this conclusion. Christ lives in you by faith.

As you take the provision of the life of Jesus in you and act upon it, the Spirit imparts to you the very life of Christ—love in all its amazing expressions (Gal. 5:22-23). This is holiness in all manner of living.


We’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject in the comments section below! If you have a question on another subject, we welcome you to make a submission by clicking here: