How Can God Expect So Much of Us?

Biblical Authority Devotional: All-Encompassing Authority, Part 4

by Steve Ham on May 24, 2011

Steve Ham, AiG–U.S., discusses the holiness of God and how we are called to be like Him.

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.” (1 Peter 1:16)

Today’s big question: how can God expect so much of us?

Holiness is a word that is so difficult to describe. Many people will define it in terms of the purity or the “separate-ness” of God, and this is true in one sense. Yet when we think about our God, we see holiness as much more. God’s holiness is beyond our comprehension. 

Moses asked God what He should say to the Israelites when they asked the name of the God who sent him, God told him to go with this profound yet simple statement: I AM.

And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:14

The God who put Moses “in the cleft of the rock” and covered him with His hand while He passed by and displayed His glory—He is the I AM (Exodus 33:22).

He is the God in whose presence our impurities are consumed. The God whom the priests of the tabernacle feared as the entered they Holy of Holies lest they die. The God who is the sovereign Creator and Lord of all. He is infinitely pure—without blemish and totally independent throughout all eternity.

The I AM. Perhaps we get a better understanding of God’s holiness when we consider His explanation of Himself. God’s holiness is an aspect of His nature that is beyond human capabilities to fully comprehend. 

God then tells us to be holy like He is. Are you kidding me? If anything is a calling of the highest level, here it is: be holy like God. Yet this is a command and as authoritative as every other portion of Scripture.

Holiness (becoming more like God in character) is not a request. It is part of the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in the life of every Christian. It is only possible in and through the work and grace of Jesus Christ and His work for us on the Cross.

The truth is that we have no holiness apart from God giving it to us through our blessed Savior. So focus on Jesus, obey His commands, and live to glorify Him in every action and breath. Be holy as God is holy.

Today’s big idea: the highest callings are only possible because of Christ’s work and grace.

What to pray: ask the Lord to change you to be more like the Savior.

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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.