“Become holy, for I am holy” says the Lord (1 Peter 1:16).
The verb is in the imperative mood, meaning that it is a command of God, not an optional extra to be picked up or put down as the mood fits. But the Greek verb – ginomai – is also in the middle voice, indicating that it is not something we can do ourselves, but that we must lend ourselves to it being done. Moreover, ginomai is generally used in scripture to indicate some unexplainable, or supernatural happening such as, when speaking of Jesus incarnation for example, “the Word became flesh” (John 1:14), or when speaking of the manifestation of the mystery of lawlessness into the anti-Christ “until out of the midst he becomes” (2 Thessalonians 2:7). How these things happen cannot be explained, but becoming holy is a command of God to His people!
In these last days, however, many Christians, while growing older, are no further up the mountain than when they began the journey; in fact, many have slipped back into a slumbering somnolence leaving others to do the heavy lifting. These are men and women who no longer hear the voice of the Lord and who have no fear of God. This half-way Christian life is that spoken of the church in Laodicea; “neither cold nor hot” (Revelation 3:15). God is not honoured by our arrested spiritual development; we honour God by going on to full maturity, which is perfection, or completeness. “You will be perfect”, Jesus said (Matthew 5:48).
The powerless mediocrity of orthodox, modern Christianity demeans the great sacrifice of Jesus and bears no true witness of resurrection life to the world. Try as we might, Christians cannot make themselves holy or perfect, and there is a reason for this. Only the death of self, and the resurrection life of Christ within, can bring about the life we are called to live; a life that leads to sonship to the Father and brotherhood to Christ Jesus.