Everytime a child is born, people are always curious to figure out who the baby resembles. Some children resemble their father while others resemble their mother. Some children resemble in a balanced-manner both their father and their mother. A child of physical descent can be expected to resemble its parents in some manner. And so a child of God, who has been born of the Spirit, can and should be expected to resemble their heavenly Father. There ought to be a family resemblance.
In 1 Peter 1:14-16, the Bible says, “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” Our Heavenly Father is a holy Father. Holiness is God’s chief attribute. Every other attribute of God flows through his holiness. His love is holy. His mercy is holy. His wrath is holy. God is the purest of pure. He is the holiest of holy. He is set apart from sin and all defilement. And God calls us who are in the family of God to resemble His character in our daily lives.
God never extends grace to the sinner and leaves him in his sin. Rather, He stoops down to the most vile sinner, extends His saving grace, and commands “go, and sin no more” (Jn. 8:11). God’s grace reaches to the lowest of low, but God never leaves the sinner in the pigsty of the world. God always saves with the purpose of sanctifying. God calls us into His family and expects us to begin bearing family resemblance as we strive to be holy as God is holy.
We are not to fashion our lives “according to the former lusts in ignorance.” When we were once ignorant of the saving grace of God, we gave ourselves up to the lusts of our flesh. Now that we are a new creature in Christ, we are not to form or model our lives according to our own dictates or the dictates of culture, but rather, the character of God. To be like Christ is our greatest pursuit. And to pursue Christlikenss is to pursue holiness. Christ was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Heb. 7:26). To be like Christ, is to be holy. It is to be set apart from sin. It is to be “unspotted from the world” (Jms. 1:27). It is to be fully separated unto Christ.
Our goal should not be to resemble the culture in which we live. Rather, our goal should be to resemble the God in whom we have the hope of eternal life. A preacher once said, “we live in a day when we are more afraid of holiness than we are of sinfulness.” This ought not to be. We should strive to be like Christ. For when we are like Him, holiness will be the result.