|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:13-16 As the traveller, the racer, the warrior, and the labourer, gathered in their long and loose garments, that they might be ready in their business, so let Christians do by their minds and affections. Be sober, be watchful against all spiritual dangers and enemies, and be temperate in all behaviour. Be sober-minded in opinion, as well as in practice, and humble in your judgment of yourselves. A strong and perfect trust in the grace of God, is agreeable with best endeavours in our duty. Holiness is the desire and duty of every Christian. It must be in all affairs, in every condition, and towards all people. We must especially watch and pray against the sins to which we are inclined. The written word of God is the surest rule of a Christian's life, and by this rule we are commanded to be holy every way. God makes those holy whom he saves.
Verse 16. - Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy; literally, according to the best manuscripts, ye shall be holy - future for imperative. The words occur five times in the Book of Leviticus. God had called the Israelites to be his peculiar people, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Exodus 19:5, 6). He has called us Christians to be "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people" (1 Peter 2:9). He is holy, awful in holiness; in his sight "the heavens are not clean." We who are his must strive to be holy, separated from all that is impure, consecrated to his service.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Because it is written,.... In Leviticus 11:44.
be ye holy, for I am holy: an argument the apostle knew must have weight with these persons, who were chiefly Jews, scattered abroad among the Gentiles, and had a value for the Scriptures of truth; and therefore, as the argument for holiness of life, from the nature and perfections of God, is strong, it must receive additional strength from this being the declared will of God, even their sanctification on this account; and though holiness, equal to God, is never to be attained to by a creature, yet so far as it is capable of it, it is desirable, because agreeable both to the nature and will of God, by all such who are truly his children, who love his name, adore his perfections, give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness, fear his goodness, and obey his will.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. Scripture is the true source of all authority in questions of doctrine and practice.
Be ye … for I am—It is I with whom ye have to do. Ye are mine. Therefore abstain from Gentile pollutions. We are too prone to have respect unto men [Calvin]. As I am the fountain of holiness, being holy in My essence, be ye therefore zealous to be partakers of holiness, that ye may be as I also am [Didymus]. God is essentially holy: the creature is holy in so far as it is sanctified by God. God, in giving the command, is willing to give also the power to obey it, namely, through the sanctifying of the Spirit (1Pe 1:2).
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