1 Peter 1:16
Because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) Be ye holy; for I am holy.—The better reading here is, Ye shall he holy; it is still, however, a command, not a promise—except that all God’s commands are promises. The command comes some five or six times in the Book of Leviticus, addressed not only to the Levites, but to all the people. It would, therefore, apply twice over to the recipients of this letter by virtue of their twofold consecration, in the old and in the new Israel.

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.Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy - Leviticus 11:44. This command was addressed at first to the Israelites, but it is with equal propriety addressed to Christians, as the professed people of God. The foundation of the command is, that they professed to be his people, and that as his people they ought to be like their God. Compare Micah 4:5. It is a great truth, that people everywhere will imitate the God whom they worship. They will form their character in accordance with his. They will regard what he does as right. They will attempt to rise no higher in virtue than the God whom they adore, and they will practice freely what he is supposed to do or approve. Hence, by knowing what are the characteristics of the gods which are worshipped by any people, we may form a correct estimate of the character of the people themselves; and, hence, as the God who is the object of the Christian's worship is perfectly holy, the character of His worshipers should also be holy. And hence, also, we may see that the tendency of true religion is to make people pure. As the worship of the impure gods of the pagan moulds the character of the worshippers into their image, so the worship of Yahweh moulds the character of His professed friends into His image, and they become like him. 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).

I am your Father, and therefore you ought to imitate and obey me: or, I that have severed you from other people, that you should be mine, Leviticus 20:26, to which place particularly this seems to refer. 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.

{9} Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

(9) He shows that sanctification does necessarily follow adoption.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy] Literally, ye shall be holy, the future, as in the Ten Commandments, having the force of the imperative. The words, which occur frequently in the Levitical code (Leviticus 11:44; Leviticus 19:2; Leviticus 20:26), were applied sometimes to the priests as such, sometimes to the whole nation as a kingdom of priests. We see from ch. 1 Peter 2:5, that the Apostle’s thought is that all members of the Church of Christ have succeeded to that character, and are sharers in the priestly function, offering spiritual sacrifices.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.
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