1 Peter 1:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Peter 1:15, NIV: But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;

1 Peter 1:15, ESV: but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,

1 Peter 1:15, KJV: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

1 Peter 1:15, NASB: but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;

1 Peter 1:15, NLT: But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.

1 Peter 1:15, CSB: But as the one who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct;

What does 1 Peter 1:15 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

It can be tempting to walk away from verses 15 and 16 in discouragement. A shallow reading may lead us to believe that God requires absolute perfection from His children right now and forever. And yet, we can't seem to find any of God's children who are leading perfect lives. So what do these verses mean?

It is helpful to see them as being about our identity in Christ, as well as about our conduct. In his letter thus far, Peter has already described believers in Jesus as people who are saved, are being saved, and who will be saved. He has told us to change the direction of our minds and actions while already giving us the title of "children of obedience." Now in verse 15, he reinforces what we know. We know our God is "holy," set apart, "other" from the rest of fallen creation. What we may not realize is that we, too, are made to be holy, set apart, "other" from the rest of humankind. The emphasis seems to be that we must live up to what we already are.

We will not achieve perfectly sinless conduct on this side of eternity. However, we are made to be completely set apart from the world in our conduct right now. In Christ, we are holy. In Christ, we must live as holy people live. Our right choices will not save us. Peter's letter has made clear that salvation has already taken place and only by God's grace through faith in Christ. We are saved people. We are God's people. Now we must live like God's people. That is God's standard for us, and it should be our standard for ourselves—even with the understanding that we will fail along the way.