1 Peter 1:15-16 (NKJV)
But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
I have always heard that the word holy, when applied to men, means to be set apart or sanctified. Reading this verse I am now perplexed (not unusual for me when dealing with deep truths) because the reason for our holiness is God's holiness. It seems to say that we are to be holy in the same way as He is holy. Obviously that can't be but this is actually a common biblical requirement. Jesus said:
Matthew 5:48 (NKJV)
Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
And the book of Hebrews goes so far as to say holiness is a requirement to see the Lord.
Hebrews 12:14 (NKJV)
Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:
One way we are to be holy is to imitate Christ; He is our perfect example. But just as a child can't do a perfect imitation, neither can we. Jesus said "be perfect." Here is another clue, we are to pursue it, meaning we reaching for it but not there yet. Jesus also said: "Without me, you can do nothing." OK, now we are getting somewhere. Jesus has a role in this. Come to think of it, my only role is to be submissive. God said "without faith it is impossible to please Him." So is it then by faith, with the power of Christ in me and me in Him? When God gives a seeming impossible command think faith, trust, surrender and God's enabling power.
1 John 3:2-3 (NKJV)
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.