“but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct”
in all your conduct
“All” means every manner of conduct, whether it be work or rest, business or pleasure.
“Conduct” comes from two words, “up” and “to turn,” meaning “to turn upside down.” “Conduct” is our manner of life. God wants us to turn about or go about from place to place with a holy life. This is a mode of life.
“Conduct” is the whole outward life. God wants us to exhibit His holiness in the grubby business of everyday life. The issue here is general deportment or behavior.
What is the outstanding characteristic of your life? Humanly speaking, what is it? How you answer this question depends on your understanding of the phrase “manner of life.” Most people answer by what they do. That is not accurate. Your manner of life is what you do based on what you think. What you are is what goes on in your mind. What you do is a result of what you think. Our manner of life is what you think and do. This manner of life consists of acquired characteristics as well as inherent characteristics.
This is no mere pious fantasy. It is more than a nice idea; it is a divine directive. God wants our lives to match the gospel. So often, our lives clash with the gospel. God is much exercised about how we behave ourselves with the gospel. He is concerned about the quality of our lives because our lives reflect on Him.
“Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,” (Philippians 1:27).
God wants us to be holy in all our deportment:
“And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, 13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints,” (1 Thessalonians 3: 12).
“For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness,” (Hebrews 12:10).
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord,” (Hebrews 12:14).
God is concerned lest we bring His name into disrepute.
God is concerned about the quality of our lives because our lives reflect Him. As the center relates to the circumference, so Christians are to pattern their life after God’s holiness. God’s holiness is the cause of holiness in Christians.
What our children do reflects on us. At times they embarrass us because they act just like their parents! We can see ourselves in our children. This is not true with God because He is absolutely holy (set apart from humanity).
God wants us to be like Him. He does not have any bad habits, so this is a big order. Human parents have many faults. Their children walk in their footsteps. They learn bad things easier than good things.
If we are leaders and our children misbehave, it reflects upon us. It will hurt our place in society or ministry. God wants us to be a credit to Christ. He wants us to be an asset rather than a liability. Everything we do reflects upon the Lord.
God saves us by grace, not works. He keeps us saved by grace, not works. However, if our works are shoddy, He will execute family discipline. His discipline is not punitive. He is not in the business of retaliation. God is not vindictive. His discipline is educational, remedial. He is in the business of building lives that will glorify Him (Matthew 5:16). Good works do not save us. They demonstrate that we have come to Christ.
Some non-Christians put Christians to shame when it comes to works. Many non-Christians work with the United Way, March of Dimes, or Red Cross. When we try to challenge some people to give a few hours to the ministry of Christ, they say, “Well, I don’t have much time. We are busy with our family activities. We are working overtime. We don’t have time for ministry.”