1 Peter 1:15-16 (NIV)
15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: �Be holy, because I am holy.�

The Lord loved us and sent His son to atone for our sins. Because of the love shown for us, we should act as holy people because of the love shown towards us.

Karl Barth preached regularly to the inmates of the prison in his hometown of Basel, Switzerland. Knowledge of that context adds poignancy to the sermons. Here was an audience of people who had been officially judged and condemned as guilty. One of the sermons is based on Ephesians 2:8, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God." He illustrated by retelling a Swiss legend:

You probably all know the legend of the rider who crossed the frozen Lake of Constance by night without knowing it. When he reached the opposite shore and was told whence he came, he broke down horrified. This is the human situation when the sky opens and the earth is bright, when we may hear: By grace you have been saved! In such a moment we are like that terrified rider. When we hear this word we involuntarily look back, do we not, asking ourselves: Where have I been? Over an abyss, in mortal danger! What did I do? The most foolish thing I ever attempted! What happened? I was doomed and miraculously escaped and now I am safe!

In the same way, everyone who is trusting Christ for salvation by grace alone can say, "I was in mortal danger. I was doomed but through the cross of Christ I miraculously escaped and now I am safe!"

[Adapted from Fleming Rutledge, "Hallelujah, I'm a Miserable Sinner," The Behemoth]