Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Ephesians 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
God’s standard of holiness, being separate from sin and morally pure, did not change even though now in the New Testament we are under grace. He is still a holy God; it is His goal for our life Ephesians 1:4, and still His standard (Isaiah 62:10; 35:8-10). Grace empowers us to reach His high holy standards by imparting to us a righteous and holy nature (Ephesians 4:24). Grace was given to get us to where we could not get to on our own and to do for us what we could not do on our own. Jesus was made unto us sanctification or holiness. Holiness through our efforts wasn’t our way to get to Jesus but Jesus through His work for us was our way to get to holiness.
We as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are sanctified, made holy and purified, in Christ Jesus and are called saints. First Corinthians 1:2 says, “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, (to them) that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called (to be) saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, (both) theirs and ours. The words in parenthesis are added by the translators and are not in the original manuscripts. We are not going to be saints, we are saints NOW. Saints are: holy ones; set apart ones; sanctified ones. Holy is first a state of being set apart before it is our behavior. It also says that we ARE sanctified which means: to set apart from and separate unto. We’ve been set apart for sacred use and God’s purpose. We can act and behave holy because God made us holy. We don’t act TO BE holy we act because WE ARE holy by virtue of being in Christ. Here are some facts we must grasp:
- All saved (believers) are saints (holy ones).
- All believers are saints by spiritual position in Christ not by personal merit.
- All believers may not act saintly or holy by practice.
Grace made it possible for us to live up to God’s high holy standards and able to live holy as a practical way of life as we are exhorted to do in 2 Corinthians 7:1, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” In our every day walk we are to perfect holiness in the fear of God. This is what is meant by Ephesians 1:4 when it says, “we should be holy.” We’ve been made holy in Christ so we should be holy or now behave holy in your Christian walk before God and men. Grace brought freedom from sin and an empowerment for a holy life. To God be all the glory!