Called Unto Holiness

Ephesians 5:1-21 emphasizes that as believers our entire lives must imitate God. Such godliness is expected given our present position (“as is proper among saints,” v. 3; “you are Light in the Lord,” v. 8 ) and expected future (“an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God,” v. 5).

As God’s absolute holiness governs and permeates all he is and does, so our lives as God’s children (vv. 1, 8 ) must reflect his holiness in every aspect (vv. 8-9). That God’s holiness must govern, permeate, and characterize our lives is evident from these expressions:

  • “as beloved children [of God],” v. 1
  • “not even be named among you,” v. 3
  • “as is proper among saints [holy ones],” v. 3
  • “there must be no…” v. 4
  • “…which are not fitting,” v. 4
  • “now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light,” v. 8
  • “the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth,” v. 9
  • “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness,” v. 11
  • “it is disgraceful even to speak of the things…” v. 12

Specifically, imitating God’s holiness is evident in–

  • a life characterized by love, v. 2
  • moral purity and material desires, vv. 3, 5
  • speech, vv. 4, 19
  • association/influence with false teachers, vv. 6-8
  • association/identification with fruit of holiness, v. 9
  • clear and obvious rejection of sin and evil (all that us unholy–“deeds of darkness”) by our lives and attention, vv. 11-12
  • our guiding principles and direction of life, v. 15
  • use of time, v. 16
  • what controls me, v. 18
  • the “tune” playing in my heart and mind is praise of and to God, v. 19
  • thankfulness for and in all things, v. 20
  • attitude toward other believers, v. 21

As I am called by God to salvation in Christ with all the blessings involved therein, I am also “Called Unto Holiness.”

Called unto holiness, church of our God,
Purchase of Jesus, redeemed by His blood,
Called from the world and its idols to flee,
Called from the bondage of sin to be free.

Called unto holiness; praise His dear Name!
This blessed secret to faith now made plain:
Not our own righteousness, but Christ within,
Living and reigning and saving from sin.

Called unto holiness, children of light,
Walking with Jesus in garments of white;
Raiment unsullied, nor tarnished with sin,
God’s Holy Spirit abiding within.

Called unto holiness, Bride of the Lamb,
Waiting the Bridegroom’s returning again;
Lift up your heads, for the day draweth near
When in His beauty the King shall appear.

Leila N. Morris (1862-1929)

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Author: Dan Greenfield

I am an undeserving sinner saved by God's grace through Jesus Christ, a happy husband, proud father of 6 great kids, pastor of Orwell Bible Church, Executive Secretary of the American Council of Christian Churches, and member of the Ohio Bible Fellowship .

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