Holiness, Illusive Pursuit

Scripture Resource Passage: Ephesians 5:1 (Berean Study Bible)

            William Law identified the personal and church-wide challenge to holiness in his long ago book titled, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life. You may find Law’s book difficult to read, given that it appeared in 1729. He captures the major themes in today’s Scripture Resource Passage. 

            The high challenge to disciples: “Be imitators of God…” (Ephesians 5:1). To which we might say, “Who me? Live totally like Jesus? Holiness and all? Really?”

            The specific instruction reminds me that my spiritual challenge is living precisely as would Christ Jesus. 

            The list of specific behaviors (from the surrounding sentences) are daunting, and disturbing, if considered in isolation from other truths. Each of us know no one will perfectly imitate Jesus. 

            I certainly will not make the grade—in fact no one has ever accused me of living precisely like Jesus. One person did tell me, “We never thought you were the Messiah.” To which I replied, “Neither did I!”

            Scripture agrees and disciples of Jesus confess, “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” Fortunately, Scripture then adds, “…and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24 NIV). However, let no one run to the grace-message without serious consideration of God’s holy calling. 

            While emphasizing grace as God’s gift through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, we do not want to lessen the seriousness of God’s call. 

            Please notice there is indented or italicized text, in your well edited New Testament portion of Ephesians 5, which calls attention to God’s documented anger. Seven hundred years before the Ephesian letter appeared for the churches, Isaiah was God’s voice calling His people to a faithful life. Isaiah 51:17 and 52:1 are two passages which provide instruction as well as warnings to all generations.

 Life Application

Where and when do you find holiness in your life?

Likewise, where and when do you find yourself most likely to disobey God?

Published by Andrew Simkins

Dr. Andrew Simkins provides spiritual direction for individuals and small groups through the regular blog posts found on this site. He resides in northwest Indiana with his beloved, along with nearby children and grandchildren who are the adornment of his life.

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