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Count Your Blessings

Part 7

Blessing 15. HOLINESS

Ephesians 1:3-4 says

Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the upper-heavenly places in Christ, according to how he chose us in him before the overthrow of the world, for us to be holy and without blemish in his presence in love, [Eph 1:3-4]

Holy here is the same word in Greek as the word for “saint”, as is widely the case in the New Testament. That believers are saints is clear from Romans 1:7

to all those who are in Rome, God's beloved, called as saints, grace to you and peace from God our father and Lord Jesus Christ. [Rom 1:7]

Leviticus 11:44 tells us that God is holy. Holiness implies being undefiled and set apart so as to be able to serve God. Israel and the Levitical priests in particular had to work hard at just a precursor of true holiness, by setting up the tent of contact (AV tabernacle) and building the temple, and performing duties exactly as God prescribed them.

There is a connection between holiness and a choice being made by God, both in Ephesians 1:4 quoted above and in Deuteronomy 7:6.

For you are a holy people to the Lord your God. The Lord your God chose you to be to him a people who are a special acquisition, out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth. [Deut 7:6]

Note also the reference to a special acquisition, tying in with Ephesians 1:14.

and he is the guarantee of our inheritance, until the redemption of the special possession, to the praise of his glory. [Eph 1:14]

The “holy of holies” was so extremely holy that only the high priest could go there, once a year, under cover of sacrifices. Yet here in Ephesians the believers in Jesus Christ are addressed as saints and are chosen to be holy. We are no longer regarded as earthly or defiled because God has

transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved son, [Col 1:13]

and “his beloved son” meets the highest possible standards of holiness and gives them to us too.

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