Ephesians 5:3 “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”
“Don’t do those things,” Paul is saying, “Because that is not who you are.” Being “God’s holy people” may make us different from those who don’t believe in Jesus, but it does not describe some super class of Christians. Paul isn’t writing to the church council, the board of elders, the officers of the women’s group, or the members of the choir. He isn’t addressing people who never sinned in the past, or who will never sin in the future. He’s talking about you and me.
There are basically two ways a person can be clean: don’t get dirty in the first place, or get a good bath. God’s people are holy because God has given them a good bath. We have “washed our robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” The prophet Ananias urged Paul, “Get up, be baptized, and wash your sins away,” three days after Jesus turned Paul’s life around on the road to Damascus. We’ve been baptized and washed our sins away, too. “The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
Being holy means that God has set us apart from the rest of the world. He has claimed us as his very own. He picked us up, and brought us home, and cleaned us up because he had an idea about how he could use us. God’s holy people have purpose.
Take a moment to let that sink in a little. Have you ever rescued an item from the curb–maybe a piece of furniture or a small appliance. Over the years we have brought a number of things home like that–a TV stand, a dresser, some patio furniture. All of that stuff was just hours away from spending the rest of its earthly existence at the dump. But we took it home, cleaned it up, and gave it a new life and a new purpose.
Isn’t that a picture of God’s holy people? Destined for the dump, we were rescued, and cleaned, and God gave us a new life and a new purpose. We are God’s holy people. We will live a new life if we will simply be who we are.