You were … created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
“Hello, Rever’n’.” That was the way Ray always greeted me—even though I was young enough to be his grandson. I was only 26 years old, but to Ray I was still “Rever’n’” (short for “Reverend”). It’s a title that refers to respect and honor for my role as a minister, a representative of Christ.
Ray’s perspective came with his grasp of an important truth: that the church is holy and its leaders are commissioned to serve the church honorably “in Christ.” As we read in Ephesians, all believers are “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” So the body of believers is holy, separate from the world around it, being intimately connected to God through the cleansing blood of Christ.
Paul calls the Christians at Ephesus to be holy by putting away the godlessness and immorality of their surrounding culture. Instead they are to live out the calling they have received from God (see 4:1), in but not of the world.
Does the church always live that way? Sadly, it often behaves in such unholy ways that people turn away in disgust, saying they are willing to follow Jesus but not the church.
Ray reminds me, though, that the true church will always be holy because of its cleansing by Christ. Even though it is filled with sinful people, it is holy “in Christ.” Our connection to Christ defines us more than our sin does!
Help us to live up to the name Jesus has earned for us, O God. “In Christ” we are holy. Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!