3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:3-5 NASB)
For what reason did the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ chose (elect) all in Christ before the foundation of world? It was that they would be holy (ἁγίους) and blameless (ἀμώμους) before him….
The Puritans have always been accused of being legalistic and way too concerned about Christians living holy and blameless lives. I heard a Jeopardy clue not long ago that actually defined this aspect of them as being “harsh” and “stern.” Is it an unreasonable thing to command that believers conform their lives unto holy living and be separate from the world and its ways?
Αγίους (hagious), an adjective meaning “holy, set apart, consecrated”, is the Accusative, Plural of ἅγιος (hagios). In Paul’s letters those who name Jesus as their Lord are called ἅγιοι (hagioi), which is translated as “saints.” However, this is not primarily an ethical expression but is parallel to being “called” (Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2), “chosen” (Roma. 8:33; Col. 3:12), and “faithful” (Col. 1:2). Being one among the ἅγιοι implies association with the Holy Spirit. Christ is the one in whom believers become holy to the true God (1 Cor. 6:11). This power comes from the risen Christ, who operates according to the Spirit of holiness (Rom. 1:4). In these cases holiness refers to a relationship with God that is not mediated through ritual (ceremonial) observation but through the leading of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:14). Spiritual worship is the offering of oneself as a living, holy sacrifice, acceptable to God (Rom. 12:1).