Two Key Descriptors of a Christ-Follower

One of the more profound texts in the New Testament is found in 1 Corinthians 6:11 – “And such were some of you…”

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
– 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, ESV

In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we read that we are “made new” in Christ. The old things have passed away, and everything now is new. Ephesians 5:8 says “you were once darkness,” not that you were in the darkness, but that you, yourself were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord! That’s an astonishing truth! The passage then says, “Live as children of light.”

We used to be “that” but now we are “this,” because we’ve been made new. So now what?

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
– Ephesians 1:4, NIV—1978


Holy, (hagios) is the most frequent attribute or descriptor applied to a Christ-follower in the New Testament. It’s the same word often translated “sanctified.” It is a word of separation and dedication.

A couple of times each year, we have auto shows in the county where hundreds of beautifully restored automobiles are put on display. We saunter by “ooo”ing and “ahh”ing. as we dream about what it would be like to own an old automobile that gorgeous. For some of the presenters, these shows are the only time their cars are brought out of storage. The car has been “set apart” for this one purpose.

So it is for you, Christ-follower. You are distinctively God’s, set aside for his purposes. You are holy, sacred, sanctified. You are consecrated to the service of Yahweh, chosen for his purposes.

The apostle Paul told the church at Colossae that they had “put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”1 Prior to this they had been told to put to death everything that was “earthly” in them, things like sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire. This is what they have been sanctified from.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
– Colossians 3:12-16, ESV

That’s what holiness looks like.


And we are to be without blame (amomous). This is a term of reputation. It seems like a tall order. Blameless? Yeah, right.

Paul wrote the church at Corinth, a notoriously troubled body of believers, and yet he used this term to describe them.

He will also keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
– 1 Corinthians 1:8, NIV—1978

Paul’s point was that, despite their struggles, the Lord would sustain them to the end. Jesus would be their righteousness until the day of his revealing. Paul would later tell this same church that Jesus became sin on our behalf so that we might become his righteousness.2 If our loyalty is to Jesus, then our blamelessness will be found in him, as he is in us.

As God’s sanctified children, called to a reputation of blamelessness, we present our bodies as living sacrifices.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
– Romans 12:1-2, ESV

We are transformed and made new so that we can stand as sons and daughters of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. We shine as lights in the darkness.

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.
– Philippians 2:14-15, ESV

While we have a responsibility for our heart and our attitude, it is Jesus who makes us blameless before God.

[Jesus] has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.
– Colossians 1:22, ESV

It is this sanctified and blameless state that elicits praise for the glorious grace of God from those who see.3

May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
– 1 Thessalonians 3:12, ESV

Blessings upon you, my friends.

Victoriously in Christ!

– damon
X – @DamonJGray
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1. Colossians 3:10, ESV
2. 2 Corinthians 5:21
3. Ephesians 1:6

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Damon J. Gray

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