In Isaiah 5:3, we find words that are full of sadness: “he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit”. These words are followed by a question that is full of challenge: “When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad?” (Isaiah 5:4).
This is the call to holiness. God’s people are called to be “holy” (Isaiah 4:3). Holiness is not an optional extra. It’s not something we can take or leave. We cannot say, “Yes, I want to be saved but I don’t want to be holy.”
When salvation is real, there will be a real desire for holiness. God does not forgive our sins only to say, “Just go on living the way you did before I forgave your sins”. He forgives us our sins and He changes us, leading us into a new way of living – His way.
Holiness is not popular in today’s world. The world speaks of God’s people with contempt – “these holy people need to learn to live in the real world.”
When God calls His people ‘holy’, He speaks in a very different way. He speaks with affection. He looks upon us with love. We are special to Him. We are precious in His eyes. God loves us and He calls us to be holy. We are to live as those who have been set apart for God.
We are not to live for this world only. There is something else, something greater than this so-called “real world.” There is a world that is unseen and eternal, heavenly and glorious. This is our higher calling, our call to holiness. Let us “look to the things that are unseen and eternal.” Let us “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (2 Corinthians 4:18; Philippians 3:14).