Me, A Saint?

When I think of “saints,” the following thoughts surface: 1) the song, When the Saints Go Marching In; 2) Saint Patrick’s Day; 3) Mother Teresa; 4) martyrs who have died for their faith, (and last, but not least); 5) I know I’m saved and am trying to become more Christ-like, but I am not a saint.

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I admit, the fact that God calls His children “saints” causes me to squirm. I’m well aware of my shortcomings. Maybe that’s why God prods me to explore this topic more in depth.

“Saints” appear 95 times in the Bible. The Greek word for saints is hagios, which signifies being separated from sin and consecrated to God. It is used of people and things concerning their devotion to God―divine demands upon the conduct of believers who are called hagioi, “saints,” “sanctified,” or “holy” ones.

This sainthood is not by achievement or attainment, but is rather a state into which God in grace calls people (2 Timothy 1:9); yet believers are called to confess sin, become cleansed, and forsake sin. We are admonished to live a holy life so we might experience fellowship with our holy God (1 Peter 1:15; 2 Peter 3:11).

When a person is spiritually reborn into God’s family he/she has the greatest experience of love and the greatest inheritance. Those who become Christians are purposed to be His holy children―saints―that are set apart for His service.

God views us as righteous only through our union and identification with His Son, Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:30).

God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”  – 2 Corinthians 5:21

Thankfully, holiness is God’s master intrinsic work … phew!

Jesus is the fulfillment and culmination of God’s revelation through the centuries. When we know Him, we have all we need to be saved from our sin and to have a perfect relationship with God (Hebrews 1:1-2). If we are in Christ, God looks upon us as saints … I know, mind boggling, but exciting just the same! So, the question arises, are we saints in Christ? Or, are we trying to be saints by our own efforts? When I’ve strived apart from Christ, I’ve always wound up frustrated. How about you?

Below is Chris Tomlin’s song, Jesus Messiah. The corresponding video is graphic, but a good reminder of the extent Jesus suffered that we might have life.

God Bless,

K. D.

*This article is also posted in the Gospel Blog by FEBC at http://bit.ly/19BNQF0

Like Father, Like Child

The salesman nodded, “may I help you?”

“I’m just looking for my husband,” I said while scanning the store.

“Well,” he grabbed a nearby associate, “we have a few eligible ones left. What characteristics are you looking for?”

My cheeks burned as his words registered. Those within earshot had a good laugh. 🙂

Hmm, characteristics

I could detail my husband’s great characteristics. I’d love to dive into God’s. But to stay on topic, I better stick with the “resultant state” God desires to see in us.

Herbert Lockyer writes about the developing traits in the one separated unto God:

  • There will be separation from all known sin and enmity to God (James 4:4).
  • There will be a growing resemblance to God. Our immediate goal is conformity to Christ (Romans 8:28, 29). Our ultimate goal is perfect likeness to Him (1 John 3:2).
  • Study of God’s Word will be a delight (Psalm 1:2, 3).
  • There will be a well-ordered life. Christ’s fragrance will permeate every phase of life (2 Corinthians 2:14).
  • There will be a steadfast resolution to follow Christ all the way. We prefer sanctity to safety (Job 27:6).
  • There will be a manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s fruit and favor (Galations 5:22-24; Hebrews 13:21).

These are the believer’s responsibility. What do you think the result of sanctification is not?

Every step in our spiritual growth of this practical sanctification brings great joy to our heavenly Father. I love the following verse:

“The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”        Zephaniah 3:17

The following link shows Carrie Underwood singing, How Great Thou Art: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=pLLMzr3PFgk.

I think it’s a great Valentine tribute to our Lord.

I pray that we grasp how great our Creator’s love is for us.                          1234404906442945285pixabella_Valentine_Red_Maori_Heart.svg.hi

Happy Valentines!

K.D.

Bad News, Good News

Care to join me for a steaming latte? It’s 12 degrees fahrenheit in my neck of the woods. Brrr. Reason enough to enjoy the crackling fire with a hot drink within reach.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, God’s first call in our lives deals with salvation. In fact, most of the Bible centers around John 3:16 (NIV), “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The word salvation appears 164 times in the Bible. According to Strong’s Concordance, salvation is “mattâth” in Hebrew and Aramaic, which means “a present: ― gift; reward.” The Greek translation “soteria” means “rescue or safety.”

Salvation can be summarized as follows: deliverance from the power or penalty of sin.

Whose sin? Both yours and mine. We’ve all done wrong things and failed to obey God’s laws (Romans 3:23; 5:12).

The result? Separation from holy God, our Creator. This separation―the penalty of our sin―is eternal death (Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:10-15). Our best efforts–moralism–fall short in our attempts to unite with God (Isaiah 64:6). That’s the bad news.

The good news: Jesus–God’s unique Son–never sinned (Hebrews 5:9). He alone bridged the gap between sinless God and sinful mankind when He freely died on the cross (1 Timothy 2:5-6; 1 John 5:9-12). He took our place in order to save us from sin’s consequences―including God’s judgment and death (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; Romans 5:8-11).

The result? We can have new life because Jesus took our past, present, and future sins upon Himself, forgiving all our wrongdoing (Hebrews 10:5-18). Thus, He reconciles us to God (1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 10:19-22). Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the proof that His substitutionary sacrifice on the cross was acceptable to God. His resurrection has become the source of new life for whoever believes Jesus is the Son of God (John 11:25; Romans 10:9). He grants eternal life, giving union with God to those who believe and receive Him (Ephesians 2:4-7; John 1:12).

Do you believe Jesus is God’s Son? If so, have you confessed your sins to Him and asked Him for the gift of eternal life and forgiveness?

*This article is also posted in the Gospel Blog by FEBC at http://bit.ly/17RG5UK.