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.

Separation Anxiety or Assurance?

“Just jump,” my husband told me. But the water looked a LONG way down. And what if I belly flopped? Finally, I pushed past my fear and leaped.  Needless to say, I was hooked. The joy of plunging into Lake Roosevelt from the top of the houseboat soon replaced my fear of heights.

Bible study can be like this, daunting at first, especially with long “Christianeze” terms. But it’s important to learn, especially for those who desire to become more Christlike. Also, it’s the only way to sift truth from various teachings. So I encourage you to regularly explore the Bible. It’s worth the time and effort.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sanctification signifies separation to God. What does this mean? Herbert Lockyer writes:

“Sanctify” is one of the words related to “consecrate,” and suggests not only a separation from but unto: Separated from sin unto salvation, from works unto grace, from hell unto heaven. It implies a purging from sin or the old leaven (1 Corinthians 5:7) and stands for a renewing (Romans 12:2). Thus a sanctified one is not only washed from sin, but adorned with purity.”

Positional sanctification is the privilege of everyone who has accepted Christ. We have been set apart by and for God. We are sanctified the moment of our regeneration* (Philippians 1:1). Jesus became sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God, (2 Corinthians 5:21). Through trust in Christ, we make an exchange―our sin for His righteousness. Our sin was poured into Christ at His crucifixion. As the risen One on high, He is the Object presented to the soul. He is our sanctification (1 Corinthians 6:11). His righteousness is poured into us at our conversion. Jesus becomes our holiness and redemption as we are spiritually reborn. We (believers) have a living hope through Christ’s resurrection (1 Peter 1:3). Christ now lives in us through His Holy Spirit, (John 14:16-17).

*See definitions for words in red below.

I don’t know about you, but I have to let that soak in for a while …

If Jesus is the object of our sanctification, what do you think we―His children/believers―are objects of? What about the person who hasn’t received Christ as their Lord? What is he/she an object of? If you are in Christ, how or when did you receive Him as your Savior? How has He made a difference in your life?

Have a wonderful week!

K.D.

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Consecrate – To set apart or devote to God.

Regeneration – spiritual renewal or revival; rebirthed

Conversion – to bring over from one belief, view, or party to another

Redemption – to buy back; repurchase; to rescue (often from sin) with a ransom

Resurrection – rising from the dead

*This article is also posted in the Gospel Blog by FEBC at http://bit.ly/15zZHep

Sank-a-what?

Sanc·ti·fi·ca·tion: noun, sounds like “saŋ(k)-tə-fə-ˈkā-shən” … not to be confused with “sank·a·va·ca·tion,” which sounds more like my daughter’s interpretation.

(This post article is also posted in the Gospel Blog by FEBC at http://bit.ly/13vG5Iy.)

I don’t pretend to be a theologian or philosopher. But I am a curious learner who wants―needs―to know how God’s truths work in daily, practical matters. So to make this concept clearer, I consulted Strong’s Greek Dictionary of the New Testament.

The translated Greek word Hagiasmos is associated with purity and holiness. It signifies (1) separation to God (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2), and (2) the resultant state, the conduct befitting those so separated (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4, 7), (3) it is translated “holiness” in Romans 6:19, 22; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; 1 Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 12:14, (4) Sanctification is thus the state predetermined by God for believers, into which in grace He calls them, and in which they begin their Christian course and so pursue it. (5) Hence they are called “saints.”

“Saints”―really? Now that’s a difficult concept for me to wrap my head around. I’m very aware of the times I mess up and sin. How can a holy God view someone like me as a saint?

God reminds me: I can’t live the Christian life by my own efforts. Sanctification/holiness results solely from His Holy Spirit working in my life. I do have a choice, however, whether I grow or regress in my Christian journey.

For my next five posts, under the category Sanctification, I plan to dig deeper into the five areas listed above. Will you join me? I hope we can learn together.

What are your views and/or experiences on sanctification?