The apostle Paul refers to the Romans in Chapter 1 of Romans as Saints. I’m not so sure most of us today would have called them such.
“They were proud and fractious; they tolerated gross immorality, sued each other in court, flaunted their freedom in Christ, about the observance of the Lord’s Supper, misunderstood the purpose of spiritual gifts, and were confused about the future of believers.”(Jerry Bridges pg11)And yet in verse 7 Paul says ‘To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints.”
What did Paul mean when he used the word saint? The word "saint" is derived from a Greek verb (hagiazo [aJgiavzw]) whose basic meaning is "to set apart,” “sanctify”, or “make holy”.Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology has this to say:
“Those who were dedicated to the teachings of Christ were frequently called saints by these writers (e.g., Matt 27:52; Acts 9:13; 26:10; Rev 14:12). Six of Paul's letters to churches are addressed to saints (Romans, 1-2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians).As believers we are called by God to be”…in Christ Jesus and called to be holy…” (1 Cor 1:2). We are called to peace Col 3:15. We are called to live a holy life.(1 Thess 4:7; 1 Pe 1:13)
Saints, in the New Testament, are never deceased individuals who have been canonized by the church and given sainthood. They are living individuals who have dedicated themselves to the worship and service of the one true God as revealed through his Son, Jesus Christ.”
Christian are beloved of God, they are members of that body which is beloved, in which God delights in. Christians are to be holy; they are called to be saints, called to salvation through sanctification. We don’t become saints by our actions. We are made saints by the immediate supernatural action of the Holy Spirit alone who works this change deep within our inner being so that we do, in fact, become new creations in Christ (2 Cor 5:17) (Jerry Bridges)
Please understand that a saint is not someone who no longer sins. There is a constant warfare in the life of every believer between the spirit and flesh. It’s fought daily, sometimes hourly. We need to remember that we do not live defeated lives, but are called to be holy, to set ourselves apart from the world’s way of living and live a life worthy of being called saints. We are set apart for God. There should be a difference between the way you live and the way the world lives. Does your choices, the life you live tell those around you that you ARE a saint? Anything less than living a life ‘set apart’ is a misrepresentation of who Christ is and is sin.
Verses taken from the NIV Bible. Bridges quotes taken from Respectable Sins.
i would never consider myself or people i know as saints. but i was going from the catholic's definition. great food for thought.ReplyDelete
You go find that place my friend... It took me sometime to find mine but it is there.... and I just cannot help but tell you that your lesson tonight is so "of God" We all need to change our minds and see ourselves as God sees us......... We are seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus.. we need to live like a saint so that the world will see Him....ReplyDelete
I know that song,, and I will find it!!ReplyDelete
have a great Wednesday!!!!
"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen." Romans 11:36ReplyDelete
Our saintly-ness is FROM Him (our standing before Him-salvation), THROUGH Him (our daily sanctification), and TO Him- for His glory (which is our greatest joy). God gave us His Son's position. He calls us His own, His children. Not because of anything good in us, not even the choices we make right now.
This thought has been rolling in my head after reading through Romans- "As believers,our actions, whether good or bad, do not define us." Though there is a close connection to our behavior and our being (thus John 14:15, etc) - our actions are not WHO WE ARE - now, this is for BELIEVERS. Because of what you've voiced, yes, we ARE saints because of WHO GOD IS and what He's done for the sake of His name and our joy, and our actions ought to show that- fruit. But, knowing that our actions are not who we are frees us from 1- pride- when "good" things are seen in our life, and 2- shame- when "bad" things are seen in our life. It frees us to know that anything good comes from His Spirit living within us, not any good from ourselves, since we are depraved. And it frees us to know that any bad coming out of us is not who we are anymore IN CHRIST. Our identity is now in Him...so we can freely confess before God, ourselves, and others, instead of hiding, and then God can work and do His thing within our hearts to change the outward to match the reality of our standing before Him- SAINTS.
I have never thought about us this way as today’s believers I had to spend some time in thought with this. The book sounds like a good read.ReplyDelete