Day: June 16, 2021

You’re a saint

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Saint, Saint Paul

Introduction

In the last post in this series, I demonstrated how scripture reveals you are CHOSEN and PREDESTINED in Christ. Now, let’s look at how you are made a Saint in Christ Jesus.

Be a saint

The fact that you’ve placed your trust in Jesus Christ is enough to qualify you to be a saint. Even though you’ll still struggle with sin while you live in this fallen world, your core identity as a Christian is as a saint, not a sinner – and you can always count on Jesus’ help to overcome sin in your life. Rely on His help to resist temptation. When you do sin, confess and repent. Maintain attitudes of humility and gratitude for God’s grace.

Ephesians 2:19 “Now therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and the household of God.”

Fellow citizens

First, you are “fellow citizens.” In the Roman Empire, Roman citizenship was very important (Acts 16:37–38; 21:39; 22:25–29; 23:27). Citizens of a nation have rights and benefits which non-citizens do not enjoy. A person could be born a citizen or could earn citizenship at a price. Through salvation in Jesus, these Gentiles were now citizens in the family of God, along with all other believers. Paul also mentioned the believer’s heavenly citizenship in Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

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Family Members

Second, they were now family members. Though the Greek word for household could refer to family members and household servants, the focus here is on being a valued family member. Saved Gentiles were now official citizens of God’s kingdom and were members of His family, equal with all other believers.

Colossians 1:11-13 “11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,”

God’s power

Paul also explains that we, as believers, have God’s power in our lives. First, God’s power gives endurance, which is the ability to withstand hardship without failing. The Lord is the God of endurance” (Romans 15:5), a quality needed by all Christians (Hebrews 10:36). Second, God’s power gives patience. Patience is part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23) and is an essential part of Christian maturity. Third, God’s power gives joy. Joy is also part of the fruit of the Spirit and is one of the clearest differences between the life of the believer and the unbeliever.

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Gives thanks for your salvation

We ought to be giving thanks and praying continually – 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 – “16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Paul makes it clear that God alone is the one who provides salvation. It is by His grace through faith in Christ (John 3:16; Acts 4:12; Ephesians 2:8–9). The inheritance of the saints is eternity with the Lord in heaven, something Paul often refers to in his writings. Ephesians 1:18 illustrates this concept clearly, speaking of “the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.”

Paul also makes mention of light, which is an important part of Hebrew thinking. According to the Jewish people, all knowledge and goodness was symbolised by “light,” while sin and ignorance were characterized by “darkness.” This is a theme of the apostle John, as well, frequently used in both his letters and the Gospel of John.

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Rescued and Redeemed

God has rescued and redeemed believers. “Domain” is from the Greek word exousias, which can also be translated as “power, authority, or strength.” In this case, Paul is referring to God’s rescue of Christians from the power of sin and death. Darkness is contrasted with light. Just as light and darkness have nothing in common, and good and evil are opposed to each other, so heaven and hell are opposites.

In addition, Paul says that God has transformed us from sinners bound by sin, into new creations meant for heaven. The word metestēsen is often translated “delivered” in English translations, but can also mean “transpose,” or even “translate.” This once again highlights God’s rescue of the believer from the power of sin and its consequences (Romans 6:23).

We are not merely protected from the penalty sin, we are radically removed from it.

Prays for continued spiritual growth, including knowledge of God, knowledge of His will, and wisdom. Prays for strength and endurance. In so praying, be reminded that salvation is entirely the work of God, who drastically changed our fate by rescuing us from sin.

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in Devotional, Identity in Christ, 2 comments