>> Monday, November 16, 2009
I can understand why some may find it offensive that I call myself Saint Shellie. Let's face it, in our society today we are taught that saints are someone who live their lives in perpetual "perfectness". Never giving in to their flesh, but always doing everything exactly right...ALL THE TIME. Now, we know that no one ever lives to that standard; only Jesus Christ did. And I will be the first to admit that I am far from that perfect life.
But I do know who I am IN CHRIST! In Christ ALONE, I am a saint. But before I go any further, let's take a look at what God's Word says. Who does God call saints? What "kind" of people are they?
2 Corinthians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the Church of God which is at Corinth, with all the SAINTS who are in all Achaia.
1 Corinthians 1:2 To the Church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are SANCTIFIED in Christ Jesus, called to be SAINTS, with ALL who in every place call on the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Now, taken from the book Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges...
The church at Corinth was all messed up, both theologically and morally. They were proud and fractious; they tolerated gross immorality, sued each other in court, flaunted their freedom in Christ, abused the observance of the Lord's Supper, misunderstood the purpose of spiritual gifts, and were confused about the future resurrection of the believers. Yet when writing to them, Paul addressed them as "saints."
The popular meaning of words often changes over time, based on their common usage. So today we wouldn't think of those messed-up Corinthians as saints. We might call them worldly, carnal, or immature, but certainly not saints. In the Roman Catholic tradition, sainthood is conferred posthumously on Christians of exceptionally outstanding character and achievement.
Well, I have to say, if I were Catholic, I would never be considered for sainthood after my passing because I definitely do not measure up to their standards. Rather, I tend to be more like the Corinthians. Now more from Respectable Sins...
How then could the apostle Paul address the messed-up believers at Corinth as saints? In fact, this form of address seems to be a favorite of Paul's. He uses it in several of his letters and frequently refers to believers as SAINTS. How could Paul refer to ordinary believers, even the problem-plagued ones at Corinth, as saints?
Romans 1:7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints.
Romans 16:15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.
Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 37:28 For the Lord loves justice, and does not forsake His saints.
And others...Philippians 1:1
Now, let's go back to Respectable Sins...
The answer lies in the meaning of the word as it is used in the Bible. The Greek word for saint is hagios, and it refers not to one's character but to a state of being. Its literal meaning is "one who is separated unto God." In this sense, every believer- even the most ordinary and the most immature- is a saint...
God's Word calls ME a saint. God's Word calls you a saint, if you are in Christ Jesus. Should I then be ashamed to call myself a saint? I don't think so because HE says that I am. Am I having a "holier than thou" attitude by calling myself what my Savior calls me? I would hope that the Scriptures, themselves, would be able to answer that.
I, by no means, consider myself perfect, but "I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind." Philippians 3:14-16
My prayer is that everyone who reads this, or anything else in my blog, would be able to see me, as I truly am...
A great sinner who has a great Savior... Who calls me (and you) His saint!!!
May God Bless You, His Saint!
*Quotes from book are in red only.