Links Daily Devotional

Sainthood in Action

To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:2, ESV)

Yesterday we found that there are saints among us. There may even be one in your mirror.

The Greek word hagios is rendered “saint” in some Bible translations and “holy one” in others. The etymology suggests that the word grew up in a family of like variations, all pointing toward purity and sacredness.

The crux of our understanding about sainthood and holiness must begin with the crux—that is, the cross.That may sound as daunting to you as trying to carry a bunker from 250 yards away. Start trying to aim for holiness, and if you don’t get laughed at by others, you’ll eventually get laughed at by God. At least that’s what you’re thinking now—and you might even be afraid I’m going to talk you out of it!

Well, let’s start here: God has no intention of laughing at you. And certainly not if he’s the one who prepared the way for your holiness.

The crux of our understanding about sainthood and holiness must begin with the crux—that is, the cross. Without the work of Jesus, you can hold as fast as you want to your idea that you’ll never be a saint. You won’t be. It’s not you who makes you a saint.

We are led to an understanding of what makes us saints by the passage before us today, the opening lines of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. In it we see that saints, or holy ones, possess five critical traits:

Saints are sanctified in Christ Jesus. They are not made holy of their own accord, but rather their holiness comes in Christ. His purity is given to saints.

Saints are called to mature together. A critical error in our thinking about saints is that they are highly unusual and “otherly.” We figure saints develop one here and one there, and the chance that they would ever meet is pretty unlikely. Wrong. Together, in groups like Links Fellowships or local churches, we are a plurality of saints.

Saints call on the name of the Lord. Here is the first centerpiece of a saint’s identity. Are they giving themselves to God in worship and in praise? A saint’s view is quite vertical.

Saints surrender to Jesus as Lord. And here is the second centerpiece: Saints don’t follow their own course. Instead, they let Jesus lead, remembering that to love him is to obey his commands (John 14:15).

Saints have been imbued with grace and peace. This idea is advanced in the immediately ensuing verses of Paul’s letter, where he wrote: “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge.”

To distill our lesson of these two days, it is to say that sainthood is not only for those we might think of as saints. It is for you and me, called to a holiness inspired by the grace and peace planted in us and ignited by our worship of and service to the one who has done that planting, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jeff Hopper
November 2, 2016
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