“Of Sinners & Saints”

Posted: May 10, 2019 in Philippians, Spiritual Gifts

Philippians 1:1 (Lesson #6)

We all know that we’ve sinned and have acted lawlessly (1 John 1:8-10; 3:4). This makes us sinners in need of a Savior because we can’t save us ourselves by our good works (Romans 3:10, 23; 6:23; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). But when the word “saint” is mentioned, what comes into your mind? To some people “The title ‘Saint’ denotes a person who has been formally canonized, that is, officially and authoritatively declared a saint, by the Church as holder of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and is therefore believed to be in Heaven by the grace of God.” Today Romanists generally believe that a person can become a saint by (1) waiting five years. The process to make someone a saint cannot normally start until at least five years after their death. … (2) becoming a “servant of God,” (3) showing proof of a “heroic virtue,” (4) having performed verified miracles, (5) and then going through cononisation. [1]

But according to the Scriptures, the moment a person believers on the Lord Jesus Christ as the One who died for his/her sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, he/she becomes a saint, a child of God, a royal priest, and a member in the Body of Christ which is the true Church (1 Corinthians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; 1 John 3:10; 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6; Romans 12:4, 5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 5:30). There are many other things that can be said of every true Christian who has been blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3). If you’re saved, how many of them could you name? Is your lack of Bible knowledge contributing to your not enjoying the eternal and abundant life that Christ came to give to you (John 10:10)? How much time are you spending in God’s Word and meditating on it (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16, 17)? Do you need help to understand the Scriptures? If so, ask us about our “Dispensations Chart.” It might help you greatly. Knowing what parts are to you as opposed to what is for you, can make a big difference.

Saints. This word comes from the Greek language (in which the New Testament was written) and essentially means one who has been separated unto God. “Sainthood is not an attainment; it is a state into which God in grace calls men.” – W. E. Vine. It has to do with a believer’s position “in Christ.” Just as a prince is taught and then called upon and expected to behave like a prince, so too all true believers (Christians) are called upon to learn how to live up to the level of their position “in Christ” (1 Peter 1:15, 16). “In the New Testament the word “saint” always refers to a sanctified person, one set apart to God inviolably [incapable of being violated] for His possession and service. (Compare the related Greek words hagios and hagiazo rendered “saint” and “sanctify” respectively.) The aspect of Christian sanctification is positional, based on the atoning blood of Christ (Hebrews 13:12; compare 10:10-14). In this sense, all believers are saints regardless of their progress and growth…” – Taken from Dr. C. I. Scofield’s Study Bible, Romans 1:7 note. [2] “The Apostle Paul was fond of addressing his fellow believers as “saints” (cf. Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:10; Philemon 5, 7). This title reflects the Christian’s present justified standing before God, though not necessarily his or her present sanctified standing in the sight of other people.” – Dr. Thomas Constable. [3]

“In Christ Jesus.” The term “Christ” can be used to mean (1) “Messiah” (Matthew 16:16, 20), (2) the “resurrected and glorified One” (Acts 2:22-36), or to (3) the “New Man” or the “New Creation” called “The Christ” (Ephesians 2:14, 15; Ephesians 5:32; 2 Corinthians 5:17). The context must determine the meaning. When a sinner believes/trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for his/her salvation (Acts 16:31), he/she is placed (baptized spiritually) into this “New Creation” which includes the spiritual “Body of Christ, which is His Church” (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13; Matthew 16:18). The members include all believers from the “Day of Pentecost” (Acts 2) up to the Rapture of the Church (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; John 6:37; Romans 11:25). The Lord Jesus Christ became the Head of His Body, the Church after His crucifixion, death, and bodily resurrection from the dead, on the Day of Pentecost (Ephesians 1:22, 23; 4:8-16; Acts 2). As the Head, Jesus Christ is the One who directs the affairs of the Body through God the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4-6). Sadly, many Christians grieve (Ephesians 4:30) and quench Him (1 Thessalonians 5:19) by sinning or failing to follow His leading in their lives (Romans 8:14; 2 Timothy 2:12).

Spiritual Gifts. The activities of the Body of Christ (Christians) are directly related to his/her spiritual gift that is/was given to each and every New Testament believer at the moment of his/her salvation (1 Peter 4:10; Ephesians 2:10). Some of the spiritual gifts were “temporary” until the Scriptures were completed (1 Corinthians 13:8-10), while others are extant (still being given out today). (See our “Bible Basics Docs” on our website for more information.) For a believer to receive crowns, rewards, or praise from Christ at the time of the “Bema Seat Judgment” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10), these good works must be exercised with love that is produced by God the Holy Spirit in the lives of “Spirit filled” believers (1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5:13; 22, 23; Ephesians 5:18). Good works done independently of God are like wood, hay, and straw and they will be burned up on judgment day (John 15:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 4:13; Isaiah 64:6). The unbelievers’ day of judgment, called “The Great White Throne Judgment,” will come at the end of the 1,000 reign of Christ (Revelation 20:11-15). It will determine the degree of suffering these people will endure throughout all eternity. There is no annihilation of the wicked dead as some cults teach (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Mark 9:44, 46, 48). In which judgment will you participate (Hebrews 9:27)?

Philippi. It was a Roman colony in Europe and a military outpost. The citizens apparently enjoyed autonomous government, immunity from taxes, and treatment as if they lived in Italy. The first Christians and members of this local church were Lydia and jailor and his family (Acts 16). Other people were saved as the new Christians shared the Gospel with others in the community (Acts 1:8). Dr. Luke may have stayed in Philippi for awhile to strengthen the newly established local church after Paul and Silas left there and went to Thessalonica where they also faced persecution (Acts 17).

Bishops. This term relates to an overseer of a local church (1 Timothy 3:1 ff). “Pastor-teacher” is the spiritual gift that a man should have to become an overseer of a church. Being an “elder” tells us that a bishop (overseer) should have a relative degree of spiritual maturity and this takes some time (1 Timothy 3:6; Titus 1:5 ff). He should be involved in feeding, guiding, guarding, and healing God’s flock, the Church (1 Peter 5:1-4; Acts 20:28-31; 2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17; 4:1-5; See Revelation chapters 2, 3 for Christ’s words to the angels/messengers/Pastor-teachers in these seven churches).

Deacons. These men need to be genuinely saved (2 Peter 1:10) and be Spirit filled men (Ephesians 5:18) with God’s wisdom (James 1:5; 3:17, 18) who assist the Bishops, Pastor-teachers so they can give themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:3, 4; 1 Timothy 3:8).

Questions? Have you placed your faith and trust in the Christ of the Scriptures alone to save you? Do you see yourself as a necessary member in the “Body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12-31)? If you are saved, are you acting like a Christian should act? Do you know what your spiritual gift is? Do you realize that while we have citizenship here on earth, our most important citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20)? Are you using the “spiritual gift” that God gave to you to edify others within the “Body of Christ” (1 Peter 4:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:11)? What are you doing to magnify and make the Lord Jesus Christ known to other people (1 Corinthians 10:31; Psalm 34:3)? What needs to change?

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who are “teachable” and “willing to change” (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible studies. If this has helped you, please SHARE it with others.

[1] Saints.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint

https://www.google.com/search?q=what+comes+to+people%27s+minds+when+the+word+saint+is+mentioned&oq=what+comes+to+people%27s+minds+when+the+word+saint+is+mentioned&aqs=chrome..69i57.19383j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

https://www.google.com/search?q=How+do+you+become+a+saint+in+the+Catholic+Church%3F&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwirhvKQzY7iAhUNSa0KHcSVDXEQzmd6BAgKEAo&biw=693&bih=398

https://www.newsweek.com/how-do-you-become-saint-pope-francis-just-announced-new-path-635376

[2] Dr. C. I. Scofield Study Bible. http://www.cheapestbookprice.com/prices/9780195275520-the-scofield%C2%AE-study-bible-iii-nkjv-indexed

[3] Dr. T. Constable, https://www.planobiblechapel.org/tcon/notes/html/nt/philippians/philippians.htm

The Bad News & The Good News” https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/the-bad-news-the-good-news/

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