Weekly Devotional 2-19-2018 “Sainthood”
Sainthood as defined by Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary is, “the quality or state of being a saint” and defines a saint in two ways; “1) One officially recognized especially through canonization as pre-eminent for holiness and; 2) One of God’s chosen.” The first, I believe, is a resolution of man. The second is a resolution of God. Several passages of Scripture support this contention. For instance, the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Colossians wrote that Jesus Christ, the anointed of God, had reconciled them (the Colossians) to God having overcome their alienation and hostility toward Him. He adds that Jesus did this so that He could present them to God holy and blameless (See Colossians 1:21-22).
This same Paul in his letter to the Ephesians wrote; “1And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10For we are His workman-ship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:1-10).
In both letters Paul states that spiritual life is initiated by God, and this spiritual life is not resultant of man’s work, but is brought about by the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself said that spiritual life is the work of the Holy Spirit (see John 3:1-8). The Apostle Peter wrote that Christians are partakers of the divine nature by the righteousness of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (See 2nd Peter 1:1-4). It is by their authority and right-eousness that the virtues of sainthood is perfected or matured.
Paul writes that for anyone to live a Godly life, he or she must be surrendered to and led by the Holy Spirit. Turning to his letter to the Galatians we read; “16I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:16-24).
True sainthood is therefore not a bestowment or consignment of man, or a body of man (i.e., a church or faith) upon a certain person or persons, but is the bestowment of spiritual life to all those whom the Holy Spirit regenerates to newness of spiritual life. The perfection of sainthood is also a work of the Holy Spirit as He leads true believers in the path of righteousness. Our part is to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us. We must crucify, or put to death, the desires of our old nature.
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
All Scripture cited is from the New king James Bible