Week of January 28
Saints or "Ain'ts"
By Skip Heitzig
When you hear the word "saint," what comes to mind? Depending on your background, you might think of a person with a glowing Frisbee above his head. Or you might think of heaven: "Oh, yes, that's where all the saints live!" You might even think of a football team.
I looked up "saint" in the dictionary and found this: "An officially recognized person through canonization, as preeminent for holiness; one of the spirits of the departed, now in heaven." So according to Webster, a saint is a near-perfect person, now dead.
But what is a saint in the Bible? In most of Paul's letters, he makes reference to "the saints." Here are some from Philippians: "To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi" (1:1). "Greet every saint in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:21). "All the saints greet you" (4:22).
So the Word of God says saints are on earth, living with us. You could take all of humanity and separate them into two categories, the saints and the "ain'ts." You either belong to God or you don't. If you belong to Jesus Christ, you are a saint. You are a "separated one." That's what the word means, one who is separated for God's purpose here on earth. Here are some traits of saints.
A saint belongs to two kingdoms. Though he has a physical address, here on the earth, he has a spiritual address as well: "in Christ Jesus." He has a dual citizenship. He lives as an alien on the earth because his true citizenship is in heaven. And therefore he keeps a light touch on this life because he knows it's only temporary.
A saint behaves submissively. That's because he is also a slave. Saints are bondservants to Christ (1:1). They have been bought with a price, the blood of Jesus Christ, and they willingly obey Him. They are committed to the command in James 1:22, "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."
A saint believes in the scriptures. This is a telltale sign. A saint loves the Bible. Some people will read the Bible, but the saint will feed on it. There's a direct correlation between your love for the Bible and your relationship with Jesus Christ. The Bible is the saint's lifeline.
A saint benefits spiritually. Paul always started his letters by talking about grace. If God owns you, you'll be reaping the benefits of experiencing His grace and enjoying His blessings of peace, joy and contentment.
So the bottom line is this: Does God own you, or are you earthbound? Measure yourself by the four criteria above. Are you a saint or an "ain't"?
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