Called to be Saints
Called to be saints. - Romans 1:7
We are very apt to regard the apostolic saints as if they were "saints" in a more special manner than the other children of God. All are "saints" whom God has called by His grace and sanctified by His Spirit; but we are apt to look upon the apostles as extraordinary beings, scarcely subject to the same weaknesses and temptations as ourselves.
Yet in doing so we forget this truth, that the nearer a man lives to God, the more intensely has he to mourn over his own evil heart; and the more his Master honors him in His service, the more the evil of the flesh vexes and teases him day by day. The fact is, if we had seen the apostle Paul, we would have thought him remarkably like the rest of the chosen family: And if we had talked with him, we would have said, "We find that his experience and ours are much the same. He is more faithful, more holy, and more deeply taught than we are, but he has the selfsame trials to endure. Actually, in some respects he is more sorely tried than ourselves."
Do not, then, look upon the ancient saints as being exempt either from infirmities or sins; and do not regard them with that mystic reverence that will almost make us idolaters. Their holiness is attainable even by us. We are "called to be saints" by that same voice that constrained them to their high vocation. It is a Christian's duty to force his way into the inner circle of saintship; and if these saints were superior to us in their attainments, as they certainly were, let us follow them; let us emulate their passion and holiness. We have the same light that they had, the same grace is accessible to us, and why should we rest satisfied until we have equaled them in heavenly character? They lived with Jesus, they lived for Jesus, therefore they grew like Jesus. Let us live by the same Spirit as they did, "looking to Jesus,"1 and our saintship will soon be apparent.
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Joshua 7
verse 2 Psalms 137, 138
Name above All Names
By Alistair Begg & Sinclair Ferguson
Jesus Christ has been given the name above all names, the highest seat of honor, the right to reign and rule. Yet the busyness of our lives and the diversions of this world often distract us from knowing the most important person we could ever know. Perhaps we need some help to see Jesus afresh.
In this thoughtful study and worshipful reflection, two influential pastors draw on decades of pastoral experience in order to guide us through the whole sweep of Scripture and examine seven key qualities of Jesus’s identity and ministry:
- Jesus as the True Prophet
- Jesus as the Great High Priest
- Jesus as the Conquering King
- Jesus as the Seed of the Woman
- Jesus as the Son of Man
- Jesus as the Suffering Servant
- Jesus as the Lamb on the Throne
Name above All Names helps us to see and meditate on the incomparable character of Christ—a spiritual exercise that enables us to readily respond to the exhortations of Scripture, to focus our gaze upon the King of kings, and to better understand just how great Jesus really is.
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.