Deuteronomy 1-3

Mark 10:32-52


“To the saints in Christ at Colossae, who are faithful brothers and sisters. Grace to you and peace from God our Father.” —Colossians 1:2 (CSB)

Before Jesus Christ came into our lives, we were designated a sinner, but with the indwelling life of Christ, we are designated a saint. In the above verse, Paul does not address his letter to “the saints and the rest of you,” but “to the saints.” Some translations say “to God’s holy people” (NIV), but the biblical usage of the word “saint” includes every Christian. What turns a sinner into a saint is the intervention of a Saviour.

Jesus first cleanses us of our sin and clothes us in His righteousness. Our identity then becomes united to Him, and everything that is true of Christ becomes true of us. We are baptized into His death, our sin buried with Him and we are risen to new life with the indwelling of His Spirit. Every Christian is designed to be set apart from an ordinary run of the mill life to one that is being conformed to the likeness of Christ, becoming partakers of His work in this world. His agenda transcends our comfort and convenience on every level. As Paul writes, “I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God” (Romans 12:1).

A holy Christian is one who is deliberately and thoughtfully set apart for those things which are the purposes and interests of Jesus Christ. The difference between a holy Christian and an unholy Christian is not that one goes to church while another one robs a bank. The difference lies in our dispositions, attitudes and intents. A holy Christian is someone who is available exclusively for Christ’s agenda, while an unholy Christian is a person who is available for anything that attracts their attention at the time.

As the word “saint” classifies every Christian, is there such a thing as an unholy saint? Technically, that is an oxymoron, but the answer is “yes.” The noun “saint” is used of our position in Christ, but the word “holy” is used of our practices: our actions, behaviours and attitudes in our daily living. Our position and practice should be utterly consistent, but the reality is our practice can drift a long way away from our position. The position is permanent; the practice is disciplined in that we bring ourselves daily under the lordship of Christ. Though we are no longer designated a sinner, we still retain our sinful natures, so living under the lordship of Christ takes complete dependence on the Holy Spirit. The more we bring Christ into our daily living, the more richly and deeply our experience in becoming a “holy saint.”

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I ask for a deep and fresh work of Your Holy Spirit in making me a holy saint and equipping me for Your work in this world. Thank You, Lord.

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