I am amazed at the qualifications for sainthood. St. This and St. That; I love it that we honor the accomplishments of Christians but what are the Biblical qualifications of being a saint?
Let’s take a short trip into the Old Testament to find out where it all began. God declared Himself holy. That’s not simply without sin, it’s much, much more than that. Our God, in three persons, is ‘kadosh’, distinct and totally different. He’s in another realm, another world, so to speak. No one can compare to Him in His majestic authority and character. Yet this God, Who covenants with mankind, commands us to be holy as well.
For I am the Lord your God. You must consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. (Leviticus 11:44a NLT)
Seriously? A command to be holy? Well, you may ask; what is holiness? It is the truth that since we were created in His image we were created holy. Yes, without sin, but more than that; we are also to be different. Since the Fall we lost our sinless state but with Christ, in Him, we are restored. We are now seen by God as righteous and our goal is to live our lives again as people who are distinct and different. That’s holiness. When we are in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:3) we are holy, we are considered a saint or sanctified one. Sinless? No. Our lives lived differently? Yes, we were chosen for that purpose, to be His treasured possession.
As New Testament believers we are called to live in another world. A new sphere of life that has new morals and values. We don’t look like the world any longer; we think differently, we talk differently, and we act differently. Living in Christ Jesus means that we now re-present Him to the world as His image bearers. Rom. 12:3 tells us in essence that a life lived for Him is accepted and considered worship. That’s amazing.
Interestingly, Paul writes in Eph. 5:27 that Christ loves us, sets us apart from others, cleanses us, and presents us in splendor and holiness, without blame. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? That’s part of the idea of spiritual blessings in heavenly places that we’ve been focused on.
The encouragement I bring to you this week is to live holy, since you re-present Christ to the world, as He is holy. You will never be sinless in this world but every day you can grow and progress in your spiritual walk in Him. Every day you can take another step in holiness and gain more ground. Every day you can have a prayer on your lips asking God to give you a pure heart toward others. You live in another world, St. So and So; let your behavior and speech reflect that truth.