Have you ever read what the qualifications are for sainthood? Don’t get me wrong, I love that we honor what God has accomplished through believers of the past 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 more than that. Our God, in three persons, is kadosh, holy: 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? The logical question is: what is holiness? The truth is we were created in His image therefore we were created holy. Yes, without sin, but again, more than that; we are to be different and distinct. 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. Living our lives different from the world? Yes, we were chosen for that purpose, to be holy.
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.
Interestingly, Paul writes that Christ died:
to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. (Ephesians 5:26-27 NLT)
Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? That’s part of the idea of spiritual blessings in heavenly places.
The encouragement I bring 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 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, you are a saint; let your behavior and speech reflect that truth.