Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Essence: Saints


This week we're considering why it is that Paul addresses his letter to the Colossians to saints. To help us engage with this idea there's a video (above) and a blog (below), as well as our Weekly Challenge to complete (see bottom of the page).

Saints

Below are some reflections from Ephesians, a letter addressed to the saints living in Ephesus (a town in what is now Turkey). Before reading it write down on a separate sheet of paper or in a separate computer window everything that comes to your mind when you hear the word 'saint' as well as some questions you may have concerning the topic.

Scripture
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God. To the saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus.Ephesians 1:1

Observations:

I’ve often heard it said that Paul uses the term ‘saint’ to include every Christian and that in doing so, he is viewing us as God does, as holy and set apart, fully righteous in Christ.

I’ve heard it said, but is it really true? Let’s have a look by considering the letter of Ephesians as a whole.

Paul's writing to the ‘saints’ in Ephesus. One question I have is: 
Does this refer simply to a group of leaders within the Church, a group who were more holy than others?
Within the letter he goes on to address different types of people, all of whom fall into this category of saints. The saints he addresses here are: 
  • non Jews 
  • immature (4:4),
  • thieves/former thieves (4:28),
  • wives (5:22),
  • husbands (5:25),
  • children (6:1),
  • parents (6:4),
  • slaves (6:5),
  • masters (6:5),
Within this list is perhaps every group necessary to make the confident assertion that when Paul says saints, he means everyone in the Church.

The word saint, then, includes me and you! If you're a Christian you are a saint. You're a holy one, meaning you have been set apart by God and for God. You're his; he owns you. You're his child, his friend, his dwelling place, a member of his body and his Spirit is within you. 

You are a saint.

You're totally secure and accepted in God. This is true and is a correct perspective on life. Isn’t this just amazing? You and I are saints!

Prayer

Thank you Father. You have done what I could never have done on my own. I have been made holy and clean before you, acceptable in your sight. I choose to accept this as the label of my life. Although I often feel as though I'm not holy and not acceptable to you, I choose today to accept the truth and live in the good of it. Amen.

Weekly Challenge

To help, here's a little challenge to complete...

By Friday have memorised the statement of truth below taken from the Freed For Purpose course. Find a friend who's doing the same and at the end of the week, test each other:
I recognise that there is only one true and living God, who exists as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is worthy of all honour, praise and glory as the one who made all things and holds all things together. (see Exodus 20:2,3; Colossians 1:16,17)





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