Paul, in 1 Corinthians 1:2 says, “Unto the Church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” He calls the believers at Corinth “saints.” Are you a “saint?”
What makes someone a “saint?” That title has been given to many individuals by the Roman Catholic church. I think of my grandmothers as saints, both of them. They were very patient with their grandchildren. My Grandmother Harrelson was humble, kind and patient, quick to help someone in need, and full of good works. Definitely “Saint-like!”
Considering what Paul goes on to say about the church members at Corinth, one might question why he calls them “saints!” He addresses them as being carnal, as babes in Christ. He says they were full of envying and strife and divisions. There was reported to be in the church one that married his father’s wife, committing fornication. Brothers were filing lawsuits against brothers. He says they were not properly observing the Lord’s supper, partaking of it unworthily. They were giving higher status to those individuals in the church that had certain gifts, not recognizing that all spiritual gifts are from God.
And yet Paul said they were saints. And so are we, with all our faults. The biblical term “saint” is intended to describe a state of being rather than a status of character or achievement. Colossians 1:12,13 describes this very well, “giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.”
So how are we doing? Are we qualified to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints? Are we overcoming the powers of darkness? Are we truly loving our neighbors as ourselves? We see Scripture placing a very high standard on our inward heart attitude and outward behavior. Yet, if we are honest, we see in ourselves a constant struggle between the flesh and the Spirit. As saints, we are called to live a life that is set apart for God. Realize that this change in our heart is not immediate, but is progressive over time. It is never complete in this life.
Let’s keep fighting that fight to overcome the powers of darkness. As we continue in this struggle against the flesh, we are not fighting the battle on our own, but with the help of God’s Spirit dwelling within us. And so, may our Great Heavenly Father give us delivery from those powers of darkness and may He receive all the praise!