Tidings for Tuesday

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 up on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours. 1 Corinthians 1:2

Whenever someone from my workplace would send me an email message, I noticed after their name would appear a small box that lists their work titles. One person might describe himself or herself as ‘Lead Author’, another might be designated ‘Senior Editor’, or ‘Special Projects Coordinator’. Everybody likes to have a title and be recognized for what position they occupy. In the previous verse, Paul refers to himself as having been called to be an apostle. In today’s text, he declares members of the local Assembly in Corinth as being called to be saints. If these folks had been members of a Roman Catholic church, they would need to have been dead a couple of hundred years and have witnesses declaring that they had performed miracles. But sainthood – biblical sainthood – is obviously different from Catholicism’s sainthood.

Are you a saint? Am I? Based on the Bible’s usage of the word, we are! And it doesn’t depend on any particular behaviour or accomplishment on our part. No, sainthood is conferred on us because we have been called. The Bible identifies saints as believers, those who are saved, those who have entered into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ our Saviour. On the surface, it appears our sainthood is much less significant than the sainthood of Catholicizm, where the saint would be a person of great accomplishments and apparent holiness. Some romish churches might never have among their previous membership a person who had been elevated to sainthood. But in the local Assembly that meets just down the road from the romish church, every person in fellowship is not only a saint, but is declared by the Scriptures to be so.

Who would you rather have declare you to be a saint, Rome or God? Sadly, many of those who Rome declared to be saints were never saved. For example, there has been a significant push to have the previous pope be named a saint. But that poor man left no real hope that he was trusting in anything other than his religion. How sad! But how joyfully can we proclaim that the humblest believer is fully and forever entitled to sainthood!

Are you a saint? Am I? The Bible says we are. So we ought to live as those who bear a high and holy title, that our sainthood will be recognized and attract sinners to our Saviour. -Jim MacIntosh

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