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Monday, November 21, 2011

Are You a Saint?

By Winford Claiborne

    Have you ever heard someone say, “Well, I am not a sinner and I am not a saint.” Is there some position between a sinner and a saint? Did you know that the words “holy,” “saint,” and “sanctified” all come from the same Greek word? If you are not a sinner, then you are a saint. There is no third category. But are Christians saints? If you mean by the word “saint” someone who is without flaw, then obviously, no one belongs in that category.  But that is not the meaning of the Greek word hagios. You know that is true if you have carefully read 1 Corinthians. Paul referred to the Corinthians as “saints.” You know how many sins are outlined in this great letter. The Corinthians were not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.
    Peter explains what it means to be obedient children. We are not to fashion ourselves according to the
former lusts of our ignorance (1 Peter 1:14). Then he adds: “But as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all manner of conversation” (1:15). God is the one who has called us into His service. His character is the standard of holiness. Since God is holy, He wants us to be holy. In fact, if we are not holy, that is, set apart for His service - set apart from the world - we cannot be His faithful followers. Fortunately, He has given us the means by which we can become holy, that is the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we obey the gospel of Christ, our sins are washed away (Acts 22:16) and we become holy in God’s sight.
We are urged to be “holy in all manner of conversation.” One who has not studied the Bible carefully may think Peter was speaking about our tongue—keeping our speech clean and pure. Holiness certainly includes that, but it is much more than that. The word, “conversation,” means manner of life. James asks, “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom” (James 3:13).
    Every day—and not just on Sunday, we are to keep our hearts and our lives pure. Jesus said, Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”


- Winford Claiborne (From the chapter with the above title, in his book, Divine Relationships, 155 Five-Minute Sermons on First Peter); via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  Lance Cordle preaches for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com

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