Life fit for a saint – Part 1
God has high standards for all Christians. He expects them to be different from everyone else. He calls them to a risen life of triumph over sin and works of the flesh. In the New Testament, the word ‘Christian’ is mentioned three times, and the word ‘saint’ is used about 60 times to refer to a person who is saved, redeemed, washed in the blood of the Jesus Christ and transformed. Although he was born a sinner, he is now converted by Christ, connected with Christ, consecrated to Christ, crucified with Christ, and circumcised by the Lord Jesus Christ.
The first step to becoming a saint in Christ, therefore, is salvation. When a sinner confesses his sins, he is cleansed and receives the grace to walk in godliness. Thereafter, he proceeds to obtain sanctification as he consecrates himself to the Lord. At this point, the old nature of Sinful Adam, inward depravity or inbred sin is completely removed through circumcision of the heart. He then cleaves to the Lord without allowing anything or anyone to distract him on his way to heaven.
The centrality of Christ in our Christian experiences cannot be overemphasised. Good works and involvement in religious activities are no substitutes for salvation. To be saved, we must confess our sins, turn away from them all, and exercise faith in Christ’s finished work at Calvary. As Christ abides in us and we remain steadfast in Him, we receive the grace to walk in godliness and live a life that constantly seeks higher spiritual attainments. Since Christ in us is our hope of glory, we must “walk in him.” This means that our lifestyles and practices at home, school or workplace must reflect the character and principle of Christ. Believers who live the risen life shine forth as light in a dark world.
“Rooted and built up in (Christ),” the believer lives without conforming to the principles of the world. “Dead with Christ,” “buried with him in baptism,” “and risen with him,” he experiences a total change that makes him averse to worldliness and things that contradict the Scripture. And because his “life is hid with Christ,” he is protected from the evil in the world. Although we begin the Christian race with grace – the grace that teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts – we continue in godliness and shall ultimately end up in glory. And “when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall (we) also appear with him in glory.”
The pursuit and passion of saints who are totally set free from the bondage of sin is to live for God’s glory and finally make it to heaven. Because of their new nature in Christ, they deliberately “seek those things, which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” Unfortunately, the hearts of many professing Christians are preoccupied with the mundane. Although they are religious and engaged in one activity or the other in the house of God, they set their affection and desire on things on the earth instead of things that have spiritual and eternal value.
God calls everyone to self-examination. He wants us to consider our motive for serving Him and reorder our priority by setting “(our) affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Remember that believers who will meet Christ at the rapture are those who make God, salvation, righteousness and holiness the highest priority in their lives. The risen saint desires God more than anything or anyone else on earth. He understands that with God as his possession, he has everything. He also knows that true satisfaction and sufficiency come from Christ, the Saviour. So, he does not allow anything to affect His love for God, consecration and worship. Since his goal is to please God, he is not caught in the web of the rat race for money; he does not show any interest in the pleasures and comforts of the world.
Further Reading (King James Version): Colossians 3:1,2; 1:2,4,12,26; 1:4,27; 2:5-7,11; 2:20,12; 3:3,4; Psalm 73:25,26; Matthew 6:33; Hebrews 11:14-16; Colossians 3:5-10; Psalm 51:7; Isaiah 6:6,7; 2 Timothy 2:21,22; 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Colossians 3:17,23; Matthew 7:12; John 2:5; 15:13,14; 1 Corinthians 10:31; John 8:28,29; 12:49,50; 1 John 3:1-3.
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