You Are a Saint!

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

Ephesians 1:1

In common English, we use the word "saint" in several different senses. Saints are holy people officially recognized by the Catholic church. They are NFL football players from New Orleans. And they are people who have shown exemplary dedication in some good deed. For example, in reference to a woman who faithfully cares for her aging mother, you might say, "She is such a saint."

In the opening verse of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul addressed the letter's recipients as "God's holy people." Traditionally, the Greek word hagioi, translated here as "God's holy people," is rendered "saints." Indeed, the English word "saint" comes from the Latin sanctus, which means "holy." So, saints are holy people, by definition.

But what does it mean to be a holy person, a saint? From a biblical perspective, something is holy when it is set apart for God and God's purposes. So, an animal to be sacrificed to the Lord is holy because it is designated for this special function. In Exodus 19, God set apart the Israelites as his own "treasured possession" (19:5). They would be a "holy nation" (19:6) through which God would make himself known to the world. In the New Testament, believers in Jesus Christ are referred to as "saints" or "holy people" because they have inherited Israel's divinely conferred status as people set apart by God for him and for his saving purposes.

If you have put your faith in Jesus Christ, you are a saint. You are a holy person. This does not necessarily say anything about your worthiness to receive this title or your exemplary lifestyle. Rather, you are a saint because God has chosen you to belong to him and his people. He has set you apart so that you might participate in his redeeming work in the world.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: When you hear the word "saint" or "holy person," what do you envision? Do you think of yourself as a saint? Why or why not? Do you believe that God has set you apart for himself and for his mission in the world? If you did, how might this change the way you live each day?

PRAYER: Holy God, it is amazing to think that you have set me apart for you and for your mission. Thank you for choosing to enter into relationship with me and to serve you in the world.

Help me, dear Lord, to live out who I am as a saint. May I see my whole life in light of the fact that you have set me apart for you. May I live distinctively, reflecting your presence and values in all that I do.

Preserve me, Lord, from being puffed up, thinking that my sainthood has to do with my goodness or accomplishments. Rather, may I live humbly and faithfully, knowing that I belong to you because of your grace. Amen.

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