Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bald Eagles and the Glory of God

Every year hundreds of bald eagles migrate to our area and leave in the early spring. One day I found an area where many of them were sitting in the trees along the river and I simply waited until they took flight. Here is one of the pictures I took. I added my favorite creation quote from Revelation 4:11 and a well known verse from Isaiah 40:31.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Called as Saints

I. Paul called all the Roman believers—saints.

Romans 1:6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;
7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you are a saint (Romans 1:7)
The NT references for "saints: (Acts 9:13, 32, 41; 26:10; Rom. 1:7; 8:27; 12:13; 15:25, 26, 31; 16:2, 15; 1 Cor 1:2; 6:1, 2; 14:33; 16:1, 15; 2 Cor. 1:1, 8:4; 9:1, 12; 13:13; Eph. 1:1, 15, 18; 2:19; 3:8, 18; 4:12; 5:3; 6:18; Phil. 1:1; 4:22; Col. 1:2, 4, 12, 26; 1 Thess. 3:13; 2 Thess. 1:10; Philemon 1:5, 7; Heb. 6:10; 13:24; Jude 1:3; Rev. 5:8; 8:3, 4; 11:18; 13:7; 13:10; 14:12; 16:6; 17:6; 18:20, 24; 19:8; 20:9)

The word “saint(s)” is the word that is used most often in the New Testament just as we use the word “Christian” to describe a believer of today. The following are the NT references for saints: *Look them up in there context...

harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem. . . Acts 9:13
also to the saints who lived at Lydda. . . Acts 9:32
and calling the saints and widows. . . Acts 9:41
lock up many of the saints in prisons. . . Acts 26:10
because He intercedes for the saints. . . Rom 8:27
to the needs of the saints. . . Rom 12:13
going to Jerusalem serving the saints. . . Rom 15:25
the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. . . Rom 15:26
may prove acceptable to the saints. . . Rom 15:31
Lord in a manner worthy of the saints . . . Rom 16:2
and all the saints who are with them. . . Rom 16:15
in Christ Jesus, saints by calling . . . 1 Cor 1:2
unrighteous and not before the saints . . . 1 Cor 6:1
that the saints will judge the world . . . 1 Cor 6:2
as in all the churches of the saints. . . 1 Cor 14:33
the collection for the saints. . . 1 Cor 16:1
themselves for ministry to the saints . . . 1 Cor 16:15
the saints who are throughout Achaia . . . 2 Cor 1:1
in the support of the saints . . . 2 Cor 8:4
you about this ministry to the saints . . . 2 Cor 9:1
supplying the needs of the saints. . . 2 Cor 9:12
All the saints greet you. . . 2 Cor 13:13
God, To the saints who are at Ephesus. . . Eph 1:1
you and your love for all the saints. . . Eph 1:15
glory of His inheritance in the saints. . . Eph 1:18
are fellow citizens with the saints. . . Eph 2:19
To me, the very least of all saints. . . Eph 3:8
be able to comprehend with all the saints. . . Eph 3:18
the equipping of the saints for the work. . . Eph 4:12
among you, as is proper among saints. . . Eph 5:3
and petition for all the saints. . . Eph 6:18
To all the saints in Christ Jesus. . . Php 1:1
All the saints greet you, especially. . . Php 4:22
To the saints and faithful brethren. . . Col 1:2
love which you have for all the saints. . . Col 1:4
the inheritance of the saints in Light. . . Col 1:12
has now been manifested to His saints. . . Col 1:26
of our Lord Jesus with all His saints. . . 1 Th 3:13
be glorified in His saints on that day. . . 2 Th 1:10
Lord Jesus and toward all the saints . . . Phm 1:5
hearts of the saints have been refreshed. . . Phm 1:7
and in still ministering to the saints. . . Heb 6:1
all of your leaders and all the saints. . . Heb 13:24
once for all handed down to the saints. . . Jude 1:3
which are the prayers of the saints. . .Rev 5:8
add it to the prayers of all the saints. . . Rev 8:3
with the prayers of the saints. . . Rev 8:4
and the saints and those who fear. . Rev 11:18
with the saints and to overcome them. . . Rev 13:7
and the faith of the saints. . . Rev 13:10
Here is the perseverance of the saints. . . Rev 14:12
they poured out the blood of saints. . . Rev 16:6
drunk with the blood of the saints. . . Rev 17:6
you saints and apostles and prophets. . . Rev 18:20
found the blood of prophets and of saints. . . Rev 18:24
is the righteous acts of the saints. . . Rev 19:8
of the saints and the beloved city. . . Rev 20:9

The Greek word for "saint" is hagios, holy, set apart
The OT use of the word "holy":
1 Kings 8:4-- holy utensils
Exodus 28:2-- holy garments for the priest
Exodus 29:37-- holy altar

"Called saints" is declarative in nature because in it God declares a person to have a certain status based on something that He Himself has done.

Heb 10:10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Heb 13:12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.

I am a saint by the effectual calling of God not on the basis of my character.


II. Believers are called to a lifestyle (Eph. 5:3; 1 Peter 1:15-16 1 Thess. 4:1-8) which reflects their already given status (Rom. 1:7 ).

If we are saints, we should live accordingly.
Eph 5:3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;

Being called saints, is a statement of identity, not attainment.

Illustration: "act your age"
"Act in a way that is appropriate for your age"
"Behave in a way that is befitting or required for one your age."
"Act in a way that corresponds to your position"
Scripture tells us about the appropriate behavior of believers/saints/Christians/.

Lev 20:26 'Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine.
Deut 7:6 "For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
Deut 7:7 "The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples,
Deut 7:8 but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

1 Pet 1:14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts {which were yours} in your ignorance,
1 Pet 1:15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all {your} behavior;
1 Pet 1:16 because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY."

1 Thess 4:1 Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us {instruction} as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more.
1 Thess 4:2 For you know what commandments we gave you by {the authority of} the Lord Jesus.
1 Thess 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; {that is,} that you abstain from sexual immorality;
1 Thess 4:4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,
1 Thess 4:5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God;
1 Thess 4:6 {and} that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is {the} avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned {you.}
1 Thess 4:7 For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.
1 Thess 4:8 So, he who rejects {this} is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.