What an opportunity! God created us in his image, called us to his tower, allowed us access to his penthouse office, gave us all the tools we needed for success, and put us to work in the family business. All we had to do was work the plan, make him happy, and reap the profits. In doing so, God would be glorified, the neighborhood would be improved, and we would be enriched.
What a sorry work performance! Instead of laboring faithfully, we yielded to the influence of Lucifer and became deadbeat employees. We showed our arrogance and became horribly rebellious. The list of our atrocities was far too long, offensive, and painful to be listed here. Simply put, we were wretched sons and vile employees who endeavored to sabotage and steal the family business. As a consequence of our mutinous actions, we deserved to hear nothing but the harsh words, “You’re Fired!” We should have been removed from the building, permanently excommunicated, and erased from the family will. We were horrible employees and even worse sons and daughters.
What undeserved love! God our Father and Jesus our Brother went to work on our behalf. In the end, only because of their work and mercy, the blemishes on our record were expunged. Our work-file of failures was chemically washed, shredded, burned, and sent to the dump. Then, shockingly, we were called into the Father’s office, given a review, declared to be perfect, and provided the corner office with a permanent promotion. Forever, without work, without evaluation, without degree, and without the promotion or demotion, we were declared to be “Saints.” Jesus himself penned this superlative title on our door, carved it on our desk placard, printed it on our business cards, and posted it on the world-wide-web. He wanted us and all the world to know we were acceptable; we were preferred in his sight; we were “Saints.” Yes, we experienced nepotism in its strongest form. We were preferred, forgiven, and promoted only because our Father and Elder Brother are owners of the world.
What delight! Yes, we ought to be humble for we deserve none of this, but what else can we say? It would be a sin for us not to rejoice in God’s goodness, mercy, grace, and love. We are children of the Heavenly Father. We are children of the King. We are his beloved, and he has declared us to be Saints. It is God who has forgiven us. It is God who has promoted us. It is God who has canonized us, and who can say anything against that?
What an opportunity! Contemplating this truth, how ought we to live and work today? How do we get to live and work today? Bottom line, now that we have been given the position of Saint*, we should desire to make progress living like one. Whether we eat, drink, or whatever we do, we get to do it all for the glory of the One who loves us. We get to make Him who already smiles upon us, laugh with delight. We get to regularly visit with him in his penthouse suite for he loves conversing with us. Today, we get to read his Word, hear his knowledge, and put his will into practice. We get to think like him, work like him, and shower love upon other people as he has already showered love upon us. As we labor, people will notice our transformation and want to join his company and be included in his family. What a way to spend the day! What a way to spend a life! What a job description! What an opportunity!
Oh Christian Saints, given what God has done for us, are we really going to “continue in sin that grace may abound?” (Rom. 6:1) I know what my answer is today, “By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it any longer? (Romans 6:2) Friends, the old is gone and the new is at hand. Forget the influence of Lucifer and enjoy the love of the Lord. We are free from the guilt of sin, free from the condemnation of sin, free from the author of sin, and free from the dominion of sin. We are free to not sin. We are free to walk in holiness. We can love, think, speak, and do honorable and lawful things today. Christian sinner, we are Saints. Therefore, let us live saintly!
* Positional Sanctification: Listen to how the Spirit-inspired writers referred to still sinful Christians living on earth as already sanctified saints:
- But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem.” (Acts 20:11)
- Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. (Acts 9:32)
- And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then, calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. (Acts 9:41)
- Acts 26:10-11 And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities.
- To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: (1 Corinthians 1:2)
- When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? (1 Corinthians 6:1-2)
- But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11)
- “Sanctified” and “saint” are adjectives and titles used to refer to living, sinful, Christian friends throughout Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Timothy, Philemon, Hebrews, Jude, and John.
- Of this reality, Sinclair Ferguson writes, “In the New Testament, every Christian is a saint, a holy one. This does not express the idea of a progressive development towards a condition of holiness, but rather suggests a present enjoyed status of holiness.” (Sinclair Ferguson, The Christian Life, 133)