How Then Shall We Live?
In His great priestly prayer Jesus was praying for His disciples, present and future. He said to His Father, “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth” (John 17:19).
Did Jesus mean that He wished to become holier? Was He praying for sinless perfection? Of course, not, that would have been impossible for the infinitely holy One to become holier. He was already perfectly holy.
Jesus was using the correct definition of the word saint. Jesus was setting Himself apart to the task of making atonement for our sins on the cross so we could become set apart for God. A saint is one who is “set apart” for God’s unique possession and purposes. The setting apart as a saint is something God does apart from human endeavor.
The person who believes on Jesus Christ is set apart when God reaches down in His grace and mercy through the person and work of the Holy Spirit, regenerates him spiritually and sets him apart for His own possession.
One of the great truths of the reformation is, “Every Christian is a saint, and every saint is a Christian.”
Every born again believer in Christ is set apart from the world system and no longer belongs to its way of life. The believer has a new principle, new nature, new kingdom, new master, new loyalties, new purpose and new agenda in life.
“All Christians are saints, and all saints must increasingly be saintly.” Because of this new principle in life, the saint will become progressively more and more like His Lord and Master Jesus Christ. The new nature will produce a new kind of life.
Moreover, because you are a “saint” you will continue to grow in your steadfast commitment to Christ. You will persevere in the Christian life. You will persevere because of the perseverance of God with His saints. You will be able to stand firm to the end because God is faithful to His saints to the end. Because He perseveres with us we must persevere. We must be faithful because He is faithful.
How is all this possible? How can we who are weak and feeble spiritually be saintly?
It is because you are “in Christ” and He is “in you.” Christ cannot dwell in someone who is not set apart to Him. The saint has been joined to Christ in one spiritual body so that what is true of Christ is also true of the saint.
We now live and walk and have our being in a whole new spiritual environment. The apostle Paul says Christ has “raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6). That is what it means to be a saint. He has set us apart to be with Himself in His holy presence.
We have this vital union with Christ that is unchanging. It is the very essence of our salvation.
Apart from Christ our spiritual condition is absolutely hopeless. However, in Him our spiritual life is glorious to the extreme.
Our sainthood gets eternity into the picture. It changes our attitude toward our current circumstances in life.
God gives us grace and power each day to be the kind of people He wants us to be. There is no other means of living the life of a saint. The source of our new life is in the election of God the Father before the foundation of the world. Moreover, the fruit of this new life is the glorification as the full-grown child of God.
Are you enjoying your sainthood?
How is your practice as a saint of God?
From where do you draw your strength to live like a saint?
How then shall we live since God has set us apart to Himself?