Sinner or Saint?
Updated: Oct 4
Dear Christian, who are you?
A sinner or a saint?
The book of Ephesians starts this way:
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul says that he's writing to "saints" (holy ones)- but who in the world could that be?
According to Roman Catholic belief:
In Catholic theology, the term ‘Saint’ is reserved for those individuals who have led a holy and exemplary life and have now entered Heaven.
The appearance of miracles is taken that the person is now in heaven and can intercede for us as part of the ‘Communion of Saints. Once the Congregation has completed their work, the Pope may issue a decree declaring the person to be ‘Blessed’, that is, beatified. Once beatified, another miracle is then required to allow the Pope to declare the individual a saint. A feast day may then be allocated and veneration of the saint encouraged.
Catholic belief says that saints are very special people who have entered heaven, have performed miracles from heaven, are declared "blessed" by the pope, and veneration of these people is encouraged by the Catholic church.
If saints are only found in heaven after being declared one by the pope; who exactly is Paul writing to in Ephesians?
We tend to think of ourselves as sinners saved by grace. The title of "saint" is only reserved for the very special people in our world. We think this way- even in our baptist circles.
But it isn't true. So who exactly is Paul writing to in Ephesians?
People with all sorts of different maturities, giftings, and obedience are all called saints in Jesus Christ. We are ALL "holy ones" because of Jesus did for us on the cross.
What about being blessed?
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ
Did you catch that?
We don't need any popes or special church people to dub us "blessed". The Bible is already clear that we have (past tense!) been blessed if we are believers in Christ.
And not just with a small or temporary blessing.
According to Paul in Ephesians, we have been blessed with "every" spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ!
What that all means in it's entirety I don't completely understand, but one thing is for sure.
There is a whole lot more true of us than we think.
Are we willing to grow in our knowledge of these truths together?
Looking forward to Ephesians starting this Sunday!