Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:1, 2 ESV)
Every Sunday morning I try and pick one valuable truth from the sermon I have heard to hold my fort during the week. I was challenged by today's sermon which came from the verse above.
The preacher explained that all who are true followers of Jesus are "saints". He also also said the term means "God's holy people". Most importantly we are God's holy people TODAY, not when we are declared by someone as a "saint".
I was struck by this thought. Apostle Paul was writing to a rugged crew of believers with all their imperfections. And the thing he wants to highlight upfront is that they are God's holy people today.
I was challenged by this because when I think of the local gathering of believers the phrase "God's holy people" is not what immediately comes to mind. But Paul flips the switch. He says that Christian who annoys you a lot, if that person has come to Jesus, he is God's holy person!
That struggling person who never makes the prayer meeting and whose faith you doubt actually is God's holy person. She may not tick all your boxes, but the blood of Christ has already ticked the most important box for her!
This truth is a game changer! If we saw other believers in our own lives [at home, church, work] as God's holy people, it would bring tremendous humility and unity in our relationships. We would move from a posture of condemning to encouraging. We would actually start seeing people grow to be who they are in Jesus!
By the way, the other phrase Paul uses is "faithful". I think he means they ARE faithful in Jesus Christ because Jesus is faithful on their behalf. So there is no immediate aspiration here. If you know Jesus you are already HOLY and FAITHFUL because Jesus is HOLY and FAITHFUL. Another earth shaking truth!
The aspiration of course comes in the blessing / prayer at the end: "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ". To live out who we are as HOLY and FAITHFUL we need the grace from God and the peace from God. But again those things comes from our identity as God's children and the Lordship of Jesus in our lives.
My prayer this week is that I may see other believers as God sees them!
Until next Sunday's sermon....
Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2014