We are all called to be saints…
Paul continues his letter to the Romans – “To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 1: 7)
What does Paul mean when he refers to the Romans as ‘saints’? This word ‘saint’ always refers to a sanctified person, one who has been set apart to God ‘inviolably’ for His possession and service. What does ‘inviolably’ mean? It means secure.
How does a person become a saint? First, they must be ‘regenerated’ and ‘justified.’ We are ‘regenerated’ when we are born of God’s Spirit through faith in what Jesus has done for us. God’s justification is a judicial act where He ‘justly declares and treats as righteous the one who believes in Jesus Christ’.
Under the Old Covenant (Old Testament), the priests offered sacrifices of various kinds that were ‘types’ or ‘shadows’ of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ atoning death fulfilled the Old Testament law. We now can enjoy the blessings of the New Covenant (New Testament). Through faith in what Jesus has done we can be regenerated, justified and sanctified through His Holy Spirit.
If you have submitted yourself to live under Old Testament law, I would ask you, do you realize what the New Testament really means? Jesus told His disciples – “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” (Mat. 5: 17) The New Testament sacrifice of Jesus Christ is superior in every way to the many sacrifices of the Old Testament. Hebrews teaches us – “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.” (Heb. 10: 1)
Hebrews continues to teach us – “By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” (Heb. 10: 10-14)
As a believing Mormon, I was ‘set apart’ to serve in that organization. As a New Testament Christian, I am ‘set apart’ to serve Jesus Christ. Only God can sanctify us, no man can. Paul understood that he, as well as the Roman believers had been ‘set apart’ to God. He, as we should also, considered himself a bond servant of Jesus Christ. Whose bond servant are you? Do you serve a man’s organization or God? Colossians teaches us – “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” (Col. 1: 16) We are all created through God and for God. Have you surrendered to Him and trusted in what He has done for you? Are you allowing Him to use you for His purpose?