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The Saints part 2

We’ve been talking about the saints.  We learned that the word “saints” is used to describe a people 13 times in the NT, and it’s the Greek word hagios. 

In Mark 6:20, we find that John the Baptizer was a saint.  “For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and HOLY MAN (hagios = saint)”, and Herod knew this because he observed him.  It was the things he did that let Herod know.  Being saved is a personal matter; you can be saved and never show the first sign of it.  John separated himself and was different and lived a lifestyle that was different.  John had a holy lifestyle

When we talk about walking after a holy lifestyle, we’re talking about walking after the commandments of God.  We saw that in 2 John 6.  We’re not talking about living a sinlessly perfect life, when we talk about living a holy life.  The Bible tells us that we will miss the mark.  When we fall short, we have the precious, powerful blood of Jesus Christ, which will provide for us a washing and a cleansing.  As Christians, when we find ourselves giving in to temptation, we have a high priest who is able to wash us and cleanse us in our walk, and this is part of our walk.

We’re not serving two masters.  If you give the Devil an inch, pretty soon he becomes a ruler.  Living a holy life means that you’re serving one master, and when we fall short of that mark, we can have “forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace”, as it says in Ephesians 1:7.  We can restore our fellowship with Jesus Christ and continue in our walk; continue in our holy life.  1 John 1:9 tells us that, “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

So, the saints don’t lead perfectly sinless lives, but they’re walking in the commandments of God, and when they do miss the mark, they confess their sin, and they’re cleansed and forgiven.

In Mark 1:24, the demon speaking out of the man was, “Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I (we) know thee who thou art, the Holy [hagios - saintly] One of God.”  The holy one of God; the saintly one of God.  Jesus Christ was a saint. 

John and Jesus lived their lives as saints.  We looked at the false teaching in Christianity today that just because you’re saved, you’re given a title as a saint.  No matter how wicked you might be, no matter how backslidden you are, no matter how you live, no matter how unrepentant you are; you’re considered a saint because you’re saved.  This just simply is not true.  There’s no such thing taught in the Bible.

This is taught because of Calvinism, which is trying to prove the everlasting security of the believer.  Now, we believe in the everlasting security of the believer; you cannot go to the lake of fire forever why?  Because you were purchased by Jesus Christ at the cross; He died for your sins on the cross.

Acts 16:31 tells us that once you believe, you’re saved, and that can’t be taken away or even forfeited.  If your position is just and righteous, you don’t have to tell untruths to prove your point; the truth speaks for itself.  Calvinism tries to defend everlasting security to the point that they take away the practical value and the plain reading of the scriptures, and they eliminate all the warning passages to Christians, because they believe that it endangers the security of the believer.  That doesn’t mean that Arminianism is correct either; they teach that your salvation can be lost.

In 1 Peter chapter 1:14-16, we saw that Peter wasn’t a Calvinist or an Arminian.  It says, “14 As obedient children (which is not some mystical position), not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance (life before you started living your life the way you should; not life before you were saved) 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy for I am holy.”  We’re to separate ourselves, set ourselves apart!  That’s what we’re commanded to do.

2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that “All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”; The Bible instructs us in right living; holy living.  How God wants us to live after we’re in the family.  Now that you’re reading Scripture, now that you’re learning the Bible and the holy knowledge of God, you’ve got to make some changes.  That’s what this is talking about and that’s what those who are referred to as saints have done. 

Saints have separated themselves and set themselves apart for holy living!

Saints can also bless God.  I love being blessed by God, but isn’t it also great that we can bless God?  God blesses us so much, but we can bless God.  Saints bless the Lord.  You know, many Christians don’t like to hear about the Kingdom of God, you know why?  Because it limits options in their lives.  It’s a narrow road.  When you talk about the millennial reign, it says that few will enter (all can be saved); but, not all will enter.  Many like to apply entering the Kingdom to being saved, because they want you to get what you deserve.  “You’ve got it coming to you!”  Thank God that we don’t get what we deserve.  We’re saved by “believe”, but rewarded based on our works or walking the narrow road.  The Bible says that many are called, but few are chosen.  Many don’t like to hear it, because it brings accountability to the Christian life.  It makes you have to either want to live by faith or live by the flesh.

[Psalm 145]  I love the saints; the Bible says that the saints will bless the lord, how?  Psalm 145:10:  “All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.”  How shall they bless Him?  Psalm 145:11-12:  They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.”  I like that!  The saints love to share about the coming glory of Jesus Christ.  They’re excited!  That’s why it says in Revelation 15:3 that Jesus is the king of the saints.

So, the saints like to gather around and talk about the things to come and about when Jesus Christ will be king.  They’re not worried about the politics of this world (they don’t ignore them, I’m sure, but they’re not worried).  They have their focus on one place, and their affections are on things above.  Now, some people might say that you’re so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good. 

I’d much rather be heavenly good than earthly good, but if you’re focused on things where you ought to be focused, you’ll manifest Jesus Christ on this earth.  Jesus said, “where your treasure is, so also your heart will be”.  You’ll make an impact in the lives of people and you’ll be different and you’ll stand apart from the herd mentality that’s going down the wide gate.  We need to enter in at the strait gate.  In Matthew 7:12, the strait gate, BTW, doesn’t mean “straight” as in not crooked.  It’s strait like narrow, constricted, or difficult.  You cannot be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good.  If you’re heavenly minded, you’re living practically in this life with power, grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness and you have the ability to impact your generation, just as David did.

So, the saints love to speak about the Kingdom.  What else?  The saints are sanctified.  [1 Corinthians 1:2] (Unto the church of God which is at Corinth (Paul addresses local churches, he doesn’t address denominations), to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord (actually, Lord Jesus Christ), both theirs and ours.)  Sanctified here is from the same word that we get saints from.  Sanctified means a group of people that are set apart for God’s purpose.  What is God’s purpose?

[2 Timothy 1:9]  It’s a saintly calling; it’s a holy calling.  [Read now.]  The saints are a group of Christians that are set apart in Christ Jesus and they have been called according to his purpose in Romans 8:28, which says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.  What is the purpose that they’re called to?  1 Thessalonians 2:12 tells us, “That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.”  They’re called to his kingdom and glory.  That’s the purpose that they’re called to.

Saints are sanctified and set apart because they have heard something.  They have believed something; they understand something, which others might not comprehend.

[John 17] (This is how we’re sanctified)  [John 17:17]  What is the Word of God?  Revelation 19:13 is talking about Jesus, and it says, “And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.”  [John 17:19]  “And for their sakes I sanctify myself (Jesus Christ sanctified himself; sanctification doesn’t have to do with getting saved and becoming a Christian; Jesus didn’t need to become a Christian; He’s God.), that they also might be sanctified through the truth.  The truth here is a specific truth. 

This truth sets apart the saints to the unique purpose found in John 16:13.  This is the truth that sets apart the saints.   “Howbeit when he, the Spirit (talking about the Holy Spirit) of truth, is come, he (it’s a “he) will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself (many churches speak of him); but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”  What are things to come?  Future things.  Things concerning the Kingdom of God, the Word of God, the Judgment Seat, and the millennial reign on this earth.

Paul’s main ambition when he wrote his letters was not just getting people saved out of a lost world, but to teach Christians so that they might be mature, as it says in Colossians 1:28.  (Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect [mature] in Christ Jesus.)  Paul was a teacher of the Gentiles and his ambition was to teach others in this truth that would sanctify them and set them apart from the majority that they might have a holy saintly calling according to grace and not their own works, but because of his sovereign calling; he set them apart according to the truth of future things to come that had to do with inheritance; the millennial reign. 

[Acts 26:18]  Paul wanted their eyes to be opened and Jesus wanted their eyes to be opened.  Jesus instructed Paul in Acts 26:18, “ To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.”  That is what preaching and teaching does; it opens eyes and turns from darkness to light and from Satan unto God.

There are many churches today that are pure entertainment, because they have to stimulate the Christians because the Christians are so saturated with the world today, so they can’t sit and concentrate, they’ve forgotten how to read, so they have to concentrate on movies or concerts and can’t focus their mind in on Biblical preaching and teaching, and they can’t listen and concentrate and use their reason and judgment to examine exactly what is being said…  So many have lost that art today. 

What Paul is saying is that he wants to open the eyes of Christians, turn them from darkness to light, and turn them from the power of Satan unto God, and present them as mature.  That comes from not just being saved; that comes through preaching and teaching.  That’s what Paul was doing.  Why did God want their eyes opened?  “That they may receive forgiveness of sins”; that they might be convicted of sin, (Bible teaching convicts people of sin) so that they might confess it and not wallow in it.  He’s convicting you so that you will go to the source who is the Lord Jesus Christ and receive his mercy, and cleansing and have fellowship with Him.  “That they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among them which are sanctified (the saints) by faith (living a life that pleases God) that is in me.”

We are sanctified for an inheritance, and it’s a future inheritance.  The “reward of an inheritance” is what is says in Colossians 3:24.  The inheritance is the millennial kingdom.  [1 Peter 1:4]  The inheritance is reserved in heaven for those of us who are being guarded and protected by faith.  This inheritance is a type of the inheritance the Israelites in the OT received.  The Israelites were looked upon as a type of the saints.

[Leviticus 20:24] “But I (the Lord) have said unto you (Israel; saints), Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey (a type of the heavenly inheritance).”  Ezekiel 20:6 says that Canaan, the land flowing with milk and honey was the glory of all the land.  So when they entered into the land flowing with milk and honey they were entering into their inheritance.  Being blessed by God is the heavenly inheritance; it’s a special blessing being reserved for the faithful (the saints).  Back in Leviticus 20:24:  I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people (sanctified by the word of God and the preaching of the truth to give them an inheritance)”.

You’re separated and sanctified as a saint to things to come or in other words, an inheritance; you’re going to have an inheritance.

[Ephesians 1:18]  The saints understand something.  They understand that the NT has something:  The NT has an inheritance for them.  Their eyes have been opened to the mystery.  The mystery was made manifest to the saints in Colossians 1:27, which says, “To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”.  The mystery has to do with Christ in you, the hope of glory.  It says literally, the hope of the glory.  Is this hope the second coming?  I don’t hope that Jesus is coming again; I know Jesus is coming again!

What is Christ in you the hope of glory?  To be presented to Jesus Christ as mature (as we looked at in Colossians 1:28), and you’ll hear, “well done thou good and faithful servant”.

You were faithful; you were a saint, you applied the commandments of Scripture, you trusted Me, you believed the word of God when you heard it, and you walked holy and you confessed your sins when you did sin.  That’s what a saint is and they’re going to have an inheritance.  An inheritance is not getting saved and going to heaven when you die.  The inheritance is getting a reward for faithful Christians when they overcome.  Colossians 3:24 that we looked at a moment ago says, “Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ”.  If you serve the Lord Christ, he’s going to reward you for it.  He’s going to write you into His will and give you a heavenly inheritance and give you a blessing of glory and honor.

That’s something that I want to be a part of.  That’s something we can have as saints who are serving Jesus Christ after we’re Christians; after we’re saved.  That’s the issue here.  We serve him after we’re saved, and that’s how we get our inheritance at the end.  That’s when the reward comes.

[Revelation 11:18]  Saints are rewarded.  And the nations were angry (they’re always angry), and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged (judgment is coming; you can’t escape judgment through death), and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints (the saints are going to be rewarded), and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. “

Keep in mind that the reward is the Kingdom.  The reward is the Kingdom.  Because the Kingdom is the inheritance and the reward is the inheritance.

[Matthew 25:34]  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand (those are the saints; the set-aside ones; approved of ones), Come, ye blessed of my Father (they’re blessed by the Father), inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

You see:  There’s an inheritance and it’s called the Kingdom.  If you notice in Scripture where the inheritance is, it’s before eternity or the ages unto the ages.  That’s the millennial reign, the age to come, “eternal” life, age-lasting life, the thousand years:  These are all terms used for the same period of time. 

[Daniel 7:18,22,27]  Verse 18, “But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.”  I think he’s telling us something there, don’t you?  The saints will even be blessed beyond the millennial kingdom.

Verse 22.  “Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment (rulership) was given to the saints of the most High;(saints, are special people; they’re a group of people that have been set aside to be given judgment and rulership) and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.”  The whole concept here is about when that fourth world kingdom that is described in Daniel chapter 7 is destroyed by the coming of Jesus Christ.

 That fourth world Kingdom is being formed right now and all the nations are going to come together under one world ruler.  And that one world ruler is going to be very charismatic and he’s going to be very popular and a lot of people are going to be seduced into listening to him.  He’s going to think he can solve the world’s problems and everyone’s going to listen to him.  It says in Revelation 13 that the whole world went after him.  And his name is antichrist.  He is coming; he will come, and those who are here won’t even realize that he’s here.   People will wake up one day and say, “Oh my goodness, there he is”.

We have to make sure that we’re ready and waiting for the Lord Jesus Christ.  Why?  Because saints are going to possess the kingdom.  Christ is going to destroy that kingdom in Revelation 19:11-18, he’s going to wipe it out and he’s going to establish his millennial Kingdom with peace and righteousness and justice and there will be only one name in that day and it will be the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord, as it says in Philippians 2:9-11.  That’s an awesome thing!

[Back in Daniel 7:27]  “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven [the whole earth will be affected; see, we’re not flying off somewhere to the stars; heaven today has been looked upon as some mythological place in the stars beyond Pluto somewhere where everyone plays violins and has angel wings.  That’s not true.  The kingdom is coming to this earth; Christ is coming back to this planet to rule and to reign.] shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High [The whole earth.  What did Jesus say in Matt 5:5?  “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.”], whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. 

We want to be saints because in 1 Corinthians 6:2 it says, “Do ye not know (don’t be ignorant) that the saints shall judge the world?”  This is not all Christians!  There are many Christians today that are not saints, but it’s going to be the saints that will rule the world.  The word judge means rule; they’re going to have positions of authority.

Revelation 2:26 says that authority over nations will be given to faithful saints.  And verse 27 says they’re going to rule or judge with a rod of iron.  Those that teach that all Christians are saints fail to take into account just who the saints will be ruling and reigning over.  We can’t all be chiefs.  Authority will be given to faithful saints; they’ll be given a kingdom, just as Jesus Christ was granted a kingdom in Luke 22:29.  The father granted Jesus a kingdom.  This is going to be honor for the saints or the sanctified ones. 

[Revelation 19:7]  "Let us be glad and rejoice (Are you glad and rejoicing today?), and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come (the marriage of the lamb is the kingdom), and His wife has made herself ready."  Have you made yourself ready?  If you want to be the bride of Christ, you have to make yourself ready.  How?  Through the power of the grace of Jesus Christ.  Verse 8:  “And to her it was granted (he grants you things) to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”  There we have the saints again.  The righteous acts of the saints.

Revelation 3:5 says, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” 

Revelation 21:7 says, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”

Not all Christians are saints.  Saints are those that obey the commandments of God.  They’re being holy in their practical, day-to-day living.  That doesn’t mean that you’re perfect; it means that you love God and you love His commandments.  And when you do fail; when the temptation, the monster gets in the armor because you put down the shield of faith for a moment and that dart comes in and hits you and your garments are spotted like it says in Jude 23, you go to Jesus Christ, your high priest and you confess your sins.  And He is faithful and just to forgive you of your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness.  And you’ll be set apart as a sanctified one for an inheritance in the coming millennial kingdom.

In closing, turn with me to [Revelation 20:6]  He shall reign with Christ for 1000 years; the saints, the holy ones, the blessed ones are the ones that are going to inherit the kingdom; they’re the ones that are unblameable and unreprovable in his sight as it says in Colossians 1:22.

And you’re saying to yourself, “I feel far away from this”.  As long as we’re living in this body of sin and death, we have the opportunity to live for Jesus Christ.  In Philippians 1:21, Paul said, “for me to live is Christ, and die is gain.” 

Paul could say that because he wasn’t backslidden.  He could say that because he was walking after the commandments of Christ.  But a Christian who has backslidden or fallen away, who is living for the things in this world (flesh) who has his hope, not in the coming kingdom, but his hope is something on this earth, he will not be ready for the Lord when he comes and he will not be blessed and holy and have the first resurrection with Jesus Christ. 

My encouragement to you and to me too (I’m not just teaching to you, I’m teaching to myself) is, “Let’s be saints”.  Let’s be holy ones.  Let’s be the ones that love God’s commandments.  Let’s be the ones that confess our sins.  We love the high priest.  Go to him.

It says in Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  We have a high priest today who is merciful and faithful.  Because He was tempted in all points like we are, but He overcame, and he says you also can overcome.

We can overcome.  We can be saints.  We can set ourselves apart and live a life that others can observe, just as Herod observed John; and what should they observe?  They should observe that we’re living a holy, saintly life.