REAL LIFE expository study devotional – Letter to the Saints

Day 1: You are a Saint.

‘To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.’ Rom.1:7

Additional reading: Ex.19:6; Lev.11:44; Rom.8:27; 1Cor.1: 2-3; Eph.1:1; Phi.4:21-22; Col.1:2.

What comes to your mind when you hear the word, saint? Your answer is not farfetched; a title given to some people after they have died because they were considered very holy or good. But is this the biblical understanding of who a saint is? If saints be those who were long dead, why then did Paul refer to the Romans as saints while still alive? Before examining this, it is expedient to understand a few things about the book of the Romans.

Unlike other writings, Paul never addressed specific local problems and in fact, had never visited Rome. Thus, his letter to the church in Rome contained general Christian standards and principles. He took time to argue in logical sequence, sin and its consequences, redemption through faith in Jesus Christ as against the law, God’s plan for Israel, and practical applications as it affects our relationships with one another as members of the body of Christ and those outside the body specifically civil governments.

In his opening, therefore, he did not fail to say who the gospel was all about; ‘Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, Which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness (hagiosyne/hagiosune: sacredness, from hagios: an awful thing, sacred – physically pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially consecrated:- most holy one, most holy thing), by the resurrection from the dead.’

The Message Bible puts it in this manner; ‘The sacred writings contain preliminary reports by the prophets on God’s Son. His descent from David roots him in history; his unique identity as Son of God was shown by the Spirit when Jesus was raised from the dead, setting him apart as the Messiah, our Master.’

 To put it straight, Jesus Christ in human nature was the Son of David, but to show that indeed He was the Son of God, thus making Him distinct from other humans, the Spirit of holiness, not the Spirit of man — God’s own Spirit, which is pure and blameless and the Most Holy One had to raise Him from the dead. It is this same Spirit that regenerated us and bears witness with our spirits that we are sons of God.

Therefore, Paul went on to say; ‘By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations for his name: Among whom are ye also the called (kletos; invited, i.e. appointed, or specifically a saint) of Jesus Christ’ (vv 6-7). In like manner, he wrote to the Corinthians church thus; ‘Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified (hagiazo; to make holy, i.e. ceremonially pure or consecrated, to venerate:- hallow, be holy) in Christ Jesus, called (kletos; invited, i.e. appointed, or specifically a saint) to be saints (hagios; an awful thing, sacred – physically pure ,morally blameless or religious, ceremonially consecrated:- most holy one, most holy thing), with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus our Lord, both theirs and ours :’ ( 1Cor.1:2).

 These letters were not written to the dead, but to the living, because God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. So, I put it to you that you are a saint – made holy, appointed by God through Jesus Christ, pure and blameless.

Meditation: Have I realized that am a saint as the bible declares me? If a saint, am I consecrated, blameless, pure and holy unto the LORD?

Prayer:  As You have called me and made me holy by Your Spirit; I pray that You grant me strength by that same Spirit to remain consecrated unto You.

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