Last week we looked at two of our designations as Christians. We saw that we are disciples who follow Christ and learn of Christ, and secondly that we are believers who believe into Christ and have received Christ so that we may have an organic union with Him. This week we will look at two more designations of the believers: saints and Christians.
The word saint means one who is separated unto God and who is holy. This title is fitting for us because of the work Christ is doing in our lives. 1 Corinthians 1:2 tells us that our status as saints comes from the sanctification that we experience in Christ Jesus; those who are in Christ become sanctified, set apart, for Himself:
“To the church of God which is in Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, the called saints…”
This separation unto holiness is something that occurs both outwardly and inwardly. It starts outwardly and positionally through the sanctifying work of the blood of Christ (Hebrews 13:2), and then further continues inwardly and dispositionally by the spread of God’s nature within us through the transformation work of the Holy Spirit (1 Thes. 5:23). This transforming work is an ongoing process. We are constantly being renewed in our mind (Romans 12:2) so that we may no longer continue living in our worldly ways. As saints we need to be in this world but not of this world, for we belong to Christ. As we behold the glory of the Lord, we become transformed more and more into His image (2 Cor. 3:18). Therefore, as saints we are sanctified positionally by the blood and are continually being sanctified dispositionally through the work of the Spirit to express God’s holy nature.
The common name that we all share for believing into Christ is the name Christian. This name is more than just a label; it implies our testimony of Christ (Acts 11:26) as well as our intimate unity with Him (1 Cor. 6:17). To the world, the name Christian is an outward expression of the testimony we bear for Christ. Unfortunately, this testimony has been marred by the misrepresentation of Christ.
We are all guilty of this in one way or another, but we must press on to see that the expression of Christ can only come from Christ. When we are one with Christ and exercise to live by Him and through Him, we become a means for others to see Christ. Paul was mocked for attempting to convert King Agrippa to Christianity, however, but what he was actually doing was expressing the life of Christ that was in him as a testimony. We too must bear the testimony of Christ wherever we go so that we may express Him to others, and we can only do this if we have a strong relationship with Christ. May the Lord gain such a testimony through us!