Discover Your Spiritual Identity: The Revelation of the Names and Titles God Has Given His People
"Gather My saints together to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice" (Ps. 50:5, NKJV).
A five-year-old boy once walked with his parents into a high-spired cathedral with dozens of stained-glass depictions of respected followers of Jesus in the history of the church. Bright rays of light from the rising sun began streaming through the windows when suddenly the boy exclaimed, "Now, I know what a saint is!" The stunned parents turned around to hear him conclude, "It's someone the light shines through."
The word "saint" has traditionally been used to refer only to Christians who reach an extremely high degree of piety and religious devotion—believers who the "light" really shines through brightly—but not your ordinary churchgoers. However, the following Scripture throws the gate wide open. Saints are all those who sincerely love the Lord, though they may live relatively normal lives:
"To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours" (1 Cor. 1:2).
In this verse, three simple criteria are offered for "sainthood":
1. Belonging to "the church of God." The word "church" is from the Greek word ecclesia, meaning called out ones. Therefore, it is comprised of all those who have been truly called out of a life of sin into a life of consecration to God. It is not an organization; it is an organism—a living body of believers worldwide.
2. Being "sanctified in Christ Jesus." The word "sanctified" has a double meaning: First, it means being cleansed from the defilement of sin, and second, it means being consecrated to the purposes of God.
3. Calling on "the name of Jesus." In other words, calling on His name for salvation and then living a life of personal communion with Him daily.
So, all who have truly been born again, regardless of denominational affiliation, are not only invited but included in "the assembly of the saints" (Ps. 89:5). Wow! In this age of spiritual laxity and rampant immorality, isn't this a challenging goal to set?
Sanctified People Automatically Become Saints
Sainthood and sanctification are inseparably interwoven because a "saint" is simply someone who has been "sanctified." This initially comes as a gift from God. As soon as we confess Jesus to be Lord of our lives, a number of sanctifying influences begin working together to present us holy unto the Lord. At that glorious moment of spiritual rebirth, we are:
— "Sanctified by the truth" (John 17:19).
— "Sanctified by faith" (Acts 26:18).
— "Sanctified ... in the name of the Lord" (1 Cor. 6:11).
— "Sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Heb. 10:10).
— "Sanctified by the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 15:16).
— "Sanctified by God the Father" (Jude 1:1).
— "Sanctified" by the blood of Jesus (Heb. 13:12).
In other words, when we hear the truth, and when we accept it by faith, then we call on the name of the Lord in prayer. As we set our faith on the crucified body of the Lord Jesus and ask to be washed in His precious blood, an internal transformation takes place. At that moment of spiritual transformation, we are sanctified by God the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit. When all of these spiritual ingredients are mixed together—Voila!—a saint is born!
Well ... yes and no. Claiming sainthood from the very start of our walk with God is almost like asserting that an acorn is really an oak tree. It is, but it isn't. It may have the identity and the potential, but to really be an oak tree in a manifested way, that acorn has to fall into the ground and die, then spend a good deal of time growing (John 12:24).
So it is with us. All believers have the identity and the inheritance of being saints from the very start, but to really be saints in a viable and recognizable way (fully awakened to this inner potential), we must die to self, die to the world and die to sin. Then, we must spend a good deal of time growing in God, yielding to His nature and fulfilling His will. Those who do so are blessed to mirror the image of the King of saints Himself (Rev. 15:3). This should be our goal, every single day.
In this episode of Discover Your Spiritual Identity with Mike Shreve on Charisma Podcast Network, discover what a pine cone can teach you about becoming a saint.
Mike Shreve has taught on the spiritual identity of believers for over 30 years. This powerful revelation is featured on his weekly podcast on cpnshows.com and a weekly TV program on It's Supernatural Network—both titled Discover Your Spiritual Identity. It is also the theme of his Charisma House book titled WHO AM I? Dynamic Declarations of Who You Are in Christ. A product of the Jesus Movement Era, Mike has traveled evangelistically in the United States and overseas since 1970 with an emphasis on healing and the prophetic.
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