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Saints of God

October 19, 2012

“Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ…beloved of God, called to be saints.” – Romans 1:6-7

 

The definition of the word ‘apostle’, which comes from the Ancient Greek apostolos, is ‘one who is sent forth’; alternately, the word ‘disciple‘, from the Latin discipulus, means ‘a learner or student’. When thinking about our roles as Christians, and as His saints, I can’t help but wonder just how well we fulfill those definitions. See, while many of us believe that these definitions are limited to the original Twelve and to Paul, the fact is that – as His children – we too are expected to be both disciples and apostles: we are expected both to learn and to go forth, teaching what we have learned about Him in His name. We are meant to take what He gives us and go out into the world, so that we  might give it to others in turn. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” (Matt. 28:19-20)

And, also: “…ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost will come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). Because a disciple or apostle is not just those few men that lived 2,000 years ago: no, every man or woman who has ever accepted Christ into their heart has worn that mantle – including us.

But do we wear it well? How committed are we to learning about our Lord, or to going forth in His name to take His word to the world around us? I’m rather certain we could all do much better. When you consider those men – the early church fathers like Peter, Paul, James, Luke, Timothy, and so on – you see a strength of character and determination that is lacking in most people today. Yet when you look at their pasts, and the lives they led before their conversions, you see ordinary men full of faults and flaws and weaknesses; and yet, with God’s Spirit guiding them, they achieved such feats, such miracles, as we can only read about and wonder at. Or can we? I believe we can accomplish such miracles ourselves: because the same Spirit that guided and protected them, guides and protects us. Why should it be any different for us? We could do such great works if we only would step out in faith and make that commitment.

And honestly, the world needs such works…as well as the workers to do them.  “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” (I Cor. 3:9). We are the elect, and we are the called: as such we are meant to step out and serve those we’ve been charged with saving. Yet most of us are content to sit back, and allow others to do the serving for us. Yet, Christ said, “For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? Is not he that sitteth at meat? But I am among you as He that serveth.” (Luke 22:27). So, if our Lord – righteous and holy as He was – came to serve, I ask this: how can we as His church do any less?

So today, I ask everyone to consider what it is to be a true disciple to, and a true apostle of Christ: let us remember that as we are His saints, we should conduct ourselves that way. Let us consider how hard we strive to learn of Him as His disciples, and work for Him as His apostles, and how – as His saints – we could be so much more committed to serving His great purpose…as He once served us.

“…That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God,” – Col. 1:10

Be blessed,

Joshua

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