What is a Saint? Part 1
What does it mean to be a Saint? Is it perfect person, an ancient icon? Or a religious figure? Below we will start the conversation of how the bible uses the word Saint and how this word greatly changes our life.
It’s happened to many of us.
The credit card bill comes in the mail, and to your surprise and horror, your statement shows a bunch of charges that you never made. Someone stole your identity and went on a shopping spree at your expense! It’s called “identity fraud.” Just by stealing some of your personal information, a thief was able to spend your money and cause all kinds of financial problems in your life. What a crazy thing! If we aren’t careful, this can happen to us in the spiritual realm too.
Unless we know who we are in Christ, we will fall victim to a different, even more costly case of identity fraud!
The service was coming to a close as we sat in the pews of our church on a Sunday night. The guest speaker invited anyone forward who wanted more of God. As soon as he said this, I knew he was talking about me. I shot a glance over to my dad. “I’m going up there,” I asserted.
I walked to the front and sat on the floor. With my head bowed and my arms around my knees I whispered a prayer. It may have sounded quiet coming from my mouth, but in my heart it was shouting throughout Heaven.
“God, I’m here.”
Suddenly I began to feel the Presence of God come over me. It felt like liquefied love was being poured out wave after wave. His presence crashed over my soul like the tide on dry land. Through tears and sobbing, I heard God speak to me, “I’m cleansing you.”
I walked away from that service completely transformed. I felt like a new person. My future seemed more hopeful. My very breath felt freer! After all this, however, I still didn’t know exactly who I was. I still struggled to discover my true identity in Christ.
“The life we live comes from the beliefs we embrace.”
For most of my Christian life, even after that encounter with the power of God, I battled a spirit of accusation and condemnation. It would come at different times and reveal itself in various forms. For example: I would be tempted with sin, and resist it. Then for some reason, I would still feel condemned. I was feeling guilty for even being tempted at all.
I couldn’t figure out what was happening inside of me because I was focusing on the symptoms rather than the source of sickness.
I grew up in a culture of believers who believed we were just “sinners in need of a Savior,” and that the heart of man is deceitfully wicked. We were more afraid of the strength of sin than we were convinced of the solution of Heaven!
While the Bible is clear that sin is a destructive virus that all of mankind needs to be saved from, it is equally clear that God is not counting our sins against us (those of us who are believers) because of what Jesus did on the cross!
So what does this have to do with being a saint?
The life we live comes from the beliefs we embrace.
We were transformed from sinners to saints the moment we were born again. It’s not an accomplishment we’ve earned, but an identity that we’ve been given. Our spirit was made fully alive with Christ, and we are in the process of renewing our minds to think like the men and women God says we are.
Kris Vallotton (the one who has pioneered this message in our stream) has helped this reality come into focus for myself and many others. We are not in a battle with ourselves, that’s already been dealt with. The “old you” is dead! Our war is against the demonic spirits who are trying to steal our identities!
Embracing this reality allowed me to see that the accusations I struggled with were actually an assault on my identity! The spirit of accusation was trying to convince me I was still a sinner.
“If we still believe that we are sinners then we will sin by faith.” – Kris Vallotton
People will naturally rise to the expectations we have of them, good or bad.
If I talk to my kids as if they are always going to choose what’s wrong, my belief would shape them to act wrongly, thus empowering a spirit of accusation and fear. Conversely, when I treat them like gold because I believe they have a good nature, it reinforces their beliefs about themselves that they are good. This empowers love, acceptance and confidence.
God sees us the same way I see my kids. He sees the righteousness of Jesus when he looks at us, and it empowers us to embrace our true identity as saints. Any voice that says otherwise is a lying voice and does not deserve our agreement!
“To consider yourself alive to sin is to say the blood of Jesus had no effect.” -Bill Johnson
It’s time to create a culture in our families and churches that speaks to each other as who we really are. It’s time to start calling people into their identity as saints of the living God! It’s time to put an end to spiritual identity theft!
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” Ephesians 1:18