In Ephesians 4:1 Paul urges us to come along with him and habitually live in a way that matches the calling to which we have been called.
What is this calling? Chapters 1-3 have covered this calling in great detail. Can we narrow down the teaching of Ephesians 1-3 into one word that describes the calling of God’s people?
Paul has already done this for us in Ephesians 1:1. Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, says that he is writing to saints in Ephesus.
“Saint” is the one word that we can used to narrow down chapters 1-3. Paul called his audience “saints” then went into detail about what that title means.
The word “saint” is an ambiguous word, though. So, what does it mean? What is a saint?
What comes into your mind when you think of a saint? Maybe you think of the football team or the old spiritual “When the Saints Go Marching In.”
Some think of saints as an elite, “step above other Christians” group. Some believe saints are a group of super-Christians who have allegedly performed miracles and have been canonized by an organization. You may get a picture in your mind of monks living separated in a monastery, chanting Gregorian chants, and wearing burlap-like robes.
Thankfully, the biblical understanding of sainthood is not that of an elite group. Instead, Paul explains clearly who saints are in Ephesians 1:1. Saints are all true believers. They “are the faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1). Faithful can be translated “the believing.” Those that have, are, and continue believing on the Lord Jesus Christ are saints.
But what does the word “saint” mean? It is a translation of the Greek word hagios. It simply means “holy ones.” Saints are God’s holy ones. They are those who have been called out by God for Himself from Satan, sin, and the world. They are those whom God has set apart for Himself for salvation and service.
This is certainly what Paul has covered in Ephesians 1-3 so far. In brief, Paul has said these saints have been:
– Chosen in Christ before the foundations of the world to be holy and blameless (1:4)
– Redeemed (bought) by the blood of Jesus Christ, forgiven of trespasses (1:7)
– Made alive from spiritual death to eternal life (2:1-9)
– New creatures created for good works (2:10)
– Those who were once far off, but have now been called out of separation to be brought near to God (2:11-13)
Saints are believers in Jesus Christ, who have received Him as their Lord and Rescuer from sin. Saints are those who have been called out from Satan, sin, and the world system. Saints are those who have been set in a new direction of service for God by God Himself.
Are you a saint? Have you turned from sin to Jesus Christ, trusting in Him alone to rescue you from sin? Have you trusted in Him to rescue you from sin based on His death in your place for your sins on the cross and His resurrection from the dead? Is your hope completely in Him? If not, turn to Him. Trust in Him alone based on His work on your behalf to be declared right with God.
If you are a saint come alongside me. Paul urges us in Ephesians 4:1 to walk worthy of the calling to which we have been called. He calls us to come alongside of him as he walked worthy. This walk was something that he was willing to suffer for as a prisoner for Jesus.
We have been called out by God for God. We are holy in our position. Now we are called to live in a way that matches that calling. We are holy in God’s sight, so we are to live a holy life before Him.
What does that holy life that matches our calling to be holy look like? Paul explains this in detail in Ephesians 4-6. In future posts, we will explore this worthy walk that matches the holy calling.
saint, child of God, and slave of Jesus
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