To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi…
St. James Place and St. Charles Place… coveted properties on the Monopoly board. Farmland in nearby St. Paul—a dream for those who work the soil. Just who are St. James, St. Charles and St. Paul? They are simply those who have chosen to believe in Jesus Christ as their savior. You and I are saints too. Yes, St. Noah, Saints Gregg & Patty, St. Rick, even St. Steve! But St. Jim? You all know me and certainly I am no saint… in your eyes. But God sees me as a saint. He calls me such in Scripture, just like the Philippian believers he writes to. And so are you if you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your savior. Regardless of man’s religious tradition, rules or institutions… canonized or not, God’s Word is clear that every believer is a saint.
All believers are saints, not because of their righteousness, but because they are “in Christ Jesus.” The identification of saint has nothing to do with character or spiritual maturity. It has everything to do solely with our acknowledgment of Christ as our Savior. A Buddhist does not speak of himself as “in” Buddha, nor does a Muslim refer to himself as “in” Mohammed, nor a Mormon as “in” Joseph Smith. They can be followers of these leaders, but they are not “in” them. Solely Christians can claim to be “in” their Lord because we have been made spiritually one with Him. This is clear in Ephesians 2:4-6—
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which he loved us… made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
Paul writes to the Galatians (2:20)—
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”
In Paul’s letters the phrase “in Christ Jesus” occurs fifty times, “in the Lord” forty-five times, and “in Christ” twenty-nine times. Obviously this is a significant truth we need to grasp with great appreciation and joy!
From Oswald Chambers—
“A saint is not a human being who is trying to be good, trying by effort and prayer and longing and obedience to attain as many saintly characteristics as possible; a saint is a being who has been recreated. ‘If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation.’”
So next time at the Monopoly board as you land on St. Charles Place or St. James Place, or if passing through St. Paul, reflect on the great reality of you being a saint—one who is set apart from sin to God. Some may chuckle at the idea of you being a saint, but God says you are because of your belief and confidence in Christ’s death for all your sins and His resurrection.
Truly God is good!