"THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS" Called To Be Saints (1:7) INTRODUCTION 1. In his epistle to the Romans, Paul said he was "called to be an apostle" - Ro 1:1 a. I.e., he was summoned to be an apostle, one sent by Jesus for a special purpose b. That purpose involved the gospel, which Paul was sent to proclaim to the nations - Ro 1:1,5 2. All Christians likewise have their "calling"... a. We are the "called of Jesus Christ" - Ro 1:6 b. We are "called to be saints" - Ro 1:7 3. The term "saint" is frequently misunderstood and misapplied... a. One might get the wrong impression of what Paul is saying b. A proper understanding is important, serving as motivation for proper conduct [So let us ask our first question: What is a "saint"...?] I. THE DEFINITION OF A SAINT A. ONE SET APART, CONSECRATED, HOLY ONE... 1. "The word mean set apart, consecrated, sacred...In the NT the word hagios, when used as a noun, usually refers to members of the...church. All believers are called 'saints,' even when their character is dubiously holy." - Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia 2. "A NT believer, belonging exclusively to God. The saints are the church, people called out of the world to be God's own people." - Zondervan Topical Bible 3. "Set apart for God, to be, as it were, exclusively His...this appellation is very often in the NT transferred to Christians, as those whom God has selected out of the world" - Thayer 4. "It is used of men and things in so far as they are devoted to God. These are called hagoi, saints, i.e., 'sanctified' or 'holy ones.' This sainthood is not an attainment, it is a state into which God in grace calls men" - Vine B. APPLIED TO ALL CHRISTIANS... 1. Summarizing what these sources say, a "saint" is: a. A Christian, a member of the body of Christ b. As such, Christians are considered by God to be... 1) Set apart, holy 2) Consecrated for His purpose 2. A quick survey of the NT confirms this definition and use of the term "saint" a. Addressing those in various congregations
- Ro 1:7; 1Co 1:2; 2Co 1:1; Ep 1:1; Php 1:1; Col 1:2 b. Describing the subjects of brotherly love - Ep 1:15; Col 1:4; Phm 4-7 3. A "saint" is not some super-spiritual Christian... a. Now dead and having lived a long time ago b. Who is canonized and venerated as an object of worship -- Indeed, every Christian is a saint! [However, we find both now and then that not all Christians behave like saints. This raises the question: How should saints live...?] II. THE LIFE OF A SAINT A. AS DESCRIBED IN EPHESIANS... 1. Saints should live in a manner worthy of their calling - Ep 4:1 a. Walking in unity - cf. Ep 4:1-16 b. Walking in truth - cf. Ep 4:17-32 c. Walking in love - cf. Ep 5:1-7 d. Walking in light - cf. Ep 5:8-14 e. Walking in wisdom - cf. Ep 5:15-17 2. Saints should avoid things not befitting their calling - Ep 5: 3-4 a. Fornication, uncleanness, covetousness b. Filthiness, foolish talking, coarse jesting -- Saints strive to live this way; they do not always live up to their calling B. AS DESCRIBED IN COLOSSIANS... 1. Saints should be filled with the knowledge of God's will - Co 1:9 a. Involves a good knowledge of the Bible b. Accompanied by wisdom and understanding (via prayer - Ja 1:5) 2. Saints are to walk worthy of the Lord - Col 1:10 a. We are called to be Christians as well as saints - cf. Ac 11:26 b. Our behavior should properly reflect the One whose name we wear! 3. Saints are to fully please Him - Col 1:10 a. By being fruitful in every good work b. By increasing in the knowledge of God 4. Saints are to be strengthened with all might - Col 1:11 a. According to God's glorious power - cf. Ep 3:16,20; 6:10,13 b. For all patience and longsuffering with joy 5. Saints are to give thanks to the Father - Col 1:12-14 a. He has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of saints b. He has delivered us from the power of darkness c. He has conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love d. He has provided redemption and forgiveness of sins, through His Son's blood -- The epistles were written to saints; from them we learn how saints ought to live! [We noted that one reason saints are to be thankful is because God has qualified us to partakers of "the inheritance of the saints". This raises a third question: What is the hope of saints...?] III. THE HOPE OF A SAINT A. RICH AND GLORIOUS... 1. Which Paul wanted the saints at Ephesus to know - Ep 1:18 2. Which involves the exceeding riches of God's grace - Ep 2:7 3. Which is presently reserved in heaven for us - 1Pe 1:4 -- Paul and Peter describe our inheritance in general terms B. NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH... 1. Promised by God, anticipated by Peter - 2Pe 3:13-14 a. A future realm in which righteousness dwells b. Motivating us to live now in peace, without spot and blameless 2. Revealed by Jesus, described by John - Re 21:1-7 a. Replacing the present earth and universe b. Involving the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven c. In which God will dwell with men, providing wonderful blessings -- Peter and John describe our inheritance in figurative terms [Questions may remain as to the ultimate nature of the saints' inheritance, but enough is revealed to motivate us to become saints and live in a manner worthy of our calling. This leads to our fourth and final question: How do we become saints...?] IV. THE BEGINNING OF A SAINT A. CALLED BY THE GOSPEL... 1. We become saints by being "called" - cf. Ro 1:7 a. The idea of being "called" is one of being "summoned" b. But we are not called or summoned by a small still voice, or bolt of lightning 2. We are "called" by the gospel - 2Th 2:14 a. God calls people by the gospel b. For the obtaining of the glory of our Lord B. PRODUCED BY THE GOSPEL... 1. The gospel reveals God's plan for saving man from his sins a. With facts to believe - e.g., 1Co 15:1-3 b. With commands to obey - e.g., Mk 16:16; Ro 10:9,10 c. With promises to receive - e.g., Ac 2:38-39; Ro 6:23 2. When people respond, they become saints a. Saved and called by the grace of God - 1Ti 1:9 b. Even though sinners, as were the saints in Corinth - 1Co 1:2; 6:9-11 3. Every time the gospel is preached, God is calling people to become saints a. Those who hear are exhorted to obey b. Those who obey are washed, sanctified, justified c. Those who are sanctified are set apart, consecrated for God's purpose; i.e., saints CONCLUSION 1. By the wonderful grace of God... a. We can be His saints, His holy ones, set apart for His purpose! b. We can look forward to the wonderful inheritance reserved in heaven for us! 2. Yet as saints, we must walk in a manner worthy of our calling... a. We must make our "calling and election sure" - 2Pe 1:10-11 b. Even Paul, called both as an "apostle" and a "saint", realized the risk of his being rejected after preaching to others - 1Co 9:27 Are you a saint? You are if you have responded to the call of God through obedience to the gospel! Are you living as a saint should? May the hope of saints motivate you to walk worthy of your calling!
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016