This is a bit of a different blog post, but I wanted to share it with you all the same. It’s a collection of thoughts based on verses. Some of the lines are borrowed from my pastor’s sermon this morning. But a lot of them are my own musings, and I wanted to share them with you.
I think it’s incredibly useful to take a few Bible verses, read them, digest them, and consider what every single word means. Take it as a whole, and in its own pieces. It leads to a better understanding and appreciation of God’s Word.
So here’s me doing just that. I hope you enjoy this.
“For freedom, Christ has set us free: stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
— Galatians 5:1
Are we living as if we are free?
God set us free from the chains of sin’s slavery. It’s easy to forget. But we have been unchained by His glory and His sacrifice. We are called to be free, free from the reins of sin and the trouble of our own souls. We have a tendency to gain self-imposed chains.
But God has declared us free.
“But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
— 1 Peter 1:15-16
There is something different about us because we are followers of Jesus. He is our savior leader and king. The most freedom you will ever find is in Christ. We are to be all in with Christ. We are called to freedom and holiness. We are called to be holy because we have been made Holy.
Saints, holy ones: that’s what the Bible calls us.
We are set apart.
“To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.”
— 1 Corinthians 1:2
We are not alone in this freedom. There is a community of believers who came before us, who have paved the way, and those who surround us, bearing our burdens with us. Do you consider yourself to be a saint? You should. It’s what God calls you. He is saying this:
“You need to let Me call you a saint.”
This is how God sees us: as freed saints. We are not stuck in our sin, nor are we dirty creatures anymore. We have been picked out of the muck and mire, given a new name, and placed in the light of life. A saint is someone who lets that light shine through him.
“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.”
— Colossians 1:11-13
We can get caught up in what’s wrong with us, instead of focusing on the freedom God has granted us. Freedom from sin, fear, depression, anxiety. We are not alone in this either. We have fellowship, communion with fellow saints.
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”
— Psalm 94:19
We don’t always feel this freedom. But it can comfort, and a hope for us, to realize that God has set us free from the chains that are imposed on us. When our emotions are jumbled up and don’t make sense to us, it’s then that God reminds us:
We are freed.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
— Phillippians 1:6
We are free: but the work He does isn’t always fast or convenient. And we can get caught up in the day to day, but we need to remember the future. The work He began in us can take time. But the work is always good.
It’s hard to remember it when we’re in the valley, but God has called us to a life of freedom, and he calls us saints.
Here is God’s message to you:
No matter where you are today, whatever you’re doing wrong, how uncertain you are in your path, how confused you are about your feelings, I call you a saint. I have called you to set you apart, and you are loved and freed. You are free from worry and suffering, free from the chains you once held onto for security.
“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.
But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
— 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Are you letting God lead you into freedom in His own time? Sometimes God lets us have pains and fear, and terrible things happen to us. God gave Paul a thorn in his side and made sure it stayed there. Why? Because Paul needed to learn to trust in God to work in him, and to not rely on his own strength.
This is the best place we can be in: where we are trusting God, holding onto Him, and breathing in His freedom, and resting in His grace. It is hard, but there is no better place to be. He has called you as a saint. And that takes time. So rest in Him during the process.
“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
— 1 John 3:2-3
Take heart! You are being purified. You are already a saint, but your purity is a work in progress. You are a work in progress. We are in progress, and in partnership. We have a community of believers surrounding us. And best of all: The Holy One lives inside of us.
Your hope is in the Lord your God.
Remember that. Hope in Him.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
— Philippians 4:7
Are you in the saint process? Have you given your life to Jesus and are following Him?
And if so:
How are you more like Jesus today than you were a year ago?
We are freed saints. I am a freed saint.
You are a freed saint.
This is my church’s benediction:
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” — Jude 24-25
If you need more encouragement, please take the time to watch this video. It’s amazing.