When you read that did the voice in your head sound like? My hunch is that it sounded a bit disgusted or sarcastic. Because when most Americans think about “Christians” it is not a very good image.
“You’re a saint!”
When you read that, I bet a different image comes to mind. For me, it’s my Mimi. She was amazing, kind, tough, and loving. When we think of saints, the image is typically positive.
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: (Ephesians 1:1 ESV)
In Ephesians, Paul addresses the letter to “the saints”. This address was inclusive to all the people living and serving in the congregation at Ephesus.
In Paul’s mind, Christian=saint. They are one in the same, all of them.
I’ve spent my adult life around Christians. We’re broken, hypocritical, and messy. I can’t think of many, if any, that fall into the “saint” category, in my opinion. Yet, the Scriptures are clear, if you follow Jesus you’re a saint.
Paul is shaping our identity. Who we are comes from who God is and who he is shaping us to be. How can we all be saints?
Eugene Peterson says it this way,
Here’s how: holy [this is what ‘saint’ means] does not refer to them as they are in themselves; it refers to who they are in God. Practice Resurrection; 79, 80
If you follow Jesus you’re holy and you’re a saint. It’s who you are in God . How does that change the way you live? How might your decisions today be different?