“Only Jesus can bless someone with everlasting life in the paradise of God’s love. Is it your desire to receive such a blessing?”
Are you looking for a better life? Well, you are not alone. People everywhere today are looking for a better life. Politicians know this because in every presidential election, candidates declare how they will lead our country so we can all have a better life. Marketing advisors know this for it seems that every commercial we see tries to convince us that if we just had this product or that, we’d have a better life. Our colleges are filled with people looking for a better life. However, the way to a better life is not found in politicians, money, success, or any other worldly thing. A better life has nothing to do with the homes in which we live or the cars we drive. The only way to a better life is found in Jesus Christ, in understanding who we are and what we have in Christ.
Jesus very clearly said, “I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.” And someone may try to convince you that this means Jesus wants us to have all the stuff we want. But Jesus very clearly taught that the abundant life is not about things, but rather about a quality of life found only in him. The eternal life Jesus offers is not merely a quantity of life, but it is a quality of life. It is a life of true peace and contentment despite the troubles that come our way. Abundant life is a life where Jesus is included in all you do, all you think, and all you say. It’s not enough to know we are Christians. There is so much more. You are on a journey and on your journey to a better life, you must understand this about yourselves, that you are a saint in Christ. And what is a saint? The dictionary defines a saint as one who is a very holy person, one who is pure in heart and upright in life. Does this describe you today?
The Bible writers chose the word saint that means “holy ones, righteous ones, those who have been separated from the worldly and profane.” And a saint is any and every born again child of God. If you are familiar with the Apostle Paul’s writings to the new churches, you will notice that he addresses the people as saints. These people didn’t perform great feats of compassion for humanity. They didn’t have to meet a certain criteria of a church. They were simply those who have experienced the touch of God on their lives, those who have responded by turning from a life without God to a life that is totally dependent on God. Are you one of those people? A saint?
The moment you repent of your sin and place your faith in Christ, you are clothed in the righteousness of Christ and you are set apart and holy in the eyes of God. But though we have been born again, we still have a sin nature that has to be dealt with. We still mess up and we still fail. And there are days and times when you don’t feel saved, when you don’t feel like a saint. But your being a saint has nothing to do with your feelings. But it has everything to do with your eternal position in heaven. You may say, “I don’t feel holy…I don’t feel worthy to be a saint.” You may have these feelings because you’re living in sin and need to do something about it. But you may also have these feelings when there is nothing really the matter. None of us are worthy, but God has made us worthy in Christ. That’s why Paul wrote of us as being in Christ Jesus. But the devil will try to tell you otherwise. The devil will say “You’re so bad. You’re so unworthy. God can’t love you and he can’t use you.” Don’t believe it! They are lies from the pits of hell! God bought you with the precious blood of His only begotten son. He saved you from the judgment to come. And so if you are a true Christian, you are not your own. You’ve been bought for a price! And when God looks at you now, He doesn’t see your inadequacies, but rather He sees the righteousness of Christ that covers you. And being in Christ is cause for celebration as Paul says in verse 2, “grace and peace be to you.” This was a common greeting in those days. But what does it mean? To have grace is to have the favor of God in your life, a favor you receive, but don’t deserve. If I say ‘grace be to you’, I’m saying ‘may you experience the mercy of God’. I’m saying ‘you may have messed up today, but God stands ready to forgive you.’ That’s amazing grace! Amazing mercy that saved a wretch like me. And the peace that Paul wrote of is the peace that so many are searching for, but can’t find. And so therefore, the believer should rejoice because of the peace he has in Christ. Are you experiencing the peace that passes all understanding? Do you sense something deep down inside of you that brings a calm to your soul that you can’t really explain? Only Christ can give this peace. Only Christ who is the highest authority bestows divine grace.
Not only does the saint have grace and peace, but he has also been blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places. This is not money, success, popularity or power. This is not the house, the car, or even the wife or kids. It is spiritual blessings that you have in Christ that nothing can ever take away, where neither moth nor rust corrupts or destroys. No one or any circumstance can steal your precious relationship with God. It will not expire. Only Jesus can give what will last for eternity. Only Jesus can bless someone with everlasting life in the paradise of God’s love. Is it your desire to receive such a blessing? Where is your heart today? If you want a better life, then you must be in Christ and you must set your devotion on things above.
Don’t live like a sinner. Embrace life as a saint. Listen to the strong words of Paul.
Ephesians 1:4-6-8 ~ For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding.
He predestined us unto the adoption of children, but notice in the Gospel of John. It is written…
John 1:10-12 ~ He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
This is one of the greatest paradoxes in the Bible. How that God in His sovereignty chose you before he ever created the world, that he already knew who would and would not be saved, and yet, he still gives you the freedom to choose. From eternity past, God has done all that was necessary to bring you to Him. Now what will you do? It’s your move. God has shown Himself to your heart. Do you realize how special you are to God? You have been chosen for a reason! He chose you to be holy and this is the exact same word as saint. He chose you to be a saint. And to be a saint means to be set apart from the ways of the world, and set apart to the ways of God. It means that you turn from sin and let your heart be filled with the presence of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. Your life is now to be used for God’s service, like clay in the potter’s hands. Verse 6 lets us know that when we are living for the purpose God has chosen for us, there is praise to the glory of His grace. In other words, not only is God glorified in our obedience, it brings Him great pleasure. We can bring God pleasure! God chose you for a better life because He loves you. And it begins with salvation. If you are saved, remember that you are a saint, a holy one of God. You are a saint! Not because of your goodness, but because of Christ’s goodness and your trust that His goodness is more acceptable than yours.
Do you want a better, abundant life? Do you want a quality of life that this world claims to offer, but cannot deliver? Are you living as God intends for you to live? Could it be that someone here today is not sure of their eternal destiny? Maybe you want a better life but have been looking in all the wrong places. Maybe you’ve been coming to church for a while but haven’t come to the point of humbling yourself and asking Jesus to save you. Only Christ offers the better life, the ultimate life of true meaning and peace. And this life is made possible by admitting you a sinner, admitting that you’re lost without Christ. Have you done that? Because, once you see yourself as a sinner in need of a savior, then you’re on your way to become a saint. You’re on your way towards living a wholesome life, a life free from activities and attitudes that only bring attention to Satan. A better life doesn’t necessarily mean a life with better health, more money, or less problems, but a better life has more to do with matters of the soul as the conscience is cleansed. The heart is softened. The mind is clearer. Don’t live like a sinner. Embrace life as a saint. Embrace a clean life, a life that says to a watching world, “I’m a holy child of God.!
“I prefer light over dark. I prefer a healthy marriage over a dysfunctional relationship. I prefer to be sober over the influence of drugs or alcohol. I prefer kindness over callousness. I prefer to be wise with my money over being irresponsible with it. I prefer to think Godly thoughts over perverse thoughts.”
Sinners live in defeat, defeated by ignoring God’s love and guidance. Saints live in victory, victory by embracing God’s love and guidance. To live a wholesome life means that we allow the Holy Spirit into every area of our life. That’s how we become more like Jesus. If that’s what you want! If you are trusting Jesus with your soul by asking for his forgiveness of sin, you are a saint. Are you living like one?