Morning Roundup - August 7, 2012
Justin Taylor addresses the issue of what a "saint" is.
Saint is one of the most widely misunderstood words in our Christian vocabulary. At some point in church history, people began to call the original apostles saints, contrary to the plain meaning of the word as used in the New Testament. So now we hear of Saint Paul, Saint Peter, Saint Andrew, and the like. In the Roman Catholic tradition, people of unusual achievement are sometimes designated as saints. Among evangelicals we often think of saints as exceptionally godly and holy people.
The truth is, though, every believer is a saint. That's why Paul's greetings in his epistles often include something such as, "To the saints who are in Ephesus" (Ephesians 1:1, see also Philippians 1:1, Colossians 1:2). Even when addressing Corinth, a church that was all messed up both theologically and morally, Paul wrote, "To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints. . . . (1 Corinthians 1:2). In fact, sainthood is not a spiritual attainment, or even a recognition of such attainment. It is rather a state or status into which God brings every believer. All Christians are saints.
It is a very unfortunate and unhelpful thing that we so often misunderstand this short, simple word. To use a word that applies to all Christians in a way that suggests there is a special, elite class of Christians is doubly wrong: it steals from the church important truths that God intended to communicate through the idea of sainthood, and it promotes jealousy and division within the body of Christ by suggesting a hierarchy that does not exist.
The regularly-helpful Ron Edmonson blogs on recovering for disappointments.
The Devil loves when you doubt yourself. What steps should you take to get back on track and succeed again after a major disappointment? Here are 10 tips to consider during the recovery process:
- Reconnect with God.
- Evaluate your life.
- Create some new dreams.
- Call in the advisors.
- Don't take your pain and anger out on others.
- Take a break.
- When it's time, be willing to risk again.
- Don't let failure or disappointment define you.
- Do something.
- Get back in the game.
Steve Knight is blogging through God Who Sends by Francis DuBose. We use the book extensively in The Mission of God Study Bible.
"Missions? This is something we pay others to do. And pray for others to do. And they go. And thank God they go. But is the Christian mission an elitist vocation? Is this what the Bible says? Is this what we sense from Jesus?
"Where have we missed the meaning of our pilgrim faith? Why has the biblical meaning of mission so escaped us? Where did we abandon the legacy of the Jesus way? We live before the mystique of the missional vision. But we seem to be able to keep it a vision -- a vision at a safe enough distance to keep us from being compelled by its power.
"Do we not need to move closer, to move within the reach and influence of that vision? Do we not need a fresh quest for the meaning of this missional vision -- and especially a renewed understanding of our relationship to it?"