Friday, January 25, 2008

What Makes Us Saints?

I've stated that what makes us sinners is that we were made with Godlike abilities (of will), but, not being God, we possess no ability to control them. Only God can do the God thing, so in effect, the tiger was too big for our tank. We can't blame God for sharing that image with us, his vision for us is astonishing and generous, but it's not something that can be achieved with him going one way and us going another.

What can be done to rectify the situation and bring us back into the promise? Apart from judicial concerns (not to minimize them, but to examine other issues), it requires the machinery of our souls to be rebuilt and then operated on a new basis. That entails enduing God's image with God's presence (Spirit) once again, which starts here and now, and then to remold untainted clay as a home for God's image, which happens at the catching away. Afterwards, God's image walks on in absolute agreement with God-- on every issue, inclination, desire, and action, everything!

If that sounds draconian, it is the model of Jesus Christ. He walked conceived by and endued with the Spirit of God in absolute agreement with his heavenly Father in every respect. That is what life as God's image is supposed to look like. It is what heaven will be like. When one can't embrace that model, he or she will look more like a sinner saved by grace than a saint. If our self-esteem as an autonomous human would be too insulted by such a paradigm, consider the alternative.

On the other end of the spectrum, I think it is a misconception to adopt miserable worm theology. That fails miserably to envision God's will in creating and recreating mankind, and is unlikely to inspire anyone to walk in the spirit-filled fullness Christ purchased for us. He's done so much to make it possible, should we not gladly embrace what it is that makes us saints?

9 comments:

  1. Good post. Rarely, if ever, do we hear about "Christ in you, the hope of glory."

    Nice changes to the site.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Peter,
    That little nugget is really the whole lode, but you're right, it slips past our notice much of the time-- treasure undiscovered, hidden in plain sight. It would make a great banner over either the platform or the exit doors of our sanctuaries.

    Hopefully the changes make things a little easier to read.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi slw, Thanks for stopping by. You've been posting some very good entries so I'm trying to catch up... again. LOL


    I want to make sure I understand what you're saying... Will you expand on this? Am I Not to see myself as a sinner saved by grace, but see myself as a saint???????

    "That is what life as God's image is supposed to look like. It is what heaven will be like. When one can't embrace that model, he or she will look more like a sinner saved by grace than a saint."

    Help me with this...?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am thinking that if we are to see ourselves as saint we need to see us as God sees us.... Our flesh will always condemn us.... and the enemy of our soul wants to keep us just below the knowledge of who we are..... Sinner saved by grace ..... yes of course but the power endowed to us was endowed to the Saints of God....... Living like a saint is a renewing or our minds to what God says about us...... We are saints seated in heavenly place IN Christ Jesus..... I am thinking it is a matter of sight...

    Nice to meet you...........

    ReplyDelete
  5. Rita,
    "Sinner saved by grace" is intrinsically a backward-looking perspective. The indentity, even the reality to some degree, is part of the before picture. If we are to embrace and flourish in the new, we have to capture the vision of the new. Not exactly what Jesus meant by new wine and new wineskins, but the metaphor does work here. The after picture is that we are new creatures in Christ, with the mind of Christ, the love of the Spirit shed abroad in our hearts, endued with power and gifts, and no longer having sin as our master. "Sinner saved by grace" keeps us dressed in old rags rather than the wedding garments given by the Father. See yourself as a saint. We are not perfect yet, but we are better seeing the glass half-full rather than half-empty. Does that help?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Denise,
    Welcome to the Sound, and your comment sounds about right to me!
    God bless.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Absolutely!!! That's actually very exciting. I still need to think on it to get my mind wrapped around it. Thank you so much. Thanks to Denise too. Hugs to you both.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Will you be going to Atlanta this week for the Synergize Conference? Pastor mentioned it yesterday. Pastor Sawyer will be speaking Thursday afternoon and Pastor David Mohan, who was our guest yesterday, will be speaking Wednesday. The list is filled with some powerful, spirit filled teachers and preachers...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Rita,
    Glad to be of service. No, not going to the conference. I don't get around much anymore. :-)

    ReplyDelete

Any comment in ill taste or not germane to the post may be deleted without warning. I am under no obligation to give anyone an opportunity to call me names or impugn my motives or integrity. If you can't play nice, go somewhere else and play.