Living with the Saints
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. (Psalms 116:15)
For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. (Psalms 37:28)
Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. (Psalms 30:4)And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. (Revelation 20:9)
Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: (1 Corinthians 1:2)
“SAINTS” OCCURS 96 TIMES in the King James Bible, beginning in Deuteronomy and ending in Revelation. It means those who belong to the Lord.
EVERYONE WHO HAS BEEN BORN AGAIN IS A SAINT. We may not act like it at times, but we are saints, nevertheless; if we have been truly born again by the Spirit of God. King David didn’t look like a saint when he stole Bathsheba from her husband and had her husband killed, but he was a saint. He belonged to the Lord. Saints can (and do sometimes) sin and disgrace the name of the Lord and bring dishonor upon their family.
JESUS PRAYED IN JOHN 17: “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (John 17:21) It is God’s will for us to be one with Him and one with each other. However…
PASTOR CHARLES SPURGEON OF LONDON in the late 1800’s said: “I love all of God’s people, but some of them I don’t want to be around ‘till I get to Heaven.”
IN ENGLAND, IN A VILLAGE OF SHEEP FARMERS in the early 1800’s, a young man was caught stealing a sheep from his neighbor’s flock. He was tried by the village elders and found guilty. They decided that he should be branded. So,
THEY HEATED TWO SMALL BRANDING IRONS, held him down on the ground and burned into his forehead: “ST” for “Sheep Thief.” He was then turned loose to tend his family’s sheep and to mingle with the people of his community. The scars on his forehead soon healed and were the first thing everyone saw as they met him in the village.
HE DECIDED TO MEND HIS WAYS AND BECAME ONE OF THE MOST CARING and accommodating people in the village. He visited the sick with soup and bread and fixed the roofs of the elderly and tended to the sick sheep in other people’s flocks. Time passed and he became an old man, still tending sheep but moving much slower and tottering.
ONE DAY TWO LITTLE BOYS MET HIM AND PASSED HIM on the road. As they skipped and threw rocks at targets along the road, one of them said: “What do those letters mean in the forehead of Old Jim?” The other little boy paused and said: “I don’t know. I’ve never heard anyone say. But I think it means “saint.”
WE DO NOT BECOME SAINTS BY WHAT WE DO; we become saints because of our position in Christ. Hopefully, our position in Christ will show up in the way we live and treat other people. “The word saint actually means "set aside to God." Every Christian should be set aside to God. For example, the pans and vessels that were used in the tabernacle and later in the temple were called holy vessels. Holy? Yes, because they were for the use of God. On what basis is a child of God a saint or holy? On the basis that he is for the use of God. This is the position that we have.” (McGee)
GOD HAS ORDAINED THAT SAINTS BE GOOD FOR ONE ANOTHER. And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
BUT AS GOOD AS SAINTS ARE FOR ONE ANOTHER, we DO HAVE A FEW PROBLEMS with ourselves because we have two opposing natures that require continual prodding. We have the new nature which cannot sin, that dwells in the same body that can do nothing but sin: it’s called the old Nature.
PAUL REPORTED: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; …. (2 Timothy 4:10) Demas was thought by Paul to be a saint or he would never have taken Demas with him on the missionary trip. But after a while, Demas had had enough of the missionary thing and skipped out. He may have been a saint, but not a very good example of a saint.
…Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. (3 John 1:9) Do you think we have this kind of people with us today? For some, church meetings are a good place to get their ego stroked. They feed on the approval and praise of others as they speak or sing or make over this or that one, expecting to be told what wonderful people they are. They are addicted to receiving the approval and admiration of others. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? (John 5:44)
THIS IS A TOUGH STANDARD, but it is the standard Jesus gave us. We’re still on the subject of “living with the saints.” This is not about eliminating all honor and recognition but going to excess with it. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour (is due). (Romans 13:7)
THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, maybe even people in the church who may be deeply motivated to be stroked and petted. I shouldn’t go too far, here, because there are some people who are so beat down from the week’s work that they need a breath of fresh air. They’ve been told all week how sorry they are (sometimes even at home) and they come to church to get a breath of fresh air. “It’s ok here. I’m safe here. I can feed here. Somebody will love me here.”
I UNDERSTAND THAT, AND WE'VE GOT TO BE CAREFUL HERE. But some people will go to church to get an opportunity to lord it over somebody because they are the head of a pecking order. (How am I doing here? Leave it alone?) OK. But Paul had a problem with it and had to talk about it. There was this guy whose nature simply required that he be the top dog about everything.
WHEN JESUS WAS ON HIS WAY TO THE CROSS, His inside circle was having this exact problem. And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest. And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. (Mark 9:33-35)
THAT WASN'T WHAT THEY HAD IN MIND. They were thinking about a great outward kingdom like David or Solomon had with buildings of grandeur, soldiers and servants and important meetings and the swelling applause of great crowds of people. They believed Jesus to be the long-awaited Messiah who would reign on a real, physical throne and all that went with it.
THEY HAD BEEN WITH THE MASTER FOR THREE YEARS, but these saints were not acting like saints yet. They thought greatness was being able to order another man around and snap their fingers at a lowly servant to do their bidding. They were saints but not mature sains.
PAUL HAD PROBLEMS WITH MISBEHAVING SAINTS everywhere he went.
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. (1 Corinthians 1:10-11)
AT ROME, IT WAS THE SAME WAY. Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Romans 16:17-18)
IT WAS NOT ENOUGH TO "BE NICE" TO THESE PEOPLE. "Avoid them.” Don’t have anything to do with them because if you do, it will end up in a needless quarrel. That’s what they like to do. There ARE some people who love to argue…about anything. AVOID THEM! The Scripture does not go into whether they were saints. If the behavior is there, avoid them.
TWO WOMEN COULDN'T GET ALONG: I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. (Philippians 4:2)
A WORSE PROBLEM IS THE HEAD-STRONG HERETIC: A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; (Titus 3:10) A man that is an heretic - The word “heretic” is now commonly applied to one who holds some fundamental error of doctrine, “a person who holds and teaches opinions repugnant to the established faith, or that which is made the standard of orthodoxy.” Webster
"THE TRUE NOTION OF THE WORD IS THAT OF ONE WHO IS A PROMOTER of a sect; or party. The man who makes divisions in a church, instead of aiming to promote unity, is the one who is intended. Such a man may form sects and parties on some points of doctrine on which he differs from others, or on some custom, religious rite, or special practice; he may make some unimportant matter a ground of distinction from his brethren, and may refuse to have fellowship with them, and endeavor to get up a new organization. Such a man, according to the Scripture usage, is a heretic, and not merely one who holds a different doctrine from that which is regarded as orthodoxy. (Barnes)
THE POINT OF THIS ARTICLE IS: that if we are saved, then we are saints with privileges and responsibilities. It may be summed up in this instruction from Paul: And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:30-32)
NOTE THAT GRIEVING THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD in the above verses has to do with holding grudges against other saints in the church. We are told: DON’T GRIEVE THE SPIRIT OF GOD WITH YOUR GRUDGES! If you have a matter that you can’t solve, then do it this way:
Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. (Matthew 18:15-17)
DAVID SETS BEFORE US HOW IT IS FOR BRETHREN to dwell in peace: Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. (Psalms 133:1-3)
LIVING WITH THE SAINTS IS A BLESSING AND A CHALLENGE Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
OCTOBER 14, 2019 – MONDAY
A.M. Isaiah 45-47 P.M. Galatians 3
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
A Great Memory Verse:
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7
Song for Today:
Peace in the Valley (2:12) (Tennessee Ernie Ford)
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