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Tag: glorification

True Sainthood

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The recently deceased journalist, diplomat, and scholar of South East Asia, Phillips Talbot once wrote: “I’ve been a Christian, and in particular a Presbyterian, and yet in Gandhi I saw saintliness…He was a 77-year-old ascetic and the physical ordeal did not worry him. Here, if I ever saw one, is a pilgrimage. Here is the Indian – and the world’s – idea of sainthood: a little old man who has renounced personal possessions, walking with bare feet on cold earth in search of a great human ideal.” His profession to be a Christian notwithstanding, Talbot betrayed a common misunderstanding of the nature of true saintliness. His comments on the Indian statesman Mohandas K. Gandhi depict a saint as a really good man or woman, whose abstemious or extremely religious behavior directs attention towards himself or herself in the pursuit of “a great human ideal.”
Saints: The False & The True
The biblical usage of the term is far different: it depicts bad men and women who have been set apart by the grace of God to receive a life of eternal glory with the Lord Jesus Christ. This eternal life is a gift from the Lord, stemming from His generosity and love – not based on any personal merit in the recipient of this gracious position. It results in a transformed life, that displays the character and reflective glory of Christ Himself as given through the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-26.) The destiny of saints culminates in their being conformed to the image of their Lord through “the redemption of the body” which results in glorification (Rom. 8:17, 23, 28-30; 1 John 3:1-2.)
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Alone But Not Alone

“Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.” John 16:32
 
  Abandonment and loneliness are among the most dreaded human experiences. No one wants to be alone in a time of crisis. Whether it is a neighbor, a relative, or just a good friend, human hearts crave companionship in the midst of difficulties. This innate impulse was not absent from the Lord Jesus, who is “God manifest in the flesh,” yet also a perfect man (1 Tim. 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:5.)
 
On the night before Christ’s crucifixion, His disciples were perplexed and troubled about His repeated statements that He was about to leave them (e.g. Jn. 14:2; Jn. 16:16.) Their fears focused on their personal situation, not so much on what He would endure. What would life be like without Jesus around to guide and protect them? Given that they had left their old lives to follow Him, this sort of talk naturally disturbed them (Matt. 19:27.) Yet the real horror of the coming day would be experienced by the Master, not His followers. His abandonment by the disciples would merely be the beginning of sorrows for the Suffering Servant (Isa. 53:3.)
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