Pristine Grace

As Becometh Saints
by Bill Parker
As Becometh Saints

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;” (Ephesians 5:1-3).

    Who are these persons called “saints”?  They are sinners who were chosen by God, redeemed by the blood of Christ, regenerated by the Holy Spirit, and preserved unto glory, all by the sovereign grace of God in and by the Lord Jesus Christ.  Every believer is a saint (sanctified one; set apart by God’s grace in Christ) by virtue of his union with and redemption by Christ.  To be called to sainthood is to be called by the Holy Spirit to faith in Christ, repentance of sin, and a life of loving and following Christ.  The essence of sainthood is simply to strive to be like Christ. This is the predestinating purpose of God for all His children (Rom. 8:29).  Every believer is, therefore, guaranteed by the grace and power of God perfect conformity to Christ in the world to come.  But God does not want us to wait passively until we enter heaven for that supernatural transformation to take place (1 John 3:2).  We are to be striving earnestly now in the power of the Holy Spirit and as we are guided by the Word of God to grow in grace and in knowledge of our dear Lord and Savior (1 Pet. 2:1-3; 2 Pet. 3:18).  Yes, we are already full-fledged saints in Christ Jesus, but each day we face the challenge of seeking and striving to live up to this reality in our lives.  We know our striving to be like Christ does not save us, make us righteous, or even make us saints.  This is the work of God’s grace in Christ alone.  But our striving is evidence of our sainthood in Christ.  Paul wrote of this when he wrote of Christ, “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily” (Col. 1:28-29).  To belong to Christ is to be a saint; to live like a saint is to strive be like Christ.