A Description of Me?

Standard

“I’m just a sinner saved by grace.”

Have you said this?  I have.  And I believe it is almost true.  Yes.  I said, almost.

I believe we were sinners who have been saved…AND…we do still sin…BUT…

How are we described in scripture after salvation?

Jude wrote a letter to those who are the called, beloved, and kept for Jesus.  He also described these people as those who have a common salvation.  He describes himself as a bond-servant of Jesus Christ.

So if I have a common salvation as one of the early church fathers, one who describes himself as bound to serve Christ, then he wrote this letter to me…right?

Right.

He describes me (through the God-breathed Word) as one who is called.  Kletos – invited, appointed, a saint: called.

He says I’m a saint. 

Wow.

What does this do to the way you view yourself?  How does this raise your level of responsibility in Christ?

Scriptures for further study: 

Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you.  Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints ~Jude 1:1-3

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity  ~2 Timothy 1:8-9

 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.  It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  ~2 Thessalonians 2:13-14

But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light  ~1 Peter 2:9

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.  ~Romans 8:28-30

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27 responses »

  1. 😀 Again, right on.

    It irks me (irks is a good word) to hear Christians talk about … oh, how they’re not holy, or ‘just a sinner,’ or … in the words of a song I’ve heard a few times – “You are everything / that is bright and clean / the antonym of me / You are divinity.” Now, everything in there is accurate except the one part that stands out because of it’s poetry: the antonym of me. I know (my husband would be sure to point out) the author is referring to how high and perfect He is more than we are … and I understand that. But it’s simply not accurate to say we are the antonym of Him. The Word says that out of all of creation He fashioned us in His image and likeness, and not only that, gave us a relationship with Him that He didn’t offer to anyone else – that of family; and not only that, but He gave us His OWN righteousness and holiness! In other words, out of all creation, we are as much like Him as any created being can come! We are fashioned from dust, yes, and prone to error in this world. But all of our holiness is NOT our holiness – it is His. And in that, the righteousness we have is not something inferior to Him at all – it is actually exactly like Him. And the fact that a God who knows all should deem a person like me trustworthy of the image of Himself …. THAT is what humbles us. Not (as some think) the fact that we’re dust.

    Gosh, I’m loving what you’re putting out. 🙂

  2. Abraham (also chosen) said “I who am but dust and ashes, have spoken with God.” The Apostle Paul called himself the “‘chiefest of sinners” and filled his letters with the beautiful truth of God’s electing love (also spoken of in your post), and devoted a chapter of Romans to the struggle we believers have with sin. We have been ‘predestined’,’called’, ‘justified’ and declared holy. For this old guy, it means knowing what I am positionally in Christ, and not getting too big for my britches. I find greatly humbling having Christ’s righteousness imputed to me (since I deserved Hell) AND the knowledge that I am still but ‘dust and ashes’.

  3. Thanks, Annie! I see a struggle in the body of falling too hard on either side of this issue. We are dust (of the flesh) and yet saints (walking in the Spirit). If we focus too much on either side of the coin we can fall into a trap of carnality that I do not believe we were called to be. It’s a warfare we will struggle with as long as we are in this tent, but we can through His Spirit walk worthy of the gospel.

    Hey Dan! Bringing in the other side of the issue, I see. We do still sin, we are in the flesh, and YET we are also raised to walk in newness of life. We are called “saints” by Paul. I agree that Paul does talk about the struggle we have in the flesh and then moves on to discuss the power we have in the Spirit to not be slaves to sin but slaves to righteousness. I’m speaking of the need to see ourselves differently than JUST sinners. We are saints who sin and have an Advocate with the Father through Jesus, His Son. Right?

    I don’t want to get too big for my britches either, but I also don’t want to bring the Spirit within me into a lifestyle of sin.

    Hey, Saint Selena! Now the question is, do others see us as light in the darkness? Hmmm…?

  4. Hopefully our actions our different. I think showing love to people especially unbelievers is key. God has to love that kind of love through us.

  5. I hope so, too. Love is the key. It’s the highest, and probably the hardest call we have. I love the progression 2 Peter 1:3-11 gives to how we live this out day to day.

    Love you, Selena!!

  6. Michelle,
    Might I add Eph 2:4-8 about our position in Jesus Christ? What’s your translation read like and what is it?
    -Sam

  7. Dan, 😉

    Of course, Sam, you can always add to the discussion. I value your input! I like New American Standard the best. Although if you go to http://net.bible.org you can see many versions by clicking on a particular passage. I love the accessibility.

    But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God ~Ephesians 2:4-8

  8. Sam! Howdy!

    Great scripture. It’s ALL grace! – even the faith to believe is a gift. . .now that’s grace! After dead means DEAD, tot, muerte. And dead men can’t choose. Now that’s a sobering thought and a blow to a synergistic gospel, if there ever was one. And it’s first about God’s glory “so that in ages to come He might show the riches of His grace. . .” His glory is the prime product and our happiness is the by-product. . .

  9. “Now the question is, do others see us as light in the darkness? Hmmm…”

    I think I would instead ask, “Are we shining that Light?” Because it has been my experience that if others do not see the light, then we can all too easily blame them for being blind.

    I know that I am a sinner saved by grace. But I focus on the grace part of that. Life is hard; I don’ t need to do Satan’s job for him by putting myself down all the time and trying to insult God’s work.

    And the older I get, the more I realize that my self-esteem MUST be based on the knowledge that I am made in God’s Image, and that He has saved me by grace–and that I must not base my self-esteem on human values like money, power, status prestige…Or how gorgeous my girlfriend is, how my teenagers must the latest style because they want to be cool, or how much material stuff I do or don’t have…

    …take your pick. ‘Cause I know everybody struggles with things like that.

    Thank God for grace! 😀

  10. I’m not sure if self-esteem is the point, Nor. We are not worthy of being chosen. There is nothing good within us – even our righteousness is as filthy rags. He called us out of darkness and gave us new life. We were as dead as Lazarus being in the grave for days, stinking, rotting and covered in grave clothes…dead.

    It was only out of His great mercy He called us to Himself and put within us His righteousness. With this new life He tells us to keep walking in His Spirit so we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh.

    Because of what He has done, changing us completely, we are now able to walk in new life.

    Are we talking about the same thing, I’m really not sure?

  11. I don’t think we are. I was thinking about…something I forgot about now… 😕

  12. I think we have to remember that God does not want or need anything we can give him. He already has it all. But his will and command is for us to love. To love like he commands we have to live as his Son did. We can not do that with out Grace.

    Sin ruined that love. Christ came as the perfect example of love. And by offering the loving sacrifice, God reveled his Mercy to the sinner, and sanctified us through Grace and the gift of the holy Spirit.

    But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~2 Thessalonians 2:13-14

    Now that we are sanctified will we continue to sin? You bet we will. But we have the power in us to recognize that sin where before we did not. Now that we recognize the sin we must take it a step further and look for the Idols that are in place of God on the throne of our heart. It is often those idols that will lead us to sin.

    Grace is tough for us to understand, cause if you look at us we are nothing compared to what God has done and is. We have a tendency to take God’s Grace for granted, and think that now that I am sanctified I an do…. You fill in the blank.

  13. I love how God sees us..through the blood of Jesus, and who we are being changed into..I love how HE defines us, and I strive everyday to believe it more, and take HIS word over the words of people. It really makes sense to believe HIM..HE is all knowing!! Love this post..Iove you, and will back to check on you later! 🙂

  14. “I”m still glad you’re here…rainbow and all. 😉 ”

    Ah ha ha ha ha!!! 😆 😆 😆

    Well, thanks as always, Michelle! 😉

  15. “God does not want …anything we can give him.”

    Are you sure about God not ‘wanting’ anything from us? AmI being too literal again? Are we talking about God or the Beaties? 🙂

  16. B4B.. No.. It was a miss type.. I had another sentence typed and backed up and retyped… Should just be God does not “need” anything we can give him.

    He does want us to love him. Thanks for keeping me honest.

  17. ckroboth:

    Don’t worry about it. It is not (necessairily) a sin to make a mistake, friend–especially when that mistake is a simple typo. 😉

  18. Busy, busy day…sorry I’ve been slack.

    Grace is tough for us to understand, cause if you look at us we are nothing compared to what God has done and is. We have a tendency to take God’s Grace for granted, and think that now that I am sanctified I can do…. You fill in the blank.

    Amen, Carl! It’s what we discussed at Bible Study today…turning the grace of God into a license for sin. No. Never. That was not the point to set us free. We are now free to serve, to be enslaved to righteousness. 😉

    Yes, Darla, it really does make sense to believe Him. The accuser sure likes to play with our minds though. Keeping that helmet of salvation firmly in place…it’s warfare. It’s so good to know how much He loves us and is able to keep us in Him. ♥ U!

    Hey, Nor! 😀 You’re a sweetheart, I know that might mess with your manly understanding of yourself…too bad! 😉

    New post up for the Blogged Bible Study. Whew!

  19. ck,

    That’s what I thought you meant, my friend! That’s why I just asked. Otherwise I would have commented that I thought God wants the same things from us He always did, just from a different motive – love instead of ‘making the grade’. Sadly, the Beatles paradigm (ALL we need be about is love) is quite popular these days. 🙂

  20. you are so right…. the present-tense term denies that we are covered in the righteousness of Christ.
    we have been given a new identity
    old has gone.

    praise. the. Lord.

  21. have you read Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis? It’s one of his more recent books and is full of great questions like this! It prompts self awareness while bringing Glory to God and honoring the context of the original writings…it’s a piece of amazingness bound together in a few pages! Thanks for the introspection, my friend!

  22. Hey Love! I’ll get to my emails later…huge day! 😉

    I love you too!

    Hello Cathi! I’m so glad you’re better. I haven’t read Bell’s book. Velvet Elvis?? I’ll check it out.

    Introspection…I can get way too heavy on that! It’s just how I roll, I guess. 🙄

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