We're in the home stretch of knowing our identity in Christ, read on for the final points of this series. We'll see you next week for a new post!
6. You Are the Glory of the Lord
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
The Word says we are the 'glory of God'. The Word is a mirror. We look into this mirror. The reflected image is the glory of God. This transforms us. The Spirit transforms us. We see ourselves like He sees us. We transform into that same image. We transform into the glory of the Lord.
We look into our future and we see the glory of God. When you imagine yourself in years to come, your see you changed. Changed into the glory of the Lord. This is God's great ultimate intention for you.
The opposite to glory is shame.
Rom 8:30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
He hasn’t called you to shame, He’s called you to glory. God considers you the saints, the magnificent ones!
Paul writes his letter to those who are 'saints in Christ Jesus.’ Eph 1:1
This is the basis for all of Paul's thinking, clearer than any of the other New Testament writers, that we are elevated in all things in life by being in Christ. Here we are called 'saints'.
The word has come to be applied to only a select few dead people who lived exceptionally ascetic lives or who have had miracles attributed to them.
Here’s the criteria the Catholic church holds to for the canonization of these past members.
Two verifiable postmortem miracles Note: Canonization (sainthood) requires two miracles, whereas beatification (blessed) requires only one.
Evidence of having led an exemplary life of goodness and virtue worthy of imitation, having died a heroic death (martyrdom), or having undergone a major conversion of heart where a previous immoral life is abandoned and replaced by one of outstanding holiness
Formally declared saints are chosen ultimately by the Pope but only after a thorough investigation of the life, writings, and legacy of the saint candidate. No stone is left unturned. Testimony from witnesses and experts, physical evidence, and the entire life of the person is examined with fine detail.
However, Paul is not writing to dead people, or those who have performed miracles or who have even live exemplary lives. He recognizes they are saints simply because they are 'in Christ'. We become who we believe we are. Part of the role of a minister is to reveal to people who they actually are so they can walk the pathway towards that fulfillment.
Saints are people who are 'complete, perfect, undefiled by this world, qualified for Heaven by the grace of God which had imparted the life of Christ to each believer, freely. Saints are the magnificent ones of God. If we are to think of ourselves as the magnificent ones, how would we live differently? You have been made holy and beyond reproach, beyond condemnation, beyond shame, in Christ.
Col 1:21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled
Col 1:22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight
7. You Are More Than Conquerors
Rom 8:37 Yet in ALL these things we are MORE than conquerors through Him who loved us.
When Alexander the Great had fought his greatest battle and conquered India, the King of India made an offer to the young Alexander. He said. 'You are a great conqueror, but maybe I could teach you how to also be a great King.'
We are 'more than conquerors' because all the conquering that can be done has been done… by Jesus!
Remember the feeling you had when you had a test and you studied hard, you trained hard, then you were in the contest and you won, or you passed, then you went home and you celebrated and then prepared to live in the full benefits of that victory. You could now apply for certain jobs. You could now get into certain groups and communities because you had passed the test, you had won the fight. You had qualified. In Christ God has already qualified us.
As He died on the cross, He cried out, 'It is finished'. He had accomplished the full salvation of man through the work of the cross. Being more than a conqueror means there is nothing more to conquer. The devil is conquered, sin is conquered, sickness, death, hell, self, poverty, the curse, all has been conquered on our behalf. Now we are seated with Christ, reigning with Him in this life.
See you in church!