It’s very easy when we read the epistles to skip over the opening statements as though they have no relevance to us. But we don’t want to do that. In Philippians 1:1, for instance, the apostle Paul reveals the door to a life of happiness.
This happiness, however, isn’t an emotional high from some pleasure or experience. Rather, it’s a deep-seated faith and trust in God.
Paul began by saying, “To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons” (Philippians 1:1 NKJV). If you want to be happy, then be a saint. Before you think that leaves you out, you need to understand what the word saint means. It’s interchangeable with the word believer.
Acts 9:13 provides another example of this. When the Lord told Ananias to go pray for the newly converted Saul of Tarsus (later to become Paul), Ananias responded, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem” (NKJV, emphasis added).
And notice that Paul said, “To all the saints in Christ Jesus” (emphasis added).
This means that as Christians, we’re not righteous because of what we do. We’re righteous because of what Jesus Christ has done for us. He has put His righteousness into our spiritual bank accounts, so to speak. That is called justification. We’re in right standing with God.
Now, living it is another story. That is where sanctification comes in. Sanctification is living out justification. The Bible tells us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV).
Are you a believer in Jesus Christ? Then you’re a saint. Believers aren’t saints because they’re perfect; believers are saints because they are in Christ.
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