Justified into Sainthood
Read Romans 3:23-26 (ESV)
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
When you hear the word “saint” what do you think of? Who qualifies as a saint in your eyes?
Do you consider yourself a saint? If you are a believer in Jesus Christ and you don’t identify with the term “saint,” you should. Let me explain.
We often think that in order for people to be considered saints they have to be practically perfect people. By definition, saints are holy people and we don’t consider humans to be holy. In fact, today’s passage explicitly says that all humans are sinners. So how can sinners be saints?
Another misconception is that only individuals like Saint Paul (who wrote today’s passage) and have been canonized by the Catholic church for their outstanding contributions to the faith can be considered saints. But that is not how Paul used the term saints. In fact, Paul addressed many of his letters to the saints in the particular cities he was writing to. How could he possibly call so many sinful people saints?
The answer lies in justification. Romans 3:23-26 explains that yes, all are sinners, but we can all be justified by His grace through our faith in Jesus Christ. God declares us to be righteous before Him not because we are righteous, but because we put our faith in Jesus’s redemptive work on the cross on our behalf.
Imagine that you are in a courtroom and the defendants are all of humanity. God is the judge so you know He will judge rightly. You know that you are just as guilty as everyone else. So you brace yourself for the sentence you know you deserve—death. But Jesus steps in. He offers to receive the death penalty in your place (and in the place of everyone else who accepts His offer). You accept! Thus, God declares you holy and righteous and clears your record. Jesus however, is put to death in your place. His blood justifies you (or makes you right) in the eyes of the only Righteous Judge. Your record changes from guilty to innocent. From sinner to saint.
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ and have accepted His offer to pay the penalty for your sins, you are a saint. Jesus died in your place. Now you are justified as holy and made righteous in God’s eyes. What a gift! Friend, through faith in Christ’s justification, you have gone from sinner to saint. Embrace that truth today.
Jesus, sometimes it’s hard for me to identify as a saint. I don’t feel like a holy person because I know my sin. But I accept Your work on the cross on my behalf. I am extremely grateful to be justified and made holy in Your sight, Lord. Thank You. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
If you found value in this post, please share your comments, questions, and prayers with us!
Discipleship Tip: Sharing is discipleship. Invite a friend to join you each day for a morning coffee and conversation about God. Click the sharing button below to get the conversation started.