Text: Philippian 4:20-23
I was thinking about Paul’s closing remarks, I was drawn to Paul’s use of the word saint. Causing me to ask, what does it mean to be a saint? Many Christians would struggle to give a formal definition of the term “saint.” More importantly, many would struggle to answer the simple question: “Are you a saint?” Many would say, “I am not a saint. I’m a Christian. Jesus is my Savior and Lord. But I wouldn’t call myself a saint.”
Through His sacrificial death on the cross, Jesus Christ set believers apart to God and makes them holy...to make them saints.
I) The Goal of The Saints (20)
This verse (vs. 20), flowed from Paul’s exuberant joy over the glorious truths he had been inspired by God to expound on in this letter. When Paul acknowledged God’s faithfulness to meet every need of the saints, he burst forth into praise to the glory of God.
A) The Glory of God
What is the glory of God? The Bible speaks of the glory of God in two ways.
1) There is God’s INTRINSIC GLORY.
It includes all the characteristics that are innately his and all the perfections that are inherently his.
2) There is God’s ASCRIBED GLORY.
Intrinsic glory refers to the character of God. Ascribed glory is our response to his self-¬revelation. We cannot add to God’s intrinsic glory. But we can give him the glory he deserves through our worship, trust, and obedience.
B) The Worship of God
Worship is the appropriate response to all that God has done for believers...in gratitude for our salvation...for our hope of eternal life and heaven...in the refuge of eternal security.
Worship of the one true God is personal, intimate, and habitual. It’s impossible to worship Him unless you know who He is. But when you know Him...it’s impossible to not worship Him.
II) The Fellowship of The Saints (21-22)
The three-fold repetition of the word greet implies a strong bond of fellowship.
Notice that Paul used both the individualistic term every, as well as, the collective term all in this verse. This emphasizes that every saint was part of his concern,
affection, and care...individually and corporately.
The sharing of a common bond of love and a mutual desire for each other’s spiritual well-being is an essential characteristic of true fellowship among saints.
III) The Benefits of the Saints (23)
Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi ends with a benediction: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.” In this final statement, Paul shares the benefits of being a saint by entrusting the saints to the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace does not stop at salvation. Grace both saves and sanctifies. Grace both pardons sin and produces holiness. Grace both covers our past and covers our future. The same grace that will one day get you into heaven will also keep you day-¬‐by-¬‐day until you get there. This is what Paul means when he says, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.”
Lessons to remember:
Every believer is a saint.
As a saint, we must live as those separated from SIN to RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Finally, saints aren’t only SAVED by grace, but also are SUSTAINED
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