Sermon Illustrations


One of the most basic requirements for a candidate to Catholic sainthood is to be dead. You can't be a Catholic Saint if you're not dead (usually 5 years). In the same way, you can't be a saint for God without dying.

Romans 6:3-7 tells us as much:

"...don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin--because anyone who has died has been freed from sin."

In order to be a saint you have to die. When something dies what do you do with it? You bury it. It's a fact. If you've died to your sins and been buried in the watery grave of baptism and risen up to a new life... you're a saint.

Secondly, a candidate for Catholic sainthood has to have been involved in at least two miracles. And if you're a Christian here today, that's true of you. You've been promised specific miracles that no other religion can give. And those miracles were promised to you... and to the first people to become Christians at Pentecost.

It tells us in Acts chapter 2 that when the crowd realized their sinful role in putting Jesus on the cross, they cried out..."What shall we do?" (Acts 2:37)

And Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Acts 2:38

According to that scripture, the first miracle that took place after your baptism was the total forgiveness of your sins. God removed all your shame and guilt in a single moment because of the cleansing power of the blood of His Son Jesus. Those sins no longer exist. God has taken them away and buried them in the very depth of the sea. He'll never remember them again. That's a miracle!

And the second miracle was that God gave you the gift of His Holy Spirit. When you became a Christian, God placed Himself inside of you.

Paul wrote: "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Lastly... a Catholic Saint has to be "set apart" by the church. That's what "saint" means... someone who has been "set apart." The Catholic practice of setting apart only special individuals for this honor is a human tradition -- it's NOT Biblical. But the Bible tells me that once we become Christians... God sets us apart. The Biblical word for that is "sanctification".

In I Corinthians 6 Paul gives a laundry list of sinners who would not get into heaven, and then he says: "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were SANCTIFIED, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Corinthians 6:11

And it's because God has sanctified you (has set you apart) that you've become blessed by His forgiveness and that you're part accepted by Him into His Family -- the Church.

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