Summary: Sermon speaks about the character, worship,fellowship and strenght of saints.
The Saints of God
This is the last sermon of my series on the book of Philippians. I have preached 35 sermons from the book of Philippians. It is amazing that no matter how many times you will read and study a passage of scripture you can get more out of it. The theme for Philippians has been joy. Not a joy that come from good circumstances but that which comes from a relationship with Christ. The closer your relationship with Christ, the more joy you will have in your life. The secret to having joy is knowing Christ and putting Him first in your life.
Text: Philippians 4:20-23
I. The Character of Saints
A. Misunderstanding of the meaning of “saint”
1. It can be use as a derogatory term, “What you are some kind saint?”
2. Some think it used of those who have done much good for humanity. Example; Mother Teresa
3. The Roman Catholic concept of sainthood
B. The teaching of the Roman Catholic Church about sainthood
1. Qualifications, the person must have lived an exemplary life of virtue,
merit, and had performed some kind of miracle. No living person can be considered a saint. Sainthood is only given after death.
Application: This teaching states that only those considered saints go directly after death to heaven. All other who are good Catholics have to go to a place called Purgatory. Purgatory is a place of waiting. If enough prayers, candles lit, and enough money given to the church, the person can get out of purgatory and go the heaven. This is a great lie. The Bible says that those who are in Christ, those who are saved go directly to heaven. The teaching that one goes to purgatory first and then has passage to heaven only after certain ‘work’ are performed shows that Catholicism is a religion of works. The Bible clearly states that we are saved not by works but by our faith in Christ.
2. Canonization, is when that Catholic Pope officially recognizes a person to a saint. After this recognition this person is considered worthy of public veneration. The means that churches can be named after them, festival days given in their honor, masses cerebrated in their name, statues made in their likeness, and prayer can be offer to them.
Application: We don’t have to pray to saints to be our mediators, Christ is the only mediator. Catholics have certain saints they pray to for certain needs.
C. The Biblical meaning of ‘saint’
1. Greek word use for ‘saint’ is hagios, which means ‘set apart’, ‘separated ones’
2. “In Christ”, Those who know Christ are saint in Christ. Those who have a relationship with Christ as their savior are saints. We are only holy because we are in Christ. Apart from Christ we have no holiness.
Application, In some Christian circles they say they are nothing but sinners saved by grace. We are sinners saved by grace, but that is not all we are. The Bible now states that those who are in Christ are now saints. If we think that all we are is sinners, then that is how we will act, but if call ourselves saints as does the scripture then we will start acting like saints. We act out what we think we are.
II. The Worship of Saints
A. Saints are to worship not be worshipped
Application, Only God is worthy of worship, no man is worthy of worship.
God is a jealous god who will not share His glory with anyone else.
1. God seeks worshipper (John 4:23)
“But the hour is coming and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipper.”
2. Saint are worshipper
B. The doxologies (4:20)
1. What are doxologies? They are outburst of praise and adoration towards
Application, We should as saints be having outburst of praise during our services. In some churches you are not allowed to have outburst of praise. I welcome outburst of praise in our services.
2. Examples of New Testament doxologies,
C. Worship in heaven (Revelation 7:9-11, 19:5, 6)
Application, The saints will be worshiping God in heaven for eternity, If you are not comfortable with praise and worship here on earth, are not going to enjoy heaven.
III. The Fellowship of Saints
A. The greetings, 3 times Paul mentions greeting in the concluding verses.
Paul concludes almost all his letters this way with greeting to fellow saints.
There is a special relationship among Christian around the world. Because we have Christ as our savior born again Christians since a closeness to each other.
B. The oneness of spirit (Phil.1:27, 2:2)