Summary: This sermon is one that describes what a saint is; not an extraordinary man/woman of God, but all those who trust and follow Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
Whose a Saint?
A. This past week we celebrated a Christian holiday that most people don’t have a clue about.
It has been part of the Christian church for centuries – first recorded by Ephrem Syrus in about 373AD and by writings of ST. Chrysostom of Constantinople in 407AD.
It was first celebrated on the first Sunday after Pentecost but was changed to November 1st in 741AD after the dedication of the Chapel in the Basilica of St. Peter’s by Bishop of Rome, Gregory III.
It was celebrated with a big feast
It is the Celebration of All Saints Day on Nov. 1
However, after the Reformation in the 1500’s, the celebration remained but the emphasis changed. For Roman Catholics All Saints Day was the celebration of Saints, especially those who were canonized by the Church as official saints. Saints were defined as Christians who while living manifested extraordinary piety.
For Protestant churches after the Reformation, it was just a time of remembering and celebrating All Saints through faith in Jesus Christ.
Halloween = Hallow (or holy) Evening – got shorten to Halloween. It also got mixed up with a lot of secular and false religious practices – which is still part of the celebration today.
But the main celebration is actually All Saints Day.
B. So as we read our passage today, and consider this Christian Holiday of All Saints Day – the Question is Whose a Saint?
Vs. 1 – Paul is writing: To the Saints of Ephesus.
The Word – hagios – say it with me!
Means holy, or Saints.
So Paul is writing to the Holy Ones of Ephesus or Saints.
He further defines in vs. 1b as “the faithful in Christ Jesus.”
So a Saint is a Holy One – it is a person who is Faithful to Jesus.
But as we study this passage I believe we can learn more about how that takes place as well as understand whose a Saint!
Let’s look at the passage and learn more about Whose a Saint.
A. A Saint is one who Grasps the Grace of God, vs. 3-8
Vs, 6 Glorious Grace
Vs. 7 the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.
Grace = God’s undeserved merit, acceptance, love for us. It is also about His initiative to demonstrate His love and acceptance for us.
And so as we read through these verses who is taking the initiative to demonstrate Love and acceptance to us? Are we, or is it God?
Vs. 3 – He has blessed us
Vs. 4 – he chose us…
Vs. 5 – He predestined us to be adopted as his sons.
Vs. 6 – He freely gives us His grace.
Vs. 6-7 – he redeems us through Christ Jesus
Vs. 9 – He made His will known …
Do you see the point? God took all the initiative towards us. Yes, he loves us, wants to accept us – but His grace beyond that. Even though we don’t deserve it, He took the initiative to demonstrate His love and acceptance for us.
A Saint truly Grasps the Grace of God – they know that it was God’s work, not there’s – they know that it was God’s initiative toward them that makes them a Saint.
Do you really grasps God’s Grace? So many today still rely on their own efforts to do good in order to be with the Lord. A Saint understands that it is about God’s Grace.