Kingdom Principle: The King unconditionally accepts all into the Kingdom with uncompromising standards.
Jesus came to save sinners! An encounter with Jesus; will leave you a fool-hearted or saintly.
|Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28||Psalm 14||1 Timothy 1:12-17||Luke 15:1-10|
This post has nothing to do with why I am sending my children to San Dimas High where they will be “Saints”. But I can guarantee you once this comes to pass they will always identify as a “Saint” and never a “BearCat”. Identity is a huge theme of the Kingdom and it is the goal of this blog to assist followers of Jesus to identify with the principles of the Kingdom. So – do you identify more with the term sinner or saint? Those who find their identity in the Kingdom are saints. (this may be a bit presumptuous– but please don’t think – “I’m Not Perfect, but Forgiven” – for me that is just an excuse for Christians to identify as being just like everyone else – just better, because their sin doesn’t send them to hell. We (those who are redeemed by the blood of Christ) are saints because our identity becomes rooted and established in Christ & His Love alone, and in Christ there is no sin. This is the gift of His righteousness. I can expand on this, but biblical defense will be enough here (read for yourself )
The principle today is that regardless of who you are, or what you have done – you can and will be accepted into the Kingdom by the standard of Christ Jesus. If you do not enter by the King’s standard then you do not enter. Those who enter are saints, which live their lives as servantleaders of the great King. Those who have not entered are Evil, Fools, or Sinners. I will define all these terms (being greatly assisted by the Word of God, and the book Bold Love.
Evil – Person who is cold-hearted, and delights in destructive behaviors. With no ability to be empathic it is through craft and deception, they strip others of hope and inflict shame and hatred.
Fool – Person who is angry, arrogant, and self-centered which leads them to reject wisdom and in exchange seek to increase pleasure and feed their own pride. They disregard all consequences and reject constructive discipline; therefore they avoid intimate relationships that call for integrity. (An Evil person is a fool who continues to become hardened until their heart becomes stone.)
Sinner – Person who is capable of evil and at times acts like a fool. Sinners fail to comprehend what it means to live with wisdom, and in the challenges and confusion of life they do not seek wisdom. Sinners struggle with envy, greed and poor judgment, their focus remains on their problems rather than in discovering solutions and growth.
Saint – Person who is capable of evil and at times acts like a fool. Saints surrender to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and in wisdom seek repentance and forgiveness. Saints may continue to struggle to honor God with all of their life, yet their focus remains on the Center-ness of Christ in their lives.
These terms are not intended to simply be labels by which you can judge others, rather they are to serve you in your purist to identify with the King. Paul – was a fool who was a blasphemer, a persecutor and violent man – who killed Christians – but that does not make him evil. For he acted in ignorance and when he encountered Christ, he became transformed to a Saint. I believe those who struggle with sin – do so because they focus on the sin not the Savior… their focus is on the uncompromising standard (which is true) rather than the unconditional acceptance. (which is love) To focus on the standards is to earn ones acceptance and to identify with the world. The Fool has no understanding and does not listen… because it is a matter of the heart. (The Proverbs tell this well) It is their heart which is corrupt; it is for this reason the saints are called to pray, because prayer brings wisdom which changes the heart.
There is much behind this quick reminder of identity – Wisdom wastes no time with a fool and walks away from evil, and to righteous anger is what moves a saint to know when to walk away. We are not to simply cut off from relationships, rather the goal is reconciliation. Further the only way to remove the barriers in relationships is through the leading with our ears that we love others.
Therefore the standard by which we are accepted into the Kingdom is Love. Are you Loved? Do you Love? The acceptance of being loved by God is the movement of the King upon His People and only after this movement can there be a mission to love others. Rejection of this love is a foolish reaction, but it is an option. Sinners do not enjoy the peace and prosperity of the Kingdom because their identity is rooted in world and sin. Remaining in this place will call for a foolish expression even to say there is No God.
I’m a saint – by LeCrae
This Sunday – we engage the training on Listening – “Listening is the act of leading with your ears” and the only way to overcome fools and love sinners. Leading with your ears is also the gift and presence of the Holy Spirit that can be given as a gift to other saints. (I do love that the lectionary gave us these Scriptures this week… God is truly Sovereign!)