I wrote this post 3 years ago – and I believe and apply it more today than on the day I wrote it… ENJOY! I have now helped to write www.athoe.org to equip people to live as Saints.
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” (the other local High school mascot). 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 the kingdom 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 empathetic (connecting emotionally with others) and through craft and deception, they strip others of hope for the purpose of inflicting shame and hatred on humanity. (An Evil person is a fool who continues to become hardened until their heart becomes stone.)
Fool – Person who is arrogant and self-centered often filled with self-hatred, yet in complete denial of such reality. (You can not know yourself if you don’t know God – therefore the fool pronounces “there is no God”. This leads them to reject wisdom and in exchange seek to increase pleasure and feed their own pride. They often live in the extremes of life (legalism or indulgence) disregarding consequences and rejecting constructive discipline. They avoid intimate & authentic relationships that call for integrity.
Sinner – Person who is capable of evil and at times acts like a fool. Sinners accept the standards of this world, and are often blown by wind and crushed by the waves of change. Therefore they are control “freaks” or “victims” 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 (sins and addictions) 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 for the Kingdom of God is in them. Saints are often more honest or comfortable with sin (even their own sin), for shame and guilt have been crucified in them.
These terms are not intended to be labels by which you can judge others (that would be foolish), rather they are to serve you in your purist of identity with the King.
Paul – was a foolish legalist who was a blasphemer, a persecutor and violent man. Paul killed Christians – in his misguided zeal, his actions were evil. In his ignorance, pride had crippled him and when he encountered Christ, he became transformed as a Saint.
I believe those who struggle with sin – do so because they focus on the sin (as a problem and not the Savior… their focus is on the uncompromising standard (which is holiness) 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