Monday, October 30, 2006

The Saints!

On November first, the Christian Church celebrates All Saints’ Day. It’s a day we recognize all the saints who have gone on to heaven before us. As John writes in Revelation, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:14 ESV)

But All Saints’ Day is not only a day to remember the faithfully departed. It is also a good time for us to celebrate our unity in Jesus Christ. As Christians on earth, still waiting for the Lord’s return, it is important for us to remember that we are all on the same team. The blood of Christ unites us!

As members of the Christian Church on earth we must constantly remember that we are one in Christ. “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, on faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:5 ESV)

In other words, we are on the same team! You are a member of the Church. It’s not a basketball team. It’s not a political party or a social club. It is the body of Christ!

There is a scriptural theme that ties directly to All Saints’ Day, that when applied to everyone, helps build teamwork. You and I are saints and sinners at the same time.

When we look at our own life and examine it clearly, we quickly understand that we are sinful. We are just like our brother or sister in Christ. “For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:22,23 ESV) As we look at our sinfulness, we find that there is nothing inside of us that is worth boasting. (See Romans 3.)

But just as the law points out our equality in sinfulness, the cross of Christ shows that we share in Christ’s glory! Again we are on the same team! “Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded… For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law” (Romans 3:27 ESV) By Christ’s work on the cross, you and I become redeemed saints of God and heirs of the kingdom….the same team!

When you look at our brother or sister in Christ, remember whose team we’re on. Perhaps the greatest teambuilding exercise is to remember that “I am a sinner redeemed by Christ” and then look at our fellow Christian and say, “You are a sinner redeemed by Christ the crucified.”

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, welcome to the team…the Church!

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