Sermon titled “Who Do You Think You Are?” (Ephesians 1:1-2) – Sunday 22nd September, 2013
- Ephesians 1:1-2 ” Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
In many of Paul’s letters to the various groups of new believers, he addresses the recipients as “saints.” The Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church in New York, explains on their website, who exactly the saints are:
- Paul declared in Romans 12:4-6, that though there are many believers, we are all different, yet we belong to one body – the body of Christ. As members of the body of Christ, who have all inherited the covenant, Paul says that we are all “saints.“
- Also known as saints, are those who have been commemorated as such because of heroic sacrifices they have made, or because they lived “exemplary Christian lives.”
The saints Paul referred to in his letters were those who were members of the early church, and who formed the “body of Christ.” In today’s world, the use of the word saint typically pertains to those who were martyred or officially “sainted” by the Church. While I don’t wish to take away from the significance of the “great” saints, this post will specifically talk about the body of Christ, and all of the saints who make up that body – that is, all of us who are Christians.
First of all, why does it even matter that Paul called the early Christians saints? It matters, when you consider the question posed above: “Who Do You Think You Are?” Much of our adulthood is spent searching for our true identities, trying to define just exactly who we are. We try to define ourselves by the job titles we carry, by the abilities and talents we possess, by the assets we own, or by tangible awards and trophies. The sum of all of these may or may not paint an impressive picture of our lives, but regardless, none of these help us to understand our true purpose in life – or, who we are.
Some of you, on the other hand, may already be secure in the knowledge of who you believe you are, but if you’re a Christian still searching for that answer, then I encourage you to search no more.
Paul calls you a saint! Granted, his letters were written centuries ago, before you were even close to entering this world, but the group of people he wrote to and categorized as saints were all those who had made a commitment to following Christ, and that categorization still stands today. So, once you have acknowledged that you are indeed a saint, what will you do with that knowledge?
One of the dictionary definitions of a saint, is “a person of great holiness, virtue, or benevolence.” If you don’t believe that is true of you, then refer back to the definition above, which says that a saint is someone who belongs to the body of Christ, and who is therefore required by covenant to follow God’s commands. If you are a Christian, and committed to living your life as God intends you to, then “holiness, virtue, and benevolence,” (which together, encompass the fruits of God’s spirit), are traits which will inevitably begin to reflect your character – and your character, is what defines you and determines who you are!
Now, are you a saint, or aren’t you? You decide.