Saints

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Who Is a Saint on All-Saints Day?

Posted by on 01 Nov 2012 | Tagged as: Cardinal Ratzinger, Church Calendar, Pope Benedict XVI, Saints

 

To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.

1 Cor. 1:2 ESV

Who is a saint on All-Saints Day? Let’s break down each term.

Who is a saint? You are, if you have given your life to Christ receiving him both as your Savior and Lord.

What is a saint? A saint is not someone who is perfect, but a sinner who looks to Christ for life-transforming grace in their chronic weaknesses and on-going struggles. Saints are not those who perform adequately in the spiritual life, but are those who most available to the Holy Spirit’s gifts and power. Saints are needy, they know they cannot live the Christian life by their own energy and resources. Biblical saints look constantly to Christ for help. They know their need for Christ. True saints are not the most adequate, but the most desperate for Christ and his love.

What is All-Saints Day? All-Saints Day is celebrated every year on November First, a day set aside to honor those men and women of the past who trusted Christ though want, need, rejection, and persecution.

To be holy does not mean being superior to others: the saint can be very weak, with many mistakes in his life. Holiness is this profound contact with God, becoming a friend of God: it is letting the Other work, the Only One who can really make the world both good and happy.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

The Saint and God’s Goodness

Posted by on 07 Jul 2012 | Tagged as: A. W. Tozer, E. Stanley Jones, Saints

The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.

Nahum 1:7 NLT

What does it means for God to be good? It means in him, there is nothing deceptive, misleading, evil, or impure. All of God’s motives are honest, loving, grace-filled, and kind. In him, we can trust and find a place of security, rest and peace. As we place all of all reliance on him, he is pleased and he responds in sympathy, mercy, provision, and blessing. A saint is not one who has achieved great spiritual heights, but one who trusts in the simple goodness of God even in the darkest of nights.

That God is good is taught and implied on every page of the Bible and must be received as an article of faith as impregnable as the throne of God. It is a foundation stone for all sound thought about God and is necessary to moral sanity.

A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (New York: Harper & Row, 1961), 88.

The saint is not one who tries hard to be good, but one who surrenders to [God’s] Goodness.

E. Stanley Jones, In Christ (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1980)

I Knew a Saint

Posted by on 05 Jun 2012 | Tagged as: My Sermons, Saints

“I Knew a Saint”

Cn. Glenn E. Davis

Jay H. “Dr. Jay” Ferguson Memorial Service

June 3, 2012

To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.

1 Cor. 1:2 ESV

“Saint,” is a loaded term. It is used different ways in different Christian faith traditions. Scripture teaches that we are all believers are saints in that we all have been made holy by Christ’s finished work on the Cross and trusted Christ’s righteousness to be our righteousness. However from the earliest days of the church, believers have especially recognized those men and women who looked to Christ in faith, trusted him in great trial, and saw God’s provision in dark times and distressing circumstances.

Biblically, the letter to the Hebrews 11 is a great Hall of Faith calling our attention to the men and women who made themselves available to God’s saving power. Historically, the Church in the Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican traditions have recognized those men and women who have walked with Christ intimately and dearly: St. John Chrysostom of Constantinople and St. Gregory the Great of Rome, St. Monica of North Africa and St. Macrina of Asia Minor, and St. Patrick of Ireland and St. Julianna of Norwich.

Evangelicals avoid the naming of saints, but often recognize those whose faithfulness to God and the Gospel have been exemplary: David Brainerd, early missionary to the American Indians, Amy Carmichael, rescuer of young girls in India, and J. Hudson Taylor pioneer missionary to the deepest parts of China.

However there are everyday saints, people who will never have a biography written about them or a school named after them or a movement ascribed to their leadership. They are the everyday men and women of God who live the life of Christ before their families, at their jobs, and through their churches.

“Dr. Jay” was that kind of everyday saint.

Dr. Jay was an everyday saint not someone who was perfect, but a sinner who looked to Christ for life-transforming grace in his chronic weaknesses and on-going struggles. Dr. Jay was an everyday saint because did not pretend to be adequate in the spiritual life, but simply made himself available to the Holy Spirit’s gifts and power. Dr. Jay was needy, he knew he could not live the Christian life in his own power, he trusted Christ to live his life in and through him.

Dr. Jay looked constantly to Christ, he daily sought God’s love, comfort, peace, rest and assurance. He depended on Christ’s Cross and righteousness to be his approval with God. Jay looked to God’s grace to be his strength in the midst of his weaknesses.

To be holy does not mean being superior to others: the saint can be very weak, with many mistakes in his life. Holiness is this profound contact with God, becoming a friend of God: it is letting the Other [God] work . . . .

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)

Dr. Jay was an everyday saint in the truest sense of the word: a man of God, persistent prayer warrior, God-honoring Bible teacher, genuine friend, spiritual mentor, selfless husband, godly father and doting grandfather. Jay sought God’s heart, listened to the Spirit’s voice, and trusted God’s grace to enable him to obey God’s call.

Dr. Jay was a true Barnabas, an extraordinary encourager of men and women.

[illustration: Saturday night encourager: “The Lord willing, I will see you tomorrow.”]

Dr. Jay was a true Apostle John, a devoted lover of Christ, the heavenly bridegroom.

Dr. Jay was a true evangelist like deacon Philip, sharing the gospel at every opportunity.

Even in his greatest hour of sickness, Dr. Jay was ministering Christ, prophesying in the Spirit, and prayerfully interceding for his family, friends, and church.

[Illustration: Witnesses to doctors and nurses and prophesies to visitors in his greatest hour of suffering and need.]

Dr. Jay was a true family man like the Apostle Paul describes in the Letter to the Ephesians, he loved, served, and honored his wife, children, and grandchildren.

The saint is not one who tries hard to be good, but one who surrenders to [God’s] Goodness.

E. Stanley Jones, In Christ 

Yes, indeed. I knew a saint and you knew a saint. That man of God was Dr. Jay and he will be greatly missed by all.

 

Who Is a Saint?

Posted by on 10 Jan 2012 | Tagged as: Pope Benedict XVI, Saints

To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.

1 Cor. 1:2 ESV

A saint is not someone who is perfect, but a sinner who looks to Christ for life-transforming grace in their chronic weaknesses and on-going struggles. Saints are not those who perform adequately in the spiritual life, but are those who most available to the Holy Spirit’s gifts and power. Saints are needy, they know they cannot live the Christian life in their own power. Biblical saints look constantly to Christ for help. They know their need for Christ. True saints are not the most adequate, but the most desperate for Christ and his love.

To be holy does not mean being superior to others: the saint can be very weak, with many mistakes in his life. Holiness is this profound contact with God, becoming a friend of God: it is letting the Other work, the Only One who can really make the world both good and happy.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

Thank God!

Posted by on 18 Nov 2010 | Tagged as: Puritans, Saints, Thanksgiving

Thank God in All Things Whether Good or Bad

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Col. 3:17

Thankfulness is a genuine gratefulness flowing from our hearts which sees God’s appointment in the midst of our disappointments. A thankful heart trusts God’s goodness irrespective of their unexplained difficulties, chronic trials, and persistent obstacles. Thankfulness says “yes” to God’s grace knowing that whether good or bad, the Lord can use our circumstances for his glory and our growth.

The apostle [Paul] says. “In everything give thanks” (1 Thess. 5.18). Why so? Because God makes everything work for our good. We thank the physician, though he gives us a bitter medicine which makes us sick, because it is to make us well; we thank any man who does us a good turn; and shall we not be thankful to God, who makes everything work for good to us?

God loves a thankful Christian. Job thanked God when he took all away: “The Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1.21). Many will thank God when He gives; Job thanks Him when He takes away, because he knew that God would work good out of it. We read of saints with harps in their hands (Rev. 14.2), an emblem of praise.

We meet many Christians who have tears in their eyes, and complaints in their mouths; but there are few with their harps in their hands, who praise God in affliction. To be thankful in affliction is a work peculiar to a saint. Every bird can sing in spring, but some birds will sing in the dead of winter. Everyone, almost, can be thankful in prosperity, but a true saint can be thankful in adversity. A good Christian will bless God, not only at sun-rise, but at sun-set. Well may we, in the worst that befalls us, have a psalm of thankfulness, because all things work for good. Oh, be much in blessing of God: we will thank Him that doth befriend us.

Thomas Watson, All Things for Good, Puritan Paperbacks series (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2008), 62-63.

Feast of All Saints

Posted by on 31 Oct 2010 | Tagged as: Cardinal Ratzinger, Liturgy, Pope Benedict XVI, Saints

What Is a Saint?

To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

1 Cor 1:2 NKJV

According to the Church Calendar, November 1 is All Saints Day. All Saints Day commemorates all who have died in Christ and walked holy and faithfully with him. Special attention is given to their having been living examples of Christlikeness with special praise to God for their availability to the Spirit’s work, gifts, and power.

A saint is not someone who is perfect, but a sinner who looks to Christ for life-transforming grace in their chronic weaknesses and on-going struggles. Saints are not those who perform adequately in the spiritual life, but are those who most available to the Holy Spirit’s gifts and power. Saints are those who are needy and looking constantly to Christ for help.

To be holy does not mean being superior to others: the saint can be very weak, with many mistakes in his life. Holiness is this profound contact with God, becoming a friend of God: it is letting the Other work, the Only One who can really make the world both good and happy.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

Saints Who Struggle Just Like Us

Posted by on 31 Dec 2008 | Tagged as: A. W. Tozer, Brokenness, Saints

Seeing Ourselves in Peter
‘Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.’
Luke 22:31-32, KJV

For some strange reason, we seem to love people more when they are not too perfect.

In the presence of a faultless saint, the average one of us feels ill at ease. We are likely to be discouraged rather than inspired by the sight of a character too impeccable to be human. We draw more help from a man if we know that he is going through the fire along with the rest of us, and we may even take courage from the fact that he does not enjoy it any more than we do.

This may be the reason Christians have always felt a special affection for Simon Peter. We speak of Paul with solemn respect but of Peter with an understanding smile. When the doughty old fisherman is mentioned, the face of the ordinary struggling Christian lights up. Here is a man who is one of us, we say to ourselves. He had faults, but he conquered them and went on to become great in spite of them. He was no alabaster saint, faintly redolent of incense, gazing absently over our heads as we labor onward through the storm. He too knew the sting of the wind and the fury of the waves and, what is more to our comfort, he did not always acquit himself like a hero when he was in a tight spot. And that helps a lot when we are not doing too well ourselves.

Peter contained or has been accidentally associated with more contradictions than almost any other Bible character. He appeared to be a combination of courage and cowardice, reverence and disrespect, selfless devotion and dangerous self-love. Only Peter could solemnly swear that he would never desert Christ and then turn around and deny Him the first time he got in a tight place. Only Peter could fall at Jesus’ feet and acknowledge his own sinfulness and then rebuke his Lord for suggesting something with which he did not agree. The two natures that strove within him made him say and do things that appeared to be in direct contradiction to each other–and all within a matter of hours. Peter was a “rock,” yet he wavered, and so, I suppose, managed to become the only wavering rock in history. And he surely was the only man in the world who had faith enough to walk on water but not enough faith to continue to do so when the wind blew.

A. W. Tozer, We Travel an Appointed Way (Harrisburg, Penn.:Christian Publications, 1988).
Prayer: Lord, may I learn from my failures the lessons You seek to teach me.