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News Flash: You’re a Saint! - Philippians 1:1-2

Taught on | Keywords: saints, martyr, canonization, joy, citizenship, heaven, servant, bondservant, redeem, redemption, submission, the Bible, grace, peace, holiness

You've heard it before. Someone excuses his or her crude behavior by saying something like, "Well, I'm no saint, but I do the best I can." Or, "She's so wonderful; she's a saint!" The idea most folks have is that saints are those who've died and attain special status because of their unusual accomplishments while they lived on earth. Nothing could have been further from Paul's mind when he wrote this letter to living "saints." I hope you're one.

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4/30/2017
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News Flash: You’re a Saint!
Philippians 1:1-2
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
You've heard it before. Someone excuses his or her crude behavior by saying something like, "Well, I'm no saint, but I do the best I can." Or, "She's so wonderful; she's a saint!" The idea most folks have is that saints are those who've died and attain special status because of their unusual accomplishments while they lived on earth. Nothing could have been further from Paul's mind when he wrote this letter to living "saints." I hope you're one.
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Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians

Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians

In the series Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians, we learn how to find joy in the most unlikely places as we discover that God can add color to the most black and white moments in life.

Outline

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  1. A Saint Belongs to Two Spheres

    1. They Have a Spiritual Address

    2. They Have a Physical Address

  2. A Saint Behaves Submissively

  3. A Saint Believes in the Scriptures

  4. A Saint Benefits Spiritually

    1. They Experience Grace

    2. They Enjoy Peace


Study Guide

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Connect Recap Notes: April 30, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "News Flash: You're a Saint!"
Text: Philippians 1:1-2

Path

You've heard it before. Someone excuses his or her crude behavior by saying something like, "Well, I'm no saint, but I do the best I can." Or, "She's so wonderful; she's a saint!" The idea most folks have is that saints are those who've died and attained special status because of their unusual accomplishments while they lived on earth. Nothing could have been further from Paul's mind when he wrote this letter to living "saints."  In this teaching, Pastor Skip defined a biblical saint:
  • A Saint Belongs to Two Spheres
  • A Saint Behaves Submissively
  • A Saint Believes in the Scriptures
  • A Saint Benefits Spiritually

Points

A Saint Belongs to Two Spheres
  • One of the most misunderstood words in the Bible is the word saint. Some think of a saint as a dead person made into a statue. Webster's Dictionary defines it as such:
    • One officially recognized through canonization as preeminent for holiness
    • One of the spirits of the departed now in heaven
  • In short, the popular understanding is that a saint is a near-perfect person, now dead. But this is not how the Bible defines a saint. Rather, a saint is someone who has been saved by Christ.
  • God's people have dual citizenship: we have a physical and a spiritual address, and eventually, we will have an address in heaven.
  • They Have a Spiritual Address
  • The term "in Christ" (v. 1) means a life united with Christ.
  • Though Christians live in the world, we are not of it; we should have a light touch on the world's terrain because we are just passing through.
  • They Have a Physical Address
  • Notice the physical address: "in Philippi" (v. 1). Christians are residents both "in Christ" and in the world. As citizens in the world, we should live responsibly, not cloistered away from it. We need to be responsible at both addresses.
  • Probe: Write down two lists. On one list, write your responsibilities as citizens in our society and world (to vote, pay taxes, etc.). On the other list, write your responsibilities as Christians and citizens of heaven (to love, pray, serve, etc.). What are the similarities and differences between the lists?
A Saint Behaves Submissively
  • Notice the word bondservants. Paul introduced himself as a servant. He was a servant writing to servants.
  • Forty percent of people in the Roman Empire were slaves, often regarded as a piece of property.
  • In Judaism, slaves were freed after six years, but could voluntarily stay. This is the type of servanthood Paul referred to: a willing submission to a master.
  • Probe: What are the characteristics of a servant (humility, giving, thankfulness, etc.)? How is submissiveness at the heart of a servant's life?
A Saint Believes in the Scriptures
  • After Paul wrote this letter to the church at Philippi, the people practiced it and circulated it. Early Christians considered Paul's letters—along with the Gospels—Scripture.
  • A saint is someone who believes God and His Word and has no problem seeing God's superintendence over Scripture. Saints see the Bible as a love letter from God and live and learn from its principles.
  • Probe: What is your attitude toward the Bible? Does it occupy a prominent position in your life? Discuss your dependence on God's Word. Share how you daily study and read God's Word.
A Saint Benefits Spiritually
  • Philippians opens with a typical ancient salutation. Paul combined the greeting of the Western world with Eastern sensibility, replacing the normal greeting of the day, euphrainó (rejoice), with charis and eiréné (grace and peace).
  • Grace and peace are always together in the New Testament. Grace leads to peace.
  • They Experience Grace
    • Grace is the fountain; peace is the stream that flows from it.
  • They Enjoy Peace
    • Peace is the ability to sleep with a clear conscience—a heart at ease.
  • A saint is someone who allows the light of Christ to shine through them.
  • The word saint means the most holy things. When God sees you in Christ, He credits you with Jesus' righteousness. Even though we are all sinners, God looks at you "in Christ." You are a most holy thing to Him.
  • The Father sees through a type of rose-colored glasses, blood-stained with Christ's sacrifice.
  • In the world, there are either saints or ain'ts. The difference is how God sees you, and that depends on whether or not you've received Christ as Savior.
  • Probe:  As Pastor Skip taught, the Greek word for saint is hagios. It means set apart by (or for) God, holy, sacred. Compare the biblical definition to the popular Roman Catholic definition. What are the main differences?i
Practice

Connect Up: In 1 Peter 1:16, Peter echoed Leviticus 11:44, where God said, "Be holy, for I am holy." How does our holiness honor and bring praise to the Holy One? How can we make sure we are genuinely holy, not acting in a pretentious way but honoring God?

Connect In: The biblical understanding of saints is a group of people who are set apart for the Lord and His kingdom. Discuss how both the individual Christian and the church is to be holy. What are the marks of holiness?ii

Connect Out: How can a biblical understanding of the word saint be used as an outreach tool to unbelievers? Where is the good news to be found in our being set apart—holy—for God's purposes? Explain your answer.

iFor help, read this article: https://www.gotquestions.org/saints-Christian.html
iiFor help, read this article: https://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/june-2007/12-marks-of-holiness

Detailed Notes

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  1. Introduction
    1. Saint is one of the most misunderstood words in the Christian language
      1. The dictionary does not define saint the same way the New Testament does
      2. Dictionary defines saint as essentially a near-perfect person who has died
    2. This definition of saint came about in the early church
      1. It was believed that anyone who died a Christian martyr would be declared a saint
      2. As time went on, the Vatican in Rome established a process called canonization to keep unworthy people from becoming saints
    3. The New Testament knows nothing about canonizing a dead person; it knows everything about recognizing a living person
      1. Paul wrote to saints in his letters to the Romans, Corinthians, Philippians, and Colossians
      2. He did not write to dead people
    4. Most people do not associate sainthood with joy
      1. Saints are portrayed as gloomy and sad
      2. Due to old artistic renderings of saints
  2. A Saint Belongs to Two Spheres
    1. Because you have a spiritual address, you also have an eventual address in heaven (see John 14:2)
      1. Dwelling on earth, but destined for glory (see Philippians 3:20)
      2. God's people have dual citizenship
      3. Those who live only in the physical address should suck as much pleasure out of their time on earth as they can, because it will be the last good times they will ever experience
    2. They Have a Spiritual Address
      1. In Christ Jesus
      2. We are united to Jesus' life (see John 17:23)
      3. We share the same life as Christ (see Galatians 2:20)
      4. We should live in this world with a light touch because we are just passing through
    3. They Have a Physical Address
      1. On earth
      2. Since we are residents of two realms, we should live responsibly in both
      3. Jesus never intended us to be disassociated from our world and society (see Matthew 10:16; John 17:15)
      4. The struggle is how to balance both passports
        1. Make sure you are talking to Christ about your Philippi
        2. Make sure you are talking to your Philippi about Christ
  3. A Saint Behaves Submissively
    1. A saint is a servant
      1. Paul wrote as a servant to servants (see Philippians 2:5-7)
      2. They were humble
    2. In the Roman Empire, 40 percent of the population was under slavery
      1. In Judaism, slaves were released after seven years
      2. Bondservant: if a slave wanted to serve longer, they became a voluntary servant for life
    3. Redeem
      1. It means to go to the slave market, pay for a slave, and release the slave from the slave market to work for you
      2. Set free to be a slave of Jesus (see Romans 6:17-18)
      3. Being a believer means you ran away from the master of sin to a higher form of slavery
      4. Being a saint is not an emotional goose bump but a submissive heart (see John 14:15)
      5. It's not how high you jump but how straight you walk when you hit the ground
  4. A Saint Believes in the Scriptures
    1. When the Philippians received Paul's letter, they read it, obeyed it, and circulated it
      1. They believed what Paul wrote was from God, to be applied to life
      2. Peter referred to Paul's writings as Scripture (see 2 Peter 3:15-16)
      3. Paul was confident he wrote with God's authority (see 1 Thessalonians 2:13)
    2. Saints are people who believe that God had no problem superintending the writing of a book
    3. What is your attitude toward your Bible?
      1. Is it the Book or just a book?
      2. Your love for the Bible is directly proportional to your relationship with the Author
      3. Look at the Bible as God's love letter to you
  5. A Saint Benefits Spiritually
    1. They Experience Grace
    2. They Enjoy Peace
    3. Paul combined greetings from the Western and Middle Eastern worlds
      1. The common Greek greeting was chairó—rejoice
      2. The common greeting in Israel was shalom—peace
      3. Paul changed chairó to the similar word charis—grace, kindness
    4. You always find grace and peace together; God's grace produces peace
    5. Grace is the fountain and peace is the stream that flows from it (see Romans 5:1-2)
  6. Closing
    1. A saint is a person who the light shines through
    2. Saint means holyhagios
      1. God sees us that way even if we don't feel that way, because we are in Christ
      2. He sees us through bloodstained glasses because of what Jesus did on the cross
Figures referenced: Caesar Augustus, Marcus Aurelius, Diognetus, St. Anthony, St. Barbara, St. Christopher, St. Drogo, St. Genesius of Rome, St. Isidore of Seville, St. Jude

Works referenced: Sixth Sense

Greek/Hebrew words: chairó, charis, hagios, shalom

Cross references: Matthew 10:16; John 14:2, 15; 17:15, 23; Romans 5:1-2; 6:17-18; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 2:5-7; 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 3:15-16

Topic: Saints

Transcript

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[MUSIC PLAYING]

Hello and welcome to this message from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Albuquerque. We pray that you are encouraged by this teaching. If you are, we'd love to hear about it. E-mail us at mystory@calvaryabq.org. And if you'd like to support this ministry financially, you can give online securely at calvaryabq.org/giving. The idea most people have about saints is that they've died and attained special status because of their unusual accomplishments while they lived on the earth. As we continue the series "Technicolor Joy," we learned that nothing could have been further from Paul's mind when he wrote to the living saints in Philippi. Now we invite you to turn in your Bibles to the Philippians chapter 1 as Skip begins the message, "Newsflash, You're a Saint."

Philippians chapter 1. Let's pause and pray. Father, we do pray that You would help us now. Help us to understand the words that have been written by Paul, ultimately by Your Spirit. And Father, we pray that You would speak to each one who has come, those who are watching on the internet, or listening by radio. Father we do pray that we would be changed into the image, Lord, into Your purpose, Your plan for us, in Jesus' name. Amen. Philippians chapter 1 verse 1 and 2 read, "Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons; Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

One of the most misunderstood words in all of the Christian language is a word found in verse 1. It's the word saint. Now I grew up hearing a lot about saints in the church that I was raised in. But I always thought a saint was a dead person who was made into a statue.

[LAUGHTER]

I didn't understand what the biblical significance or definition of a saint was. Now the way it turns out is you won't get much help from the Webster's dictionary. If you want to find out what a saint is, according to Webster's dictionary, it is not the same according to the New Testament. Webster's dictionary defines a saint as someone officially recognized through canonization as being preeminent for holiness. Second definition according to Webster, it's one of the spirits of the departed who are now in heaven. In other words, according to Webster's dictionary, a saint is a near perfect person now dead in heaven. Well how did all that come about? It came about throughout church history when early on, third century, fourth century a.d., because the persecution was so rampant. The killing of Christians was so rampant that it was believed that anybody who died as a Christian martyr would be declared a saint. But then as time went on the Vatican in Rome decided there needs to be a process so that unworthy people don't get declared saints. So they came up with a process of canonization.

Now if you want to become a saint, according to that process, there's a few things you have to do. Number one, you have to die and wait five years. During that time, a local devotional group grows up around your memory. They discuss your life and they want to emulate things about you. That's number one. Number two, your life is then investigated by local bishops to see if you are worthy of the title saint. Number three, your case is sent to the Vatican to a special group called the congregation for the causes of the saints. There is a group called that. They will review your case.

Number four, people start praying to you for a miracle, so you better cough one up. They start praying to you for a miracle. If the miracle occurs, it is investigated. Fifth, the Vatican, if the miracle is legit, the Vatican then declares you blessed and officially declares that you are in heaven. Though, by now, you've known that for some time. And you are then given a feast day to celebrate your life. A special note, if you were a martyr, you will skip all the intermediate steps and just be declared blessed. And then sixth, if you can do another miracle, that'll push you over the edge. Now you will be canonized a saint, declared officially a saint, and you will be in what is called the great communion of the saints. That's how you become a saint according to the Vatican. That's an elaborate process. It's going to take you some time. I've got a better idea. Trust in Jesus Christ now and skip the line.

[LAUGHTER]

That is a New Testament idea of a saint. The New Testament-- the New Testament knows nothing of canonizing a dead person. It knows everything about recognizing a living person. You see, Paul the Apostle writes to saints in the book of Philippians chapter 1. He writes to saints in the book of Romans chapter 1. He writes to saints in the book of Colossians chapter 1. And he writes to the Corinthians and he calls them saints. If you know anything about Corinth, or the Corinthian church, you know that the term saint has a latitude then. Saints who are at Corinth. When Paul was writing these letters, he wasn't writing the dead people. It's not like he's the kid in Sixth Sense who said, "I see dead people." Paul was writing to living, breathing saints, those who are on the earth and declared to be God's people, set apart as God's people.

Not only is there an elaborate process of canonisation in that church, the church I grew up in that I have just mentioned, but there are saints that are given sort of jurisdiction over special areas in life. They're called patron saints. They're guardians of special areas. I grew up with us knowing about St. Christopher, the patron saint of travel, Saint Anthony, the patron saint of lost things, St. Jude, the patron saint of difficult circumstances. But if you do a little research on this, and you'll find it interesting, you will find hundreds and hundreds of patron saints over virtually every possible category in life. Some are quite surprising. For example, there is saint Barbara, who is the patron saint of fireworks. There is saint Isidore of Seville, the patron saint of the internet. I kid you not, I had to triple check this at a few different sources to make sure I was accurate.

There is saint Drogo who is the patron saint of unattractive people.

[LAUGHTER]

Hey, everybody needs a saint.

[LAUGHTER]

And then there is saint Genesius of Rome, who is the patron saint of actors and comedians. And we all know they need a lot of help.

[LAUGHTER]

Now most people do not associate sainthood with what we noted last week as the theme of this letter which is joy. When most people think of a saint, they think of somebody sort of gloomy and sad and serious, like all those saints portrayed in ancient Christian art. So allow me, with you, to look back at Philippians chapter 1. And let me give you some qualities that describe a Biblical saint, a Biblical saint. First quality Is this, a saint is somebody who belongs to two spheres, two spheres. Look at, in verse 1, "Paul and Timothy, bondsman's of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi." They are in Christ, that's the first address. They're in Philippi, that's the second address.

So think of it this way, God's people have dual citizenship. We live here. We live here on this earth. But according to Paul, we live and move and have our being in Him. So I have a physical address here in town. I also have a spiritual address in Christ. And because of that I have an eventual address in heaven. So you may live at 1611 Comanche Court Northeast. That's your physical address. Jesus said, "In My Father's house there are many mansions, and I'm going there to prepare a place for you. So you might live on earth, but you long for heaven. You dwell on earth, but you're destined for glory, as we will read about when we get to chapter 3, whenever that will be. In verse 20 Paul will say, "for our citizenship is in heaven. " So it's good, and we'll look at each address a little deeper in a moment. But it's good to think of yourself as having two addresses, living in this world with two different spheres, in Christ, but in wherever I live, Albuquerque.

Now let me say a word to those of you who consider yourself as living only in one address, a physical address. You're bound to this earth. You live for the pleasures of this earth. You are not in Christ, and you have no intention of ever being in Christ. You are content to go to church from time to time to take part in whatever your family wants to, but you're not weak like those members of your family that have accepted Jesus Christ. You're content with just living for the here and now. If that is your stance, if that is your posture, then let me just encourage you to make sure that you suck all of the pleasure you can out of your earthly address because it's the last good time you'll ever have. You might as well get all the gusto right now, right here, and just take every ounce of fun you can out of it. But Paul believed that he could live in the sphere of the here and now, but also in Christ, knowing that he would be in heaven and it would add a fuller life. And that's what brought him joy.

Look at the spiritual address mentioned in verse 1, "to all the saints in Christ Jesus." Now 87 times in your New Testament is that phrase "in Christ Jesus." It's repeated over and over. We are in Christ Jesus, which means simply, we are united to His life. The life of Jesus Christ is in you. And so when Jesus prayed in John 17 to His Father He said, "Father, I in You and You in Me that they," his followers, "may be one in Us." It's very unique to the Christian life to say you are in Christ. You will never find a Buddhist saying I am in Buddha. They'll follow the teachings of that leader, but they're not in Buddha. You'll never hear a Muslim saying I'm in Mohammad. Or a Mormon saying I'm in Joseph Smith or I'm in Brigham Young. Or a Jehovah Witness saying I'm in Charles Taze Russell. Or a Christian Science saying I'm in Mary Baker Eddy. But you'll find a Christian, like Paul, saying you are in Christ Jesus. You share the same life as Him.

Galatians chapter 2 verse 20 Paul says, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God Who loved me and gave Himself for me." So what that means is though we are in this world we're not of this world because we're in Christ. You see when you're in this world and you're in Christ, you're in this world, but not of this world. Which means as you live in this world you live with a light touch, a light touch in this world, because you're only passing through it. It's not your permanent home. It's simply transitory. It's temporary. You're on your way to something far better.

I want you listen to a portion of a letter written from the second century a.d. to a man by the name of Diognetus, who was actually the tutor of Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor. And this letter to him was describing Christians that were the new phenomenon in the Roman Empire. This author says to this unbelieving Roman government official these words, "Christians are not marked out from the rest of mankind by their country, or by their speech, or by their customs. They dwell in cities both Greek and barbarian, as each has his own lot, following the customs of the region in clothing and in food and in outward things of life generally, yet they manifest the wonderful and openly paradoxical character of their own state. They inhabit the lands of their birth, but as temporary residents thereof. And they take their share of all their responsibilities as citizens and endure all the disabilities as aliens. Every foreign land is their native land, and every native land is as a foreign land. They pass their days upon the earth, but their citizenship is in heaven." What a testimony. They live responsibly here, but their citizenship is in heaven.

That's important because some have accused Christians of being so heavenly minded they're no earthly good. And to that Paul would say, well you haven't understood the next part of the address. They're not only in Christ Jesus, but notice what it says in verse 1, who are in Philippi. In other words, on this earth, you happen to be citizens of the Roman Empire in the Roman colony called the city of Philippi. So we are residents of two realms. In this case, if we were in Philippi, we're in Christ, but in Philippi. So because we're residents of two realms, we should live responsible in both realms. Be responsible citizens in Christ and in Philippi. Jesus prayed this, "my prayer--", praying to his Father in John 17, "my prayer is not that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil one." Please understand his heart cry. Father, don't take them out of this world, just keep them from the evil one while they're in this world. In other words, Jesus never intended for you to live in a cave, or a monastery as a hermit, and to be un-involved and disassociated from your world and your society.

In fact, Jesus said this, and it must have startled his disciples. Jesus said, "behold, I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves." if I heard that, I would have said, "why?" You don't love me very much if You want to send me You sheep in the midst of wolves. You must-- You must be cruel. No, He's kind. He loves wolves so much that sending His sheep out in the midst of them may turn some of those wolves into some of His sheep. That's the purpose of it.

But this then becomes a struggle to us. Part of our struggle is knowing how to balance both passports. I'm in Christ, but I'm in Albuquerque. I'm in Christ, but I'm in Philippi. So we have responsibilities to both. How do we balance that? One of the ways we balance it is make sure that you are talking to Christ about your Philippi, and talking to Philippi about your Christ. When you talk to Jesus, when you pray to Him, tell him about your neighbors, your neighborhood, your city, the problems in your city. Pray about where you live. And then tell your Philippi about your Christ. Tell people who don't know the Lord about what following Jesus is like. That will keep you and I in the balance of carrying responsibly two passports in this dual citizenship in which we live. We're responsible to him, but we're responsible in our culture.

Back in the days of what is called the Jesus movement, I always feel like I need to explain that nowadays because that's so old from memory, the Jesus movement was a phenomenon in the 60s and 70s were by thousands upon thousands of young people were coming to Christ in droves, especially on the west coast. It was a phenomenon. But we all believed that Jesus was coming soon. I still believe that. But we believed what that man is He's coming so soon, might as well just do nothing, just sit around and wait for him. Just enjoy yourself because He'll be here, well, any minute. So it created a lot of people who were irresponsible. And I remember when I announced to some of my friends that I was going to go to college. And they go, college? Jesus will come back before you graduate from college. I said, well, if he does He'll find me a college. And last time I checked, colleges need to hear about Jesus. They're not like the bastion of righteousness and goodness. I feel colleges need a good witness, so that's where I'm going to be. And if He comes back before I am done, fine.

Jesus said He was coming, but He also said occupy until I come. Stay responsible. Stay busy. Stay involved. Stay engaged. So we are in Christ, but we are in Philippi, a saint belongs to two spheres. There is a second quality of a saint, a New Testament saint, a saint behaves submissively. In other words a saint is a servant. Again notice in verse 1, I know I touched on it last week. But there's always more in a verse, you know, so I did one verse last week, I'm doing verse 1 and 2 this week. But just look at that word. Paul and Timothy, bond servants of Jesus Christ. Don't you love how Paul introduces himself? He didn't say, Paul and Timothy, big wigs. Or Dr. Paul and Dr. Timothy, eminent theologians writing to you low lifers in Philippi who really don't know theology like I do. He came as low as you can get. We are bond slaves of Jesus Christ.

Now Paul is writing as a slave, as a servant, to saints. But look at it this way, he's writing as a servant to servants. You see throughout this book he is going to encourage them to become like Him. Chapter 2 he's going to say let this mind be in you which was also even in Jesus Christ, who being in the form of God, did not think it robbery to be the same-- on the same par as God. But He emptied himself and became a bond servant. So be servants like Jesus was a servant and like I am His servant. So he's writing as a servant to servants.

Now when they heard the term bond slave or bondservant, it sounded different to their ears than it does to our ears. We have eradicated slavery in our culture. In the Roman Empire slavery was 40% of the population still. 40% of people in the Roman Empire were owned by other human beings at that time. But it was an enforced kind of a slavery. They were often despised and slaves were regarded as simply a piece of property. Now there was a slavery even in Judaism in the religious sector. But if you know your Old Testament you know that you could have a slave for six years. You had to treat them very kindly and then on the seventh year you released them.

But if the slave loved the master, you remember there was a ceremony? The slave could say no, no, no, I want to serve my Master for the rest of my life. Well the ceremony was you take your slave to the doorpost and you run a spike through his earlobe. Or an awl, like you'd get an earring, you pierce it. And you would designate that person is a servant voluntarily for life. That's the idea of a New Testament bondservant. I'm a bondservant of Jesus not because I have to. I signed up for this, I want to. A voluntary bondservant bound willfully to Christ.

Now this is important terminology because there is another New Testament term that you hear a lot, or read a lot in the New Testament, is the word redeem. Christians are fond of saying, "I'm redeemed." We don't always understand what it means. Redeem, used 20 times in the New Testament, means to go to the slave market, and pay a price for that slave, releasing that slave from the slave market to be your slave. So here's what redeem means. When you say I'm redeemed by Jesus, it doesn't mean I'm set free to be me. I'm set free so I can do whatever I want, no. You are redeemed from the slave market to be a slave of Jesus. You're called to a higher slavery, that's what it means.

Romans chapter 6 Paul says, "Once you were slaves of sin, but now you have obeyed with all your heart the new teaching that God has given you. Now you are free from sin, your old master, and you have become slaves to your new master, righteousness." So being a believer means you've defected. You ran away from your old master, sin, used by Satan to keep you bound, keep you in fetters. You ran from that to a higher form of slavery. To willingly obey Him, that's what surrendering your life to Jesus means. You are free to be His slave, bondservants of Jesus Christ.

I've always loved the story about the husband and wife, they were talking about going to the Holy Land on a tour, and the husband got all amped, got so excited. "Say, I can't wait, let's go, come on let's go to Israel, let's go to the Holy Land." And he said, "can you imagine standing on Mount Sinai and just shouting the 10 commandments." And his wife, not so excited to go and wanting to save a little bit of money, she goes, "I think it would be better if we just stayed home and kept the 10 commandments." Now I don't want to give that little illustration to dissuade you if you want to sign up for our tour going to Israel.

[LAUGHTER]

Now I think you can do both. I think you can obey them at home but then go see it and shout it from that mountain. So being a saint then is not having an emotional goosebump. Being a saint is having a submissive heart. That's part of sainthood. It's a living, breathing person who lives in two spheres, in Christ, in Philippi, but is submissive to the commands of Christ. Jesus said, if you love Me, you'll keep My commandments.

You know one of the things I love about you is your excitement and worship. Some of you are very, very excited and emotional in worship. And I always think that God is the most worthy being in the universe and should be told so, and our expression shouldn't be lackluster, it should be all in. However, it's not how high you jump, it's how straight you walk when you hit the ground. It's wonderful to get all excited about worship, but it's better when you get more excited about doing what He said to do. That's a saint. A saint behaves submissively.

There is a third quality I want you to notice. A saint believes in the Scriptures. A saint believes in the Scriptures. Now N not going to refer to a particular verse in verse 1 and 2, or word. I want you to step back for a moment from these two verses and consider the whole book of Philippians, for just a moment, the whole book, a letter. Paul wrote four chapters, 104 verses to be exact, in our bibles. And that is the letter to the Philippian church. It's a short letter, or a moderately sized letter, piece of correspondence. Now when they received the letter, you know what they did? They read it. Ah, but they didn't just read it, they obeyed it. And then they did something else, they circulated it to other congregations. You know why they did that? It wasn't just because Paul wrote it. They actually believed that what Paul was writing was from God. That it was the Scripture. That we apply it and we share it and we use it in discipleship. Because we believe that the writings of Paul, they believe from an early stage on, was directly from the Lord.

So when Peter writes his letter in 2nd Peter, he refers to Paul's writings as Scripture. The Thessalonian church, Paul noted to them, when you received my teaching you received it not just as human words, but as it is in fact, the very Word of God. And Paul believed, he was confident, that he wrote with God's authority. Now look at verse 2, "grace and peace to you," notice the authority base behind him, "from God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." Now all of that to say this, saints are not people who glow in the dark. Saints are not people who live perfect lives. Saints are not people who go through an elaborate canonization process over years. Saints are people who believe that God has no problem superintending the writing of a book. God has no problem making sure that human authors like Paul and Peter and John wrote what the Divine Author intended. So that the words of these authors can at the same time be the very Word of God. Because that's how the early church took it, this is God's Word to us. A saint believes the Scriptures.

Now I know there are no patron saints, but if there were, I'd want to be the patron saint of Bible readers. I love people who love their Bibles. I love people who ask Bible questions. I love people who are always immersed in the things of God and the Scriptures. I've been reading the Bible now for 44 years, and every single time I open my Bible I find something to wow over. I didn't notice that. Look at that. Or trying to reorient myself to understand how it all fits together.

I did a funeral sometime back of a former staff member who was a former member of our pastoral staff. And he was a leader of a great group for years, a leader of the navigator's, great, great discipleship ministry. And he memorized whole portions of Scripture. I was always amazed sitting and talking to George and having him counsel, or just how well he knew the Scriptures. And it was a part of his everyday life. And he spent so much daily time, not only memorizing, but being able to communicate them. So I did his funeral, and after I was done with the funeral, his family walked up to me and handed me this-- his Bible, his Bible. I thought, oh man, this is-- you sure you want me to have it? He goes, oh George would want you to have it. So I have his Bible and as I received it with humility I thought how much of this Book was stored in that man's heart? It was just a part of the fabric of his life. Which leads me to ask us all a question, what is your attitude toward the Book? Does the Book occupy a prominent position in your life? Is it the Book or is it a book? How important is it?

Now I will say this, your love for the Bible is directly proportional to your relationship to Its Author. Your love for the Bible is directly proportional to your relationship to Its Author, to God. Here's an example, there was a woman who bought a book from her bookstore, a local bookstore. She started reading a few pages, then a chapter. She couldn't make it past a chapter or two. She put the book down because she said it was dull, it was boring, she was done with it, until she met the author. She met the author, a friendship struck up, then a romantic relationship developed. They were both unattached, now they're romantically attached. Suddenly, she was looking for that book. And when she read that book it was a different book. She wanted to turn over every phrase and every sentence and wonder what did he mean by that and what's that experience about. What made the difference? Love, a love relationship, love was now the interpreter of that book.

And so let me just say this, what if from now on you saw the Bible as a love letter from God to you? If you started seeing the Bible as a love letter from God to you, I dare say we would all read It differently. We wouldn't just read in the Bible, we would feed on the Bible. What did He mean by that? What is that phrase all about? What's this experience? So a saint believes in the Scriptures.

And here's a fourth and final quality. A saint benefits spiritually, that's the second verse. Paul writes, "grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." He is wishing that they will experience God's grace and enjoy God's peace. Now I know, I know, this is a typical salutation. It's a typical ancient salutation. You could look up thousands of letters from antiquity, thousands of papyri fragments. And you will find a very similar orientation, which by the way, I like the way old letters were written like this. And here's why, it's going to sound kind of dumb, but they put their name, the author puts the name, at the beginning. You know when we write a letter we say, dear so and so, we write the letter, and at the very end we go, signed, and put our name. So what I do whenever I get a letter, what's the first thing I do? I turn it over to find out who it's from. So it's just awfully nice that we begin Paul and Timothy. Okay, now I know who wrote it. To the saints at Philippi, okay now I know who it's addressed to. It's all there in one little sentence.

But what Paul does is Paul combines greetings from the Western world and greetings from the Middle Eastern world, and combines them into one greeting. And then he tweaks it a little bit. Let me explain that. The common Greek greeting 2000 years ago in the Greek speaking world was the word rejoice. Rejoice. Chara they would say in Greek. Chara, you'd see somebody, chara, rejoice. In the Middle East, in Israel, when you saw somebody you'd say peace. Shalom. Hello and goodbye. Shalom. Shalom. So what Paul does is he combines the Western chara and shalom, puts them together, but he changes the word rejoice chara into a very similar word, charis, which is grace.

Not just rejoice, but grace and peace. These are called the Siamese twins of the New Testament, because you always find them together. You always find grace and peace together, and the order is never reversed. You'll never find peace and grace. You know why that is? Because it's grace that produces peace. God's grace produces peace. When you have experienced the grace of God you start experiencing the peace of God. Grace is the fountain, peace is the stream that flows from the fountain of grace.

So let me ask you, do you have peace today? Is there peace in your heart? Because if there is not peace in your heart could it be that you've not experienced the grace of God? Did you know that Caesar Augustus, the Emperor of Rome, once heard that there was a man in that city of Rome who, though he had many problems in life and was sky high in debt, slept like a baby every night. And that intrigued the Caesar. So he demanded that that man be brought before him. And when he did, Caesar offered to buy that man's bed.

[LAUGHTER]

He thought that was the answer to a good night's sleep. It's a Tempur-Pedic mattress. It's the right Sleep Number. But that is not the answer. The ability to sleep with a clear conscience and a heart at ease comes from understanding the grace of God. And that settles the peace. Romans 5 verse 1, "Therefore, we have been justified through faith," that's God's grace, "and so we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," grace and then peace.

So news flash, if you're a believer in Jesus Christ this morning, if you belong to Christ, you are saint. You can nudge your wife and go I'm a saint.

[APPLAUSE]

Remember that, husband, I'm a saint.

[APPLAUSE]

So it's perfectly appropriate if you want to call me saint Skip from now on.

[LAUGHTER]

Just saying, it's got a ring to it.

[LAUGHTER]

Biblical. Somebody asked a little boy if he knew what a saint was. And the little boy was raised in a traditional church and all he knew were stained glass windows. He goes I know what a saint is, it's a person the light shines through. He's on to something, isn't he? The light of the Gospel, the light of Christ, shines through you. Imperfect perhaps, certainly, but the light shines through. So you and I, we are saints in Christ Jesus, in Philippi or Albuquerque or wherever we might live.

Now the word saint means holy or the most holy thing. Hagios. And I know you're going, "yeah man I don't feel that way." And your wife's going, "and you don't act that way." But I want you to know God sees you that way. And the reason God sees you that way is because you are in Christ. So you might want to think of it this way, God sees you through rose colored glasses. God sees you through blood stained glasses. Because of what Jesus did for you on the cross, He sees you in Christ, and He sees you as righteous. Not because of what you've done, but because of what He's done. He sees you through rose colored glasses. And He says you're a Saint.

So when you think about it then, there's really only two kinds of people in the world, saints and ain'ts. You're either a Saint or you ain't. And I hope He is.

Father, thank You for the clear and uplifting reality that those who trust in You are regarded by You as saints, set apart, wholly different, unique. Because You see as in Christ Jesus, You see us through blood stained glasses. We are Yours. Imperfect, yes. But we are Yours. We live in two spheres, carrying two different passports, submitting willingly to You, believing Your Word in the Scriptures, and enjoying the benefits, great peace brought on by great grace, amazing grace. And that produces a joy.

Lord, I pray that You would show us more and more that being indentured servants to You, being slaves of Christ, brings the highest freedom possible. In Jesus' name, amen.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

As believers, we're living saints too. Did the message impact your relationship with Christ? Let us know. Email us at mystory@calvaryabq.org. And just a reminder, you can give financially to this work at calvaryabq.org/giving. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Calgary Albuquerque.

Additional Messages in this Series

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Date Title   Watch Listen Notes Share Save Buy
4/23/2017
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A Joy Unexpected
Philippians 1:1
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Life doesn’t have to be easy to be joyful. In fact, ease of living and joy of heart have little to do with each other. Joy is not the absence of trouble but rather the presence of Jesus. Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi is a letter dripping with joy and surprisingly so—it’s not what anyone would expect given the circumstances surrounding the author and the recipients. As we dip our toes into the joyful waters of this epistle, it’s my prayer that your smile will grow bigger and your heart will become lighter.
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5/7/2017
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The Family Business
Philippians 1:3-8
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
No matter what you may do for a living, there is a higher purpose for your life. No matter what you do for work, God is at work in you and through you. You may have a career in mind, but God has a calling in mind. These are not contradictory paths but complementary ones. The apostle Paul assured his audience of God's work collectively, personally, and practically. We are the objects as well as the instruments of God's work in the world.
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5/14/2017
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Pray for Love
Philippians 1:9-11
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Love is the subject of more songs than any other topic. It's a word that falls off countless lips effortlessly and often without thought. But as someone noted, "One of the great illusions of our time is that love is self-sustaining. It is not. Love must be fed and nurtured, constantly renewed." The great apostle Paul had a deep love for the Philippian believers, and they for him. But love must be understood and developed intelligently. On this Mother's Day, when we celebrate the unique love of a mom, let's also consider how our love can become mature and God-honoring.
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5/21/2017
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The Happy Prisoner
Philippians 1:12-14
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
What does it take to steal your joy? To answer that question honestly, you would need to discover what you're passionate about--what drives you and what your expectations of life are. Why is this so important? Because things won't always go your way. Unfavorable winds will toss the ship of your life around on the ocean of circumstances and heartbreaks. What do you need then? The right perspective! Let's learn these truths from Paul's prison cell in Rome.
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6/11/2017
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Pest Control
Philippians 1:15-18
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Every group—whether it’s a club, a corporation, a homeowner association, or a church—has its share of problem people and detractors. Such can be touchy, irritable, irrational, unreasonable, contentious, or legalistic. Their words may hurt us deeply. Their actions may confuse us greatly. So how do we handle these pesky folks? Most importantly, what should we do or not do with those who name the name of Christ but act like pests?
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6/25/2017
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Can You Predict Your Future?
Philippians 1:18-21
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
If you were going to sit down and write a short description of what you wanted your future to look like, what words would you choose? Let me suggest four that come straight out of Paul's experience: joy, confidence, hope, and life. After musing over past events that brought him to prison, Paul looks ahead to his uncertain future. But these four words sum up what he expected his future to include--even if it meant his possible execution.
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7/9/2017
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Living on Earth; Longing for Heaven
Philippians 1:22-26
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Knowing what Paul knew about heaven made him think very differently about earth. As Thomas Watson said, "Spiritual things satisfy; the more of heaven is in us, the less earth will content us." It's like a kid eating his vegetables while eyeing the chocolate cake promised after the meal (the salad becomes a means to an end). Jesus taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come," indicating we should be longing for heaven. So how do we effectively live on earth with heaven ahead?
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7/16/2017
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How to Stand When They Want You to Fall
Philippians 1:27-30
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
The truth is, we’re surrounded and outnumbered! The vast majority of the people we encounter in life don’t share our values nor worship our God. The difficulty of the Christian life is that we’re called to stand up for Christ when the rest of the world wants us to sit down or fall flat. They would much rather that we keep our mouths shut and conform to their standards. Let’s consider four spiritual weapons that will help us in the fight to stand strong in our faith.
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There are 8 additional messages in this series.