When you think of your Christian faith, what words come to mind? How would you describe yourself as a Christian?
Maybe you think of words like “ordinary” or “normal”. I think many of us feel that way. Or, maybe you feel “excited”. That’s a blessing. Sometimes we might choose to use words like, “lacking” or “lagging” because we don’t feel up-to-par with our fellow Christians.
But, John 17:11-19 uses a different word to describe us. Jesus says that we aresanctified. That means that we have been made holy. It means that we are worthy of being called saints.
You might not use those words to describe yourself and your faith: Sanctified, Holy, or Saint. But, that is who you are. That is who God has made you.
To be holy or sanctified or to be a saint does NOT mean that you are better than anyone. It certainly doesn’t mean you are perfect or without sin. It doesn’t imply that bad stuff won’t happen to you or that you are through doing bad stuff either.
No, it simply means that you have been set apart by God. Your life is different now. Jesus has died for you. The Spirit lives in you. Your life is not your own. You have been set apart.
The foundation of your life isn’t yourself anymore – it’s God. The source of joy and happiness isn’t found in stuff – it’s found in Jesus. The direction of your life isn’t pointed inward, but outward, in acts of service and love for other people. The guiding principals of your life aren’t found in self-help books or in the wisdom of spiritual gurus on TV. No, we are guided by God’s Word. We are strengthened by His food. We are renewed by His promises. Your life doesn’t belong to you anymore – it belongs to God.
You are sanctified. You are holy. You are a saint. You have been set apart.
I know, I know. Try telling that to your non-Christian friends. Try telling them that you are holy or that you are a saint. You will probably get some funny looks or hear some laughs. But, it’s true.
So, I wonder what life would look like if we saw ourselves that way? What if we looked in the mirror and saw a saint. Someone who had been set apart for a special purpose. Someone that Jesus has died for, that the Spirit lives in, and that is being formed into Christ’s image?
What if we saw each other that way? What if we looked at our brothers and sisters around us as saints? What if we believed that they were holy?
Well, they are. You are. You are holy. You have been sanctified. You are a saint.