All Saints Day – 1st November 2020

Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith, and to posses the kingdom he has promised to those who love him?
St James 2:5

The first of November is known as ‘All Saints Day’ in the Bible saint refers to all who love the Lord and are followers of His, allowing God to make us the person He wants us to be.

O I love that song, ‘When the saints go marching in. I want to be in that number when the saints go marching in. You can be simply by trusting the Lord Jesus as Saviour.

Bible Reading

  • Psalm 24:1-6
  • Revelation 7:9-17

Message

Text: To the Church of God in Corinth to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ their Lord and ours. 1 Corinthians 1:2

You have heard me refer to my dog collar as a halo that has slipped and is now choking me. So, what is a SAINT?

We have the answer in our text, ‘those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy’ ordinary people, those who have surrendered their lives to Christ as Lord and Saviour. Sanctified means ‘Dedication’ or ‘Consecration’ a person or object set apart for the service of God.

Two examples:

  • Polycarp: Born in 70 AD Polycarp was such a man. When he was 86 years old he was arrested and was offered his freedom only if he ‘reviled Christ’. He replied, “I have served him and he never did me any wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King and Saviour?” (Taken from ‘Reform’ page 6 Nov. 2020)
  • Patrick: Patrick, born in 385 AD was taken as a slave to Ireland for six years. After his escape back to his home God called him to return to Ireland as a missionary.

I do love to hear Louis Armstrong singing ‘When the saints go marching in.’
“Now, when the saints go marching in, I want to be in that number when the saints go marching in.” What a day that will be when we meet in Heaven.

In the Apostle’s Creed we have the words, ‘The communion of saints’.

In the Catholic Church a person has to go through a process of canonization in order to be a saint.

It is interesting in the Early Church saint was a common word applied to all believers in Christ, Romans 1:7, “To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints. Again in 1 Corinthians 1:2 we read, ‘To the Church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ – their Lord and ours”

In our reading, taken from Revelations7:9, the first thing we note is that:
THEY CAME FROM ALL NATIONS, “After this I saw a vast crowd too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands.”

Here we see Christ seated at His Father’s right hand and who were those that stood before them? They are the redeemed and we know this from the white robes worn by the saints. White is the colour of victory and they also held palm branch, also a victory emblem of triumph. There is a school of thought that those in front of the Throne were martyrs. But it was not the victory of those that stood before God; it was Christ’s triumph, won on the cross of Calvary. It is only through Christ’s saving work. In verse 14 one of the 24 Elders points out: “They washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white”. Look at what the Lord said through the prophet Isaiah 1:18, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Paul reminds the believers in Corinth, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11. It is in Christ alone we have Salvation, through the cross, the victory is His. All are saved in this way.
In fact the law requires that nearly everything “be cleansed with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” Hebrews 9:22. We are reminded in 1Timothy 2: 5-6a, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men.”

It is a fact that a person who becomes naturalized English is officially and technically English from that moment on. However, the ‘anglicizing process’ will go for many years and only gradually will they become English in habit and outlook. It’s the same with saints. Whilst it may be correct to speak of Christians as saints, that does not mean that they are immediately saintly. As I have said on many occasions the Lord is still working on me.

O the road to sainthood starts at the cross and being washed in the Blood of Christ.