Page 10 - July 2024 - Truth & Tidings
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Introduction                          but that every believer is a saint. Allow
                                              me to establish that for you. The words
          In previous articles we have learned
        important lessons from the usage of the   “saint,” “sanctified” and “holy” are all
                                              in the same family, with a basic meaning
        word “church” in 1 Corinthians. The   of being “set apart,” that is, separated to
        church is neither a building nor a national   God. There are some who teach that the
        ecclesiastical organization. The fact that
        New Testament churches were “churches   experience of being sanctified takes place
                                              at a point subsequent to conversion. In
        of God” indicates divine ownership. This   reality, the Bible teaches that salvation
        means that they are responsible to Him   and sanctification are simultaneous. Like
        and not to each other or to any man-made   every other spiritual blessing, our sancti-
        central authority. In other words, they are
        autonomous and not part of any denomi-  fication is based on the work of the cross:
        national structure, although maintaining   “We are sanctified through the offering
        fellowship with similarly gathered com-  of the body of Jesus Christ once for all”
                                              (Heb 10:10). We are sanctified “with his
        panies. They reject any denominational   own blood” (13:12). Thus, the offering of
        title and are content to be known as those
        who gather to the name of the Lord Jesus.   His body and the shedding of His blood
        Moving on, the epistle also employs the   form the basis of our sanctification. Again,
        word when indicating the composition of   like every other spiritual blessing, this was
        assemblies, for the apostle describes them   made good to us by faith; the Lord spoke
        as “churches of the saints” (1Co 14:33).  of “them which are sanctified by faith that
                                              is in me” (Act 26:18). So then, the faith that
        Saints                                saved you was the faith that sanctified
          The term “churches of the saints” is a   you; you were sanctified at conversion;
        clear indication that in NT times assem-  it was then that you became a saint. The
                                              term “his saints” is equated with “all them
        blies were comprised exclusively of be-
        lievers in the Lord Jesus. There may have   that believe” (2Th 1:10). So as stated, every
        been times when they were deliberately   believer is a saint.
        infiltrated by false teachers, but the ideal   The fact that NT assemblies were
        was for the company to comprise a one   “churches of the saints” is one of the rea-
        hundred percent believing membership,   sons for assemblies interviewing people
        saints. Paul described the Corinthian as-  who express an interest in being part of the
        sembly itself as consisting of “them that   company. They will be spoken to kindly
        are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be   and sympathetically and be asked to
        saints” (1:2). 1                      give an account of their conversion story.
          Some of you may be new believers and,   That will be relayed to the assembly as a
        up till now, no one has explained to you   whole, for it is the assembly that receives
        that saints are not a spiritual superclass,   people into its fellowship, as indicated
                                              by the following Scriptures: “They were
        1  Bible quotations in this article are from the   received of the church” (Act 15:4); “The
        KJV.                                  brethren received us gladly” (21:17). That

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