Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Blessed saints - here and now!

He died 120 years ago, yet just the other day (Sunday 19th September) Cardinal Newman became blessed apparently, which is the last step before becoming a saint.  I have to admit to finding this all very strange in the light of the teaching of Scripture which says that believers in the Lord Jesus are here and now blessed with all spiritual blessings and are called saints:

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1 v 1-3)
What further blessing can be received once you have got them all?  This is the wonderful position people are brought into through trusting Christ for salvation - God opens the storehouse of spiritual blessings and tells us they are ours to enjoy.  While it is certainly the case that Christians will enjoy them more in heaven when we are free from the shackles of mortality and the distractions of earth, we will not possess them more - they are ours, if we have Christ as Saviour.

What does it matter if men confer or withhold conferring the title "saint", when God says that all who turn to Christ for salvation are saints?  The word "saint" means one who has been set apart, and all who have trusted Christ to save them have been set apart by God and for God - they are His.  It isn't the life of a Christian that makes them a saint, it is the death of Christ that makes them a saint - that's what makes the difference, and that's the only thing worth trusting in.