Dr. Ozzie Smith on "Being Saints of God"
Rev Whitmore raises an issue that was prevalent in my hometown--saints versus "ain'ts." There, if you did not belong to "their" church you were not considered "saved." Their churches were considered sanctified and somehow "better" than us "ain'ts." To be fair, not all the saints behaved that way, but more than a few did. It is amazing to me how the "hoops" required for life titles seem to bleed over into what it means to be followers of Christ, but Rev Whitmore makes the case that "saint" is what God causes, not our behavior. We do have this treasure in earthen vessels and I hear Jesus saying to those of us who desire and believe we deserve eternal life in saintliness, "You lack one thing." Jesus asks us to get rid of that stuff and follow him. I appreciate Rev Whitmore's matter-of-fact assessment of trying to "be" perfect--"It didn't work."
No matter what we do to congratulate ourselves, God still gives the increase. It is God who makes us and not we ourselves. Rev Whitmore helps us to see that being saints is "of" God, not our own doing. We have been blessed to know of saints who have impacted lives with passion and dark nights of the soul. It is interesting that the hymn "Amazing Grace" has been "corrected" in the interest of inclusive language--Newton's phrase "saved a wretch like me" has been replaced with "saved and set me free." This seems to dilute the original essence of Newton's testimony in verse. Being saints of God "ain't" always easy, but quite necessary. Thanks Rev Whitmore for a great WORD! Thanks Day1 for the lift!