To God’s church at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called as saints, with all those in every place who call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord—both their Lord and ours….
But it is from Him that you are in Christ Jesus who became God-given wisdom for us—our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, in order that, as it is written: The one who boasts must boast in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30-31
Often times Paul addresses the churches as saints. How is it that a sinner can be called a saint? How can a sinner even become a saint and share in the holiness of God Almighty? R. C. Sproul addresses this issue in the book The Holiness of God.
We recall that when the word holy is used to describe God, it not only calls attention to that sense in which He is different or apart from us, but it also calls attention to His absolute purity. But we are not God; we are not transcendent; we are certainly not pure. How then can the Bible possibly call us “holy ones”?
To answer that question, we must look back to the Old Testament. When God led Israel out of bondage in Egypt and made them a special nation, He set them apart. He called them His chosen people and gave them a special commission. He said to them, “Be holy, because I am holy” (Lev. 11:44).
This special call to Israel was really not new. It did not begin with Moses or even with Abraham. The call to holiness was first given to Adam and Eve. This was the original assignment of the human race. We were created in the image of God. To be God’s image meant, among other things, that we were made to mirror and reflect God’s character. We were created to shine forth to the world the holiness of God. This was the chief end of man, the very reason for our existence (114-15).
To be sanctified was one of the original callings for the human race—reflect God. How does one reflect God while living in the flesh? By allowing God to chip away all that is not like His image. Then one must boast only in the Lord and not steal any of the glory that rightly belongs to Him. As 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 states:
But thanks be to God, who always puts us on display in Christ and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
God created us in His image and called us to be holy. It is God who displays Christ through us so that the world will come to know Him as Lord and Savior. To God be the glory, great things He hath done!!
Oh Father, help us to boast in You alone. In You alone may we rest and allow You to make us holy as You are holy.