For centuries the church celebrated Nov. 1 as a day to honor the historical "saints" of the church. Now, as a Christian, we're all "Saints". Scripture says so:
- Romans 1:7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
- 1 Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:
- Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:
"Saints" comes from the Greek word, "hagios", which means "holy ones"..."set apart ones"...
It simply is the acknowledgement that God calls us holy and we are set apart for God's purposes, for the fulfillment of his Kingdom.
Now, the fact that Halloween emerged as a celebration of darkness, death and Satan's forces demonstrates how far we've drifted from the original purpose of "All Hallows' Eve" and "All Saints Day" tomorrow.
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ this day as significance in history. It was on Oct. 31, 1517, that a Parish priest, University lecturer - Martin Luther - nailed a series of disputations on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany to protest the sale of indulgences and the authority of the Pope to do so.
Leading up to this event was a series of incidents, and Luther's study of the Psalms and Romans which led to his "Protest" against the hierarchy of the Church. The incidents were around the sale of Indulgences - payments made by members of the church to the Pope in false belief that their loved ones would get out purgatory earlier because of the payment of this "merit money". Indulgences were simply the culmination of several centuries of drifting from the message of grace to create a system of merits - works that increased the right of salvation.
Martin Luther was a Parish Priest and Lecturer at the University of Wittenberg when he wrote the 95 Theses as a series of disputations to challenge the correctness of the Church's practice in light of the theology of the scripture. His own journey had evolved from believing in the wrath of God personally against himself to the point where he began to study and lecture from the Psalms and Romans.
In the Psalms Luther could not understand why God would say to his Son what the Psalmist declares in Psalm 22:1,
Luther could not comprehend God without thinking of wrath and judgement - his own life had been shaped by the belief that he would never be able to earn salvation. Then he began to lecture from the book of Romans and everything changed as he discovered Romans 3:21-25
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—
22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
In Luther, the light went on and the Spirit of God etched in his mind and heart that Salvation was not earned, it was a gift - a gift of Grace from God through the redemption that Jesus accomplished on the cross.
In Luther, the idea of "merits" to earn salvation were not only incorrect - they were an insult to God. God sent his Son into the world to accomplish what could not be accomplished through any actions on our own part - no matter how right, or correct, or good, they seem to be.
It is Jesus that "saves" us.
It is Jesus that "calls us holy".
It is Jesus that "separates us and declares us His saints".
We are Saints...drink that in.
We are Christ's and He is Ours.
Happy "All Hallow's Eve" Day my fellow Saints.