Reading: Romans 1:1-15
Living like a saint
Paul opens His letter to the believers in Rome by introducing himself as one who is "set apart" for the gospel. He calls the believers two things: "beloved of God in Rome and called to be saints" (v7).
Biblical history makes it easy to see the Apostle Paul as "set apart" or special for the gospel. His life was used by God throughout the entire Roman Empire.
But what did He mean when he said the Roman Christians were "called to be saints"? Does this apply to us?
Have you ever thought of yourself as a saint? It's not a term we use often.
If you're reading from the NIV, you know that "saint" means holy, and holy means set apart. So these people were 1) loved by God and 2) holy. These two characteristics go together because it is God's love that makes us holy.
There's nothing you have to do to be set apart or holy. If you believe in Jesus, you already are because He made you that way.
A bird doesn't contemplate why it should fly--it does. Sometimes it needs a nudge or two. But when it leaps and flaps the wings it was given, it rises. You will too!
Your wings are described in 1 John 14:9: "we love because He first loved us."
You fly when you love the unlovely co-worker. You fly when you forgive the person who doesn't deserve forgiveness. You soar when you clean up someone else's mess without complaint or allow someone else to choose, even when it's supposed to be your turn.
Your wings are knowing that He loved you first--and you're already holy and set apart. When you live that way, you prove the gospel in your own life.