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NTS Called to be saints

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posted on Jan, 11 2019 @ 05:00 PM
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“To the church of God which is at 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”- (1 Corinthians ch1 v2)

“Thou dost assure us… that we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy Son, which is the blessed company of all faithful people”.
(Extract from a prayer in Cranmer’s liturgy for Holy Communion)

The message of the New Testament is focussed upon what Christ has achieved.
That is, he died on the Cross, was raised from the dead, and was established as Lord and future judge.
We are included in what Christ has done, because we belong to him, and we are therefore “washed, sanctified, and justified”.
That is, we have been reconciled with God. Our sin is no longer acting as a barrier.

It’s very instructive to take note of the different words used in the New Testament to describe the collective body of those who belong to Christ..
When Jesus is talking about the return of the Son of Man, he calls them “the elect”, those who have been chosen;
“He will send out his angels… and they will gather his elect from the four winds” (Matthew ch24 v31).
“And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night?” (Luke ch18 v7)
The word is found in the rest of the New Testament, but not very often;
“Who shall bring any charges against God’s elect?” (Romans ch8 v33).

Another word is “the saints”, meaning those who have been set aside as God’s property.
That is the real significance of “holiness”.
It can be found in Acts; “I have heard… how much evil he has done to thy saints in Jerusalem” (Acts ch9 v13).
When Paul is addressing his churches, he defines them as those “called to be saints” (e.g. 1 Corinthians ch1 v2, Romans ch1 v7, Philippians ch1 v1).
When he is urging the churches in Greece to give money for the needs of the church in Jerusalem, he calls it “the offering for the saints” (e.g. 2 Corinthians ch9 v1).
He observes that “the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans ch8 v27).
And when he speaks of the return of Christ, he describes him as “coming with all his saints” (1 Thessalonians ch3 v13), an image which links up with Matthew’s expectation of the “gathering of the elect”.

Of course the label which has established itself is “church”, which appears in the New Testament as the translation of EKKLESIA.
This word fits the purpose in two different ways.
On the one hand, it was the normal word for the assembly of citizens which had been running local affairs for centuries, suggested for Christian use by their practice of meeting together.
“You have come… to the assembly of the firstborn, who are enrolled in heaven” (Hebrews ch12 v23).
At the same time, the brethren would have been conscious that the root meaning of this word is “called out”.
In the context of local government, this originated from the fact that citizens had been “called out” of their homes in order to attend the open air meetings.
Yet believers can also see significance in the suggestion that they have been “called out of the world” in order to belong to God.
So the normal usage of the word makes it another way of expressing their corporate nature, and the root meaning links it with the words which describe how the members have been “set apart”.
Paul makes use of that double meaning when he says the Corinthians are “called to be saints” (as quoted at the top of the page), and rings the changes on the word “called” in the following verses..

The word is found in Acts from the very beginning, and of course in the letters.
Frequently, in Acts and in Paul, it refers to the local Christian community- “the church in Jerusalem… in Corinth… the church that meets in their house”.
In the same way, Acts refers to “the churches” when describing the wider fellowship;
“They appointed elders in every church” (Acts ch14 v23).
Yet Paul also uses the word in a more general sense;
“God has appointed in the church” (1 Corinthians ch12 v28).
“I persecuted the church of God” (ch15 v9).

And finally the Christian community appears in Revelation, usually as “the saints”.
They are persecuted to the point of death in ch13 and their blood is spilt in ch17.
But these are also the people who were “sealed” in ch7 by the God who calls for their “endurance”, and they are the people who remain faithful and witness for him in ch11.
Their prayers are addressed to him (ch8 v3), and of course he “vindicates” them, just as Jesus said he would.
At the end of the book, they form “the new Jerusalem” in the presence of God.
For which reason they may indeed be called a “blessed company”.




posted on Jan, 11 2019 @ 05:01 PM
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N.B. "Mystical body" is being held over for the thread on unity.



posted on Jan, 11 2019 @ 05:01 PM
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Sainthood

If the Christian community in general are “the saints”, that seems to leave no room for a separate category of sainthood within the Christian community. This would preclude the traditional claim that church authorities have the ability to identify and designate individual saints. So the more restricted concept of sainthood as a special qualification finds no support in the New Testament.



posted on Jan, 12 2019 @ 01:22 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
Sainthood

If the Christian community in general are “the saints”, that seems to leave no room for a separate category of sainthood within the Christian community. This would preclude the traditional claim that church authorities have the ability to identify and designate individual saints. So the more restricted concept of sainthood as a special qualification finds no support in the New Testament.


Are you saying all Christians are saints?



posted on Jan, 12 2019 @ 02:02 PM
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a reply to: toms54
When the New Testament says "the saints", it means the whole body of Christians. So all Christians are saints in the New Testament definition of the word- "set aside as God's property".
I was covering that definition in the Sanctified in the name of Christ thread, as well as in this one.



edit on 12-1-2019 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 13 2019 @ 11:47 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI


“To the church of God which is at 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”- (1 Corinthians ch1 v2)

Is this a teaching of those who are not sanctified as well as those who are sanctified? This is addressed to an ekklesia in Corinth as well as those who are not in the ekklesia in Corinth? That is my understanding of Paul in this scripture. But where I am somewhat confused is that within these two groups there are, seemingly, those who are of the Christ Jesus and those who may or may not be of the same mind set with a different Lord.

As I read on down to verses 1Corinthians 1:10-12, I see that there apparently are differences of the acceptance of Jesus.

(10) Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
(11) For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
(12) Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

So here is my question> If there are some in Corinth who follow this teaching of Chloe (which little is known) and call upon the name of the Lord, is this Lord of Chloe the same Lord of Paul?



posted on Jan, 13 2019 @ 12:01 PM
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originally posted by: Seede
Is this a teaching of those who are not sanctified as well as those who are sanctified? This is addressed to an ekklesia in Corinth as well as those who are not in the ekklesia in Corinth?

No, I don't think the non-members of the church are expected to be reading this letter. It would probably have been read out at one of the church meetings. "Together with all those...in every place..." was perhaps added because the basic principles, without the local references, are also relevant and worth reading for the churches of other towns.

(12) Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

So here is my question> If there are some in Corinth who follow this teaching of Chloe (which little is known) and call upon the name of the Lord, is this Lord of Chloe the same Lord of Paul?

Paul is relying on Chloe as a dependable reporter of what was happening, so I don't think there can be any difference of mind between Chloe and himself. I think some are meeting in Chloe's house only because the community is too big to meet easily in a single private dwelling.
"I belong to Christ" is a minor puzzle. Strictly speaking, it's what every Christian should be saying, as against belonging to any individual leader. I suppose that Paul was so intent on establishing the point that labels are divisive that he even included that one, for the sake of completeness. I believe I came to a similar conclusion when I looked at the chapter for my 1 Corinthians series.

P.S. Yes, this is what I said on that occasion (supplementary post to second thread in the series);

originally posted by: DISRAELI
One of the “party cries” which Paul complains about is “I belong to Christ”, which makes scholars wonder if there was also a distinct “Christ party”.
Now it seems to me that “I belong to Christ” is precisely anyone should be saying, who understands Paul’s point that we belong to Christ rather than individual teachers.
If there was a group of people saying “I belong to Christ”, he ought to be approving them.
I suggest the explanation is that the trouble was really coming only from two parties, that is “I belong to Apollos” and “I belong to Cephas”.
However, Paul throws in the two extra slogans “I belong to Paul” and “I belong to Christ” in order to address his complaint against “faction” as such, and soften the impression that he’s directly attacking the other two parties.
In fact the “wisdom” group, which is probably the followers of Apollos, is the only group which receives much criticism in the rest of the letter, so it’s possible that even “I belong to Cephas” has been thrown in to lessen the danger that the people of Apollos will take it all personally.


edit on 13-1-2019 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 13 2019 @ 01:39 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI


TextP.S. Yes, this is what I said on that occasion (supplementary post to second thread in the series);

Yes, good reasoning and great thoughts. Thanks for your time and great knowledge DISRAELI. Will have to study this a little more but really appreciate your help in my conversion to Christianity. lol



posted on Jan, 13 2019 @ 06:35 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELIJust a couple of observation of your OP.

The elect in Matt 24 is not the Body of Christ but the nation of Israel. Have you never recognize the the Body of Christ is only mentioned of by Paul concerning both Jew and Gentile? if you see that then you should see that the elect in Matt 24 is only Israel i.e. Jews only.

So with the word Elect we have three types of elect and they are not all the same. There is the elect that is Israel, there is the Elect who are the body of Christ, and there are the elect that are angels. Dividing them helps us know to whom the word is speaking and allows us to properly understand the teaching/doctrine.

One of the issues the Catholic church does, is makes them all one (not the angels of course), in making them one they can limit the elect to this age only. It eliminates the pretribulational gathering of the body of Christ into the clouds ever more to be with Jesus Christ. Matt 24 is speaking of the Jews in the Tribulation, that context started in vs 4. Matt 24 speaks of something that takes place during the Tribulation. If we compare the teaching in Matt 24 with Revelation we see this is so. If we make the elect in Matt 24 the same elect of Paul's writings concerning the Body of Christ, then we destroy the pretribulational gathering as found in 1Thes 4:13-18.

Just because the word elect is in Paul's writing still does not mean it is speaking the same group of Matt 24. Paul's mention of the Election 2Tim 2:10 is speaking of the people from the line of David, i.e. Israel, that context started in vs 8, the "they" of vs 10 is the elect who is Israel. This is exactly why the instruction was given to rightly divide the word of truth and also that is why it is so very important to keep things in context.

The word "mystical" is not found in the Holy Bible AV1611?



posted on Jan, 13 2019 @ 06:38 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
Sainthood

If the Christian community in general are “the saints”, that seems to leave no room for a separate category of sainthood within the Christian community. This would preclude the traditional claim that church authorities have the ability to identify and designate individual saints. So the more restricted concept of sainthood as a special qualification finds no support in the New Testament.


There are the Saint which are Israel and there are the Saints which are the body of Christ. Yet they are not the same. They are both called Saints but both are Saints for two different reasons.



posted on Jan, 13 2019 @ 06:47 PM
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What is needed for the serious student of the Holy Bible, is to gain from the scriptures that there are three distinct sets of doctrines/teaching. One set for the Jews (unsaved Israel alone), one for the Gentiles (unsaved Gentiles alone) and one for the church of God (saved Jews and Gentiles alone).



posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 09:02 AM
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originally posted by: ChesterJohn
there are three distinct sets of doctrines/teaching. One set for the Jews (unsaved Israel alone), one for the Gentiles (unsaved Gentiles alone) and one for the church of God (saved Jews and Gentiles).

As I see it, one set of teaching will cover all three groups.
“The way to approach God is by Faith”.
Say additionally to the last group- “You got into that position by having Faith”.
Say additionally to the other two groups- “You got into that position by not having Faith, and only Faith will get you out of it.”
All three groups are covered by the working of what Paul calls “the law of Faith” (Romans ch3 v28), by which no man is justified, whether Jew or Gentile, except by faith.


The elect in Matt 24 is not the Body of Christ but the nation of Israel. Have you never recognize the the Body of Christ is only mentioned of by Paul concerning both Jew and Gentile? if you see that then you should see that the elect in Matt 24 is only Israel i.e. Jews only.

I still don’t see any need to make a distinction. All that happens is that the non-Gentile people of the Old Testament period expands in Paul’s time to include some of the Gentiles; so the community of God’s people is now larger and more mixed, but there is a continuity in its history.


If we make the elect in Matt 24 the same elect of Paul's writings concerning the Body of Christ, then we destroy the pretribulational gathering as found in 1Thes 4:13-18.

Nor do I see any reason why the “pretribulational gathering” should not be destroyed. There’s no need for it in the teaching of the New Testament. ONE Return of Christ, with ONE final gathering of ONE people of God- that’s the fulfilment of the gospel promise.


Paul's mention of the Election 2Tim 2:10 is speaking of the people from the line of David, i.e. Israel, that context started in vs 8, the "they" of vs 10 is the elect who is Israel.

No, v8 says that JESUS is from the line of David. That isn’t a translation issue, because the statement is clear enough in the AV. You are reading carelessly again. That passage says nothing about the origin of the elect, and nothing in the context specifies the Jews.


the instruction was given to rightly divide the word of truth

You make a mantra out of that instruction, but I think you miss the point that the emphasis ought to be on “RIGHTLY”. Not on “divide”. You risk turning it into an excuse for making more divisions than God wants to make, introducing fine distinctions and unnecessary complications into what ought to be a simple gospel message.
Making fine distinctions is what lawyers do, which is why I regard an obsession with fine distinctions as one symptom of a legalistic mind.

All these elaborate complications, which are not part of the historic teaching of the church, make it harder for people to understand what God is doing. That is not desirable.



posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 10:54 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

You see my only assumption of the Bible is True, is based on what exalts God and my Christ, that his words are true everyone of them, that it is the final authority for life and godliness, And they by themselves give the simple understanding.

While your first assumption, which is the basis for all your errors, and that is you believe, 1) the Word of God has errors, 2) you are smarter than God, 3) you will correct his words for him and 4) God is too weak to preserve and keep his words to every generation for ever.

The Devil did the very thing you are doing when he said in

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
1) he questioned God, 2) he changed God's words (compare to Gen 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.) And then he makes God out to be a liar by saying that they would not surely die.

Ge 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:


You are in good company, beware. Those who go down the trial you have never come back and their hearts are hardened against the word of God. You have shared nothing more here in your NT thread series that has not already been said by thousands like you before and since 2,000BC.


edit on 1/14/2019 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 14 2019 @ 11:14 AM
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originally posted by: ChesterJohn
You have shared nothing more here in your NT thread series that has not already been said by thousands like you before and since 2,000BC.

I would not WANT to say anything new. Novelty is heresy by definition, a departure from the original message.
The function of a teacher is to make the old message understandable.




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