It is a surprise to some people that Christians are often called saints in the Bible. The word doesn’t refer to exemplary people of the past who’ve been given sainthood by religious people. Such a notion was popular in the middle ages, a time when entire church buildings were designed to hold reliquaries (ornamental containers with physical remains of a saint inside, such as bits of hair, etc.). In the Scriptures, all Christians are saints.
The word means holy one, or one who has been made holy by God. In the Greek text, saint and holy come from the same word. One is a noun and the other an adverb. The verb form is sanctify. So what is the Bible telling us? Those who obey the gospel are made holy before God. Colossians 12 says that God qualified us to receive the inheritance of the saints. We don’t become saints by heroism or martyrdom; God makes us saints through Jesus Christ. Continue reading
Canada’s yearly day of Thanksgiving is again upon us. Historically the holiday was only formalized in 1957, declared to be celebrated on the second Monday of October. In the 1920’s it was temporarily celebrated in connection with Remembrance Day in November, expressing thankfulness for peace. Its origins go back as far as early European explorers who probed the northern part of our continent, thankful for safety during the risks they took. Later during the American revolution, United Empire Loyalists brought us the customs of pumpkins, squash, and turkey. Continue reading
This month one hundred years ago, Europe slid into war with Germany. On August 12 the British declared war and that brought Canada into the conflict. Suddenly every city and town in the country was busy drumming up men to go and fight. People stepped forward by the thousands. They thought the war would only last a few months and everybody would come home. Little did they know it would take four agonizing years, then six more in WW2. But they went willingly; they felt it was their duty. Continue reading
What should we do when someone claims we don’t know what we’re talking aboutin that which we condemn? We are often inexperienced in the ways of the world. Young Christians want to glorify Jesus Christ by living a holy life, but unbelieving friends claim sin is fun; “why don’t you try it? Must we smoke for a few years before smokers will listen to us? Should we live a carnal lifestyle so we know what we are talking about when we suggest fornication is wrong? Is it helpful to experiment with sin to really know it’s not a good thing? Continue reading
If you weren’t born Canadian, you probably went through an expensive and complicated process to gain citizenship. The rights of citizenship are valued around the world, for with it comes all the benefits of the state. Pride of citizenship motivates a person to appreciate their new country and to live in a way that honours it.
Paul told the Philippian Christians that they possessed citizenship in heaven. (Phil 3:20) The original language means either the state itself, or the rights of belonging to it. Thus some versions of the New Testament use the word “commonwealth.” One version says, “We are a colony of heaven.” (Moffat) No doubt this thought is what the Philippians gathered from Paul’s words. Continue reading