Romans 1:7, To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints:…(NKJV)
The wording of the Spirit—inspired Scriptures is very
important. God has chosen to give us a library of 66 books in one book – the
Bible. Even so, much concerning this life and spiritual things is left unsaid.
God has chosen to give His message for us as we have it.
In the Gospels and Acts we find the word most often used
of believers is from the root for disciple (math?t?s).
It is used over 265 times in Matthew through Acts. In the book of Acts the word
disciple is interchangeable with the word believer. “Christian” in singular or
plural form is used only three times in the whole of the New Testament.
When we come to the remainder of the New Testament,
Romans to Revelation, a new word appears for the believer, the word saint.
Several of the books open with the words “To the saints of…” and then
references the location of the recipients. God is revealing what we are positionally
as His followers. However, practically we are not there yet as this will take
place only when we are in His presence.
A disciple can be defined as “a disciplined one.” This
description used most often of believers carries with it the idea of one who
practices the biblical spiritual disciplines. As disciples we are in the
process of moving from where we are practically: disciples, toward what we are
positionally: saints. Spiritual transformation is moving toward sainthood as we
have been admonished to “…exercise yourself toward godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7).
The word “exercise” has also been translated as “train” in some of our English
So often I hear believers say, “I try to live the
Christian life” or “I try to do what is right.” Scripture admonishes us that we
don’t just try to be Christlike, we must train to be so! The Apostle Paul
reminds us that the transformation in our lives is directly related to our
contemplation of “…the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 3:18 – 4:6). This is only
accomplished through the implementation of the spiritual disciplines in our
lives as a result of our love for Him.