The Only Perfect Saints I’ve Met Were Made Out Of Plastic or Wood.
I was raised in a denomination that puffed-up the saints to the point of adoring worship. It was comforting as a child but as I got older it discouraged me to the point of depression. I did not want to hear one more story about such perfect saints. “What’s the use of trying? I could not possibly live so holy; and to top it off these saints had so much merit left over that they could pass it on to others. And these saints have been (supposedly) passing this merit on for centuries. WOW!
What a relief it was to read the Bible for myself and discover that no such people ever existed on this earth. They are as real as Saint Christopher. The thing that helped me break through this polar ice cap was Romans 7:18-24 where the great apostle Paul said, “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”
What knocked my socks off when studying this text was that Paul said this twenty years after he meet Christ on the Damascus Road. He had been on “the way” for twenty years and within himself he still felt like a Pinocchio.
It was incredible to discover that the saintliest of men often confessed to being the worst of sinners. The patriarch Job was said by God Himself to be “blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” Yet, when Job saw God, he could only say, “I am unworthy–how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth.” (Job 1:8, 40:4)
And consider Abraham, who is called “the father of all them that believe” When he prayed to God, Abraham said “I am nothing but dust and ashes.” (Romans 4:11; Genesis 18:27)
David, the sweet psalmist of Israel and “a man after God’s own heart” said: that he was “sinful from the time my mother conceived me.“ (Psalm 51:5) Isaiah, the great messianic prophet of the Old Testament cried out when he came into God’s presence: “Woe to me!” … “I am ruined! (Isaiah 6:5)
An angel appeared to the prophet Daniel who called him, “a man highly esteemed,” Yet, when Daniel saw God, he fell on his face, and said: “I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless.” (Daniel 10:8)
In the New Testament, the apostle Peter said: “I am a sinful man, O Lord” (Luke 5:8). And the great apostle Paul whom we just mentioned called himself the chief of sinners. (I Timothy 1:15) The names of other such saints like Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Jeremiah all felt as ashamed as the prodigal son when they came into the presence of God or even an angel.
The thought of being so saintly that you have enough merit to pass on to others was so incredulous to me that for years I did not want to hear another story of a perfect saint.
The closer a Christian comes to God, who is unapproachable light, the more clearly they see the state of own soul, the more they feel their own sinfulness. That is what the amazing grace of God is all about.
Every nation, every state, every city, every church, every denomination, every family, every individual have things in their past that they are not proud of. But every sinner who becomes a saint through faith in Christ Jesus has a future they are looking forward to.
Look back and you see regrets, look within and you see things you don’t like to see, but with faith look upward to Christ and you’ll find what you’re looking for, His peace.
There is no city of saints down here. But there is one up in heaven where their all perfect and not one is made out of plastic or wood.
“For he (Abraham) was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:10)
“For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.” (Hebrews 13:14)
“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” (Revelation 21:2)
“The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:14)
The Best Is Yet To Be For The Saints Of God.
Pastor Robert Bryant