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Confirmation Class - March 15th, 2020


This evening we were to speak with our Confirmands about Devotion to the Saints.  We started last week by talking about Devotion to Mary, which the church teaches as a form of Veneration NOT Worship.  The distinction is important.

As for saints, a word used by St. Paul when referring to his fellow Christians, we point to his many salutations declaring us as such.

Romans 1:7

1 Corin 1:2

2 Corin 1:1

Coloss 1:2

Ephesians 1:1

Philippians 1:1

He often uses salutations like fellow citizens, or brothers and sisters, and here it is important to recognize he's not being general with those words.  He specifically refers in his writings to a royal family of believers and followers of God.  He specifically refers to a Kingdom of God and a Great Nation.  So when he speaks of us fellow Christians as saints, he is specifically referring to something special and set apart.  This is important.

Additionally, St. Paul writes of God being "not a god of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints."  He writes of "the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints."  He writes of "the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints."  St. Paul states the saints are qualified to receive an inheritance from the Father in LIGHT.  He further states all the saints should be on alert with "perseverance and petition."

In Romans, St. Paul writes that Jesus "intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."

These saints, we followers of Christ Jesus, are set apart, special, to be people of peace, knowledgeable of God, faithful, recipients of a special inheritance, and on alert against all that may lead to sin while ceaselessly petitioning our Lord.

This is both descriptive of those who follow Christ Jesus, and PRESCRIPTIVE for those who say they are followers of Christ Jesus.  It describes who we are, AND it teaches us who we should be.

That leads us to SAINTS with a capital 'S.'  It is important to understand the distinction between "lower case saints," and "Capital 'S' Saints."

St. Paul teaches, as Christ Himself demonstrates, death of the physical body is not death of the person.  We go Christ also "went on," through His resurrection.  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15 that because of Christ's resurrection, those who were faithful followers who have "fallen asleep," or died, ARE STILL ALIVE IN CHRIST.

We can debate and discuss what that "looks" like, but it doesn't really matter.  Maybe some are "resting," others "asleep," as Paul