Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
(Philippians 4:21-23 ESV)
Paul addressed this letter to the saints in Philippi and now as he closes he again calls them saints. He also refers those in Rome who are with him as saints. This would have included Timothy and other people who were believers. As we learned at the beginning of our study, the term “saint” is misunderstood today because of the erroneous teachings of the Catholic church who have altered the meaning to refer to only an elite few. But this is not biblical.
The term “saint” as it is used in the Bible simply means someone who has been set apart by God. It always refers to those who are “in Christ Jesus” – anyone who has been born again by faith in Christ’s payment for their sins.
Its very interesting that there were believers in Caesar’s household. Caesar at this time was Nero, a very wicked ruler who murdered many members of his own family and who was also a persecutor of Christians. Yet despite his tyrannical rule, there were those within his family and/or employment who came to believe in Christ.
This should be a great encouragement for us today. Many of us work in environments where we are the only believer and those around us seem to have no interest in knowing Jesus. That is probably untrue. Sometimes in such places people are very open to hearing about the hope that Jesus provides because they see much sin (although they may not call it that) around them. Its really no different than being a missionary in a country which is heavily into a false-religion or where the Bible is banned.
Just like Paul, our light will shine brightest in the dark. That is why Paul could say that his imprisonment in Rome was for the good [Philippians 1:12]. People were coming to know Christ as their Savior and therefore would spend their eternity in heaven in God’s presence. And that is all that matters.
We should not be disappointed at where we are in life. No matter where we are – even in prison or a job we hate – God can use us to reach others. Nor should we be afraid to approach those who seem the most against God’s message. Sometimes the most unlikely of people will believe and in fact are ready to believe if someone simply presents the truth of God’s love to them.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.
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