More Than Saints
“To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Colossians 1:2 NKJV
Paul begins this letter to the Colossians by identifying both saints and faithful brethren. It is easy to read that and just assume that Paul is identifying the same people, just with two different titles. But the reality is you can be counted amongst the saints, but not be a faithful brother.
A saint is someone that is sanctified, set apart and consecrated for the Lord’s service. The person who is a saint is saved and made the purity and righteousness of Jesus because of their accepting the sacrificial work of Jesus. They are saved and set aside, but that does not mean that they are necessarily faithful brothers. The word “faithful” in this verse means one who is trustworthy, of true fidelity, faithful in their duty.
Someone can be saved and yet faithful in their service to the Lord. So Paul here is talking about two classifications of believers in Jesus, and there is a significant difference between the two. We are all saints if we have confessed His name as our Savior, but to many of us have gotten saved and then stopped right there. They are saints but there is another group of believers that Paul identifies as “faithful brethren”. These are the ones who accepted the grace and mercy of Jesus’ sacrifice of love, but they have gone forward in Him. They are the ones are living their lives faithfully in service to Him.
Living life as a saint is not satisfying and that is why many believers in Jesus Christ are not walking with His peace and joy. They do not see the victories of Jesus routinely in their lives. This can be frustrating and confusing for them. They are saved but not seeing the fruit of His promises in their life. They got saved and just stayed there. Once we are saved we need to become disciples of Jesus. We need to learn about Him and grow in our knowledge and understanding of Him which comes from spending time with Him and being in His Word constantly. If I get saved and end my spiritual journey there, I will end up living like the world and I will get the world’s results in life.
It is better to be more than just saved and set apart for Him. But once we are sanctified in Him we should endeavor to grow and become a faithful brother who is trustworthy to Him. This is where we find peace, joy and His promised realized in this present life.
If you realize you have fallen into the trap of being a saint that has not moved beyond that, fret not. Paul goes on in verse 2 to make certain you realize you are still in His grace and can still find that peace. There is always still time to move forward in Him and become a faithful brother as well. Don’t settle for where you are today, always move forward in Him.
J Todd Hostetler