Most of us are aware of Jesus’ teachings on who the greatest in God’s Kingdom is. God’s priorities and values make the world’s priorities and values look upside down because they are. Jesus said things like…
“You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”” (Matthew 20:25–28, NLT)
In today’s text Jesus says something incredible about those who are “least” in the Kingdom of God. …I tell you, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of God is greater than he is!” (Luke 7:28, NLT)
One of the topics we will explore today is what makes the people of the New Covenant privileged over those in the Old. God has given us a new identity in Christ. We are no longer identified as “sinners” but rather as “saints”. Christians are called “saints” sixty-two times in the New Testament. It is crucial that we understand our new identity and rise up to be who we are in Christ. You are not just, “just a sinner saved by grace” but a “saint”. “Saint” means, “set apart for God” and “holy”. If you understand and embrace that identity it will powerfully change the way you think, act and live.
Notice how the New Living Translation describes “saints”…
I am writing to God’s church … to “you who have been called by God to be his own holy people”. He made you “holy” by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.” (1 Corinthians 1:2, NLT)
I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to “those he called—his holy people” who are his rich and glorious inheritance.” (Ephesians 1:18, NLT)
So, my brothers and sisters in Christ, understand that you are now a new creature in Christ with tremendous blessings and privileges. Put the past behind you and rise up to be the new you that God has created you to be.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT)
Rise up Christian and realize that even the least of us has great privilege and hope!