As I began studying Hebrews chapter three this morning, the author begins that chapter by addressing us as holy brothers.
“Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,”
It was my intention to get further than the opening words of one verse, but I could not get past the phrase holy brothers. There is a lot of weight behind being called holy brothers. First, we are brothers. That means that we are part of a larger family, bonded by blood – the blood of Christ. It means that what is being said in the Word is not just for some of us, but it is for all of us. Many of us tend to compartmentalize our families into blood family and spiritual family. But the truth is that the spiritual family is bonded together by blood with a greater bond than any earthly blood family. We are brothers and sisters in a blood relationship through Jesus Christ.
However, not only are we brothers, we are holy brothers. Our blood relationship through Jesus does fundamentally changes who we are. We are a holy people, called to a holy purpose (1 Peter 2:9). This is a change of identity at the foundation of our being. There are far too many believers who go around calling themselves sinners. “I’m just a sinner saved by grace.” I’ve heard that phrase tossed about so often in churches that you might think it is in the Bible. It is true that we were sinners; and that while we were sinners, by his grace, God saved us.
“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Notice the past tense phrase were sinners. You and I were sinners, but now we are something else. Once God’s grace reaches us and rescues us, we are transformed into something new – a son! It is true that we still sin, but it is not true that we are still sinners. We are new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17); we are not who we used to be. If we continue to walk around calling ourselves sinners, there will always be a conflict between the Spirit within us who cries out “Abba, Father” and the fallen, unrenewed mind that still believes we are sinners. It is no wonder that so many of us are frustrated.
Stop walking about thinking you are a sinner. If you have been born again, you are a son or daughter of the King. You may still sin, but those actions no longer define who you are. You are defined by who God says you are: holy brothers and sisters in God’s family. Walk in that reality and watch your life change from the inside out.