By: Jerry S. Maneker

“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we
cry, Abba, Father.  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then
heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
(Romans 8:15-17)

The above verse of Scripture tells us that we are not only to be at peace as we have been adopted by God as His sons
and daughters, but we are also called upon to reject fear even amidst the sufferings to which we are heir as slaves of
Christ.  We are saints (hagios) of God, not because we are perfect or holy, but because we have been called out by
God to be His possession, and we have done our best to lay our lives on God’s altar to do His bidding.

Indeed, about one hundred and fifty years before Cyrus was born, Isaiah prophesied, “That saith of Cyrus, He is my
shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy
foundation shall be laid.” (Isaiah 44:28) (Also see Isaiah 45:1.)

God knew Cyrus before he was born, and knew what Cyrus would do regarding the restoration of Jerusalem from the
Babylonian captivity and the people’s subsequent exile.  Indeed, from the foundation of the world, God knew Cyrus and
ordained him to do the task God set for him.

David said, “…thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13)  God told Jeremiah, “Before I formed thee in
the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto
the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)  

Just as God knew Cyrus, David, and Jeremiah, He knew you before you were even born!  Moreover, he ordained you to
a task that you must fulfill for His purposes.  In addition, as He said to Judah and to Israel, He says to all Christians,  
“…Fear not: for I have redeemed thee.  I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)
As one called by name and called for a particular purpose, if you answer that call by trusting God more than seen
circumstances, you are a saint.  It is the saint who gives up his or her life as a burnt offering to God!  In essence, he or
she says, as did Jesus, “Abba, Father…not what I will, but what thou wilt.” (Mark 14:36)  

You were called to be such saints and if you respond to God’s call on your life you are a saint, regardless of your sins,
weaknesses, imperfections, and frailties.  The saint has God as his or her source of strength, and seeks to lay down his
or her life for God, rather than for the many gods of this world!

God whispered your name, in the same manner as He spoke the worlds into existence.  By whispering your name you,
as a Christian, responded by trusting Him in that you belong to Him as a slave does to his or her master.

Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ….” (1:1)  Actually, the word “servants”
is better translated “slaves.”  The Greek word used is “doulos,” which indicates possession by God and laying down one’
s life in service to God. This condition of slavery to God requires one to be free from the bondage of the world and its
traditions and enticements.

It may not seem to you that you were named and chosen by God before you were even born, but that doesn’t negate
the fact that you were.  By responding to God’s call on your life, even if you don’t understand it, you are a saint.  
Suffering, turmoil, disappointment, and tragedy don’t deny one’s blessed condition as a saint of God. (Psalm 84:5-7)

Joseph didn’t understand why his brothers betrayed him, or why Potiphar’s wife lied about him, culminating in his being
put in prison.  But God’s Word says, “He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant….” (Psalm
105:17)  God allowed, or even orchestrated, Joseph’s betrayals so that Joseph could not only come to rule Egypt, but
after his death and the subsequent four hundred and thirty years of bondage of the children of Israel, set the stage for
them to make the Exodus far wealthier than when they were taken into bondage.

We are not called to understand anything!  All we are called upon to do is to heed God’s call upon our lives that entails
loving Him and showing mercy and compassion to others; fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives.

We are to be comforted in our knowledge that our sovereign God named us, chose us, and ordained us to be His saints,
His slaves, in the manifestation of the particular ministry He and He alone chose for us.

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