by Pastor Lee Hemen
March 17, 2008
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! (Galatians 2:20-21)
Today is St. Patrick’s Day. I find it humorous that so many will celebrate this day without ever thinking about who Patrick truly was. More than the patron saint of Ireland or the person credited with driving all the snakes out of the Emerald Isle, he was a man of Jesus Christ. Enslaved by raiders from Ireland at the age of sixteen, he was treated with contempt and harshness, but later he escaped back home to Britain. There he became a believer in Jesus Christ and felt that God was calling him back to Ireland to win the “heathens” that once had imprisoned him to the Lord Jesus Christ. Knowing that these folk were in a prison where there was no escape unless someone went to them and told them the good news, he willingly returned, worked to win Ireland for Christ, and he succeeded. Churches soon dotted the landscape like four-leaf-clovers but with a far more important message than any Irish superstitious luck could impose. He lived before any established “Catholic” church, yet was ultimately claimed by them as a “saint.” However, we must remember that all who claim Christ are called the “saints” of God. (Romans 8:27) Patrick lived around the fourth century.
Today, many will celebrate “Saint” Patrick’s Day, but few will remember who he truly was. I am also amazed at how many will wear green, not realizing that they are tacitly supporting a more “Catholic” cause. Most non-Catholics should rightly wear orange to show their adherence to sola fide and sola scriptura.
Patrick realized that if he had been “crucified with Christ” then the message he knew had to be declared to those who did not know its wonderful news: Jesus died to set them free from sin. Like Paul, Patrick no longer lived, only Jesus did and he had to go and tell others. Later, those who would want to claim him as a “Saint” desired to enslave many with the “law” of man-made religion. Yet, “if righteousness could be gained through” this kind of forced adherence then “Christ died for nothing.” The orange you would wear on this St. Patrick’s Day would remind them, others, and you that like Patrick, Paul, and those who died telling the good news during a Reformation that would sweep the world, that it is through faith alone that you are saved and it is by Scripture alone that you live.
Instead of green, wear a little bit of the orange for Patrick and for those who died reforming the world again with the gospel message.
NOTE: This article is copyrighted by Pastor Lee Hemen © 2008 and the property of Pastor Lee Hemen. You are welcome to copy it, email it, or use it but please if you copy it, email it, or use it you must do so in its entirety. This devotional will follow Morning by Morning by C H Spurgeon. You may use it however you desire.