Pagans to Saints

God is still doing it.

So this is why it come about in Ireland that people who had no acquaintance with God, but who, up to now, always had cults or idols and abominations, are recently – by this dispensation – made a people of the Lord and are known as children of God.

  - Patrick, Confession, Irish, 5th century[1]

And it shall come to pass
In the place where it was said to them,
are not My people,’
There it shall be said to them,
You are sons of the living God.’

  - Hosea 1.10

In his Confession, Patrick had just quoted the verse in Hosea when he wrote what we have above. The “dispensation” he refers to was his ministry among the pagan Irish.

God had done a wonderful thing among heathen, wild, dangerous, ignorant, scruffy, unclean, pagan peoples of Ireland. He had used Patrick’s simple preaching of the Gospel, coupled with a life of service and sacrifice, to create a new people out of an old one – children of God out of the consorts of demons.

Pagans to saints. A miracle if ever there was one.

Does God still do such things today?

Know any pagans, any folk who have no acquaintance with God? Any people caught up in some form of idolatry and various dubious practices? Any who deny God? Do you believe the Gospel is the power of God for their salvation?

Patrick did, and he staked everything on that promise as he left the security of home and family, even against the pleading of his parents and the advice of his church, to return to the land of his captivity and bring the Gospel to the pitiful pagans of Ireland.

I want to cry out, like Elisha: “Where is the spirit of Patrick?”

I get the impression that Christians today don’t believe the Gospel the same way Patrick believed it, that it really is powerful, really can convert, really can transform a people and their culture, and that in a relatively short space of time.

If we did believe the Gospel in this way, would we not see more evidence of Kingdom power at work among the members of the Body of Christ?

And wouldn’t we be more fervent, consistent, and effective in sharing our faith with others?

And wouldn’t that result in more people coming to faith in Jesus? And more of His righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit being in evidence throughout our society?

Patrick came to his trust in the Gospel the hard way. He had to be torn away from everything familiar and comfortable and subjected to slavery for six long years before he would come to his senses and submit to the Lord.

Let us pray that God will revive us while we are yet free, before He leads us into a captivity like Israel’s from which we will only be released after many painful years of learning the power of God the hard way.

God is still converting pagans into saints in many parts of the world today. Wherever we sow the seed of the Kingdom, God honors those efforts, and the Kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven.

Patrick’s Personal Mission Field was pagan Ireland, and he faithfully sowed the good seed of the Kingdom there with astonishing results.

Each of us has our own Personal Mission Field. Pray that God will make you as faithful and fruitful in yours as Patrick was in his.

Now is the day of salvation, and the Gospel is the power of God for it.

For Reflection
1. How would you explain to another believer what a Personal Mission Field is and how we should work it?

2. Why should we believe that God is still today converting pagans to saints?

Psalm 107.1-3 (Faithfulness: Great is Thy Faithfulness)
Lord, You are good, we give thanks and we praise You!
Your steadfast love will forever endure.
Let the redeemed, who from trouble You rescue,
gather and say that Your mercy is sure!
  Lord, for Your wondrous works, and for Your steadfast love
  we give You thanks, we exalt Your great Name!
  We who from east and west, north and south gather,
  boldly redemption in Christ we proclaim!

Give me grace, Lord, to be faithful in making Your Good News known to those around me each day. Help me this day to…

Personal Mission Field Workshop

Check out our new weekly Personal Mission Field Workshop. Here’s a resource that can help you improve your walk with and work for the Lord every day.

In The InVerse Theology Project, we’re hearing Patrick tell his own story – in rhymed couplets! Check it out and all the other installments in that new series, by clicking here.

To become better equipped to shake off the lies of unbelief, download our free ReVision series, “The Lie.” Click here.

We thank God for you all!

Susie and I daily give thanks for all our readers. It is our privilege, together with the Board and Brothers of The Fellowship of Ailbe, to serve you with resources designed to enhance your life in the Kingdom of God. The Lord meets our needs by moving those we serve to share with us by their gifts and prayers. If the Lord moves you to give, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

T. M. Moore
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All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


[1] Da Paor, p. 104.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore