SAINTS

Mike Johnson

 There is a great deal of misunderstanding about the term “saint.”  Some think of the term in connection with receiving a second blessing from God which makes a person “sanctified” and incapable of sinning.  Still others say that after a person has been dead for a number of years, he may be voted into “sainthood.”  Both of these theories are contrary to God’s Word.  Most people have a misunderstanding about the teaching of God’s Word about what a saint actually is.

The Greek term translated “saint” is also commonly translated “holy” in the New Testament.  The basic idea of the word is “to set apart in the service of God.”  Thayer, in his Greek Lexicon, defines this term (hagiois) as one who is “set apart for God, to be, as it were, exclusively his. . . .”

The term “saint” is actually used in the Bible to refer to all who are Christians.  Like the terms disciple and believer, it is used numerous times in the New Testament (KJV) and describes those who make up the body of the Lord.  Although believers are to be devoted to God, and they are to avoid sin, the term is not applied to Christians of exceptional holiness.

Consider a few passages in the New Testament where this word is used.  In I Corinthians, we learn that the Christians who made up the congregation at Corinth were called saints (1:2; 6:1-2; 14:33).  The book itself, as well as the book of Romans, was addressed to those “called to be saints.”   Further, Acts 9:13 speaks of evil being done to saints; Romans 15:26 speaks of the needy saints at Jerusalem; the church at Ephesus was commended for their love unto all of the saints (1:15).

Are you a saint?  If you are not, you need to be one.  You do not have to first die to become one either; you do not have to live a perfect life; you do not have to perform miracles.  Instead, you must become a Christian.  This can be done by believing (Jn. 3:16), repenting (Acts 2:38), confessing Christ (Rom. 10:10), and by being baptized (Mk. 16:16, I Pet. 3:21).  Why not obey God today?