Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity

Who Is A Saint?

Bob Walton

In a recent conversation with a lady who is a member of the Baptist church, she pointed out to me (and she was sincere about the matter)) that if one is a saint, sin is an impossibility. She thought of a saint as a person of almost superhuman purity and goodness. Many false concepts have arisen due to misunderstandings about the word saint. It is not my purpose to dwell on the different concepts of the word, but by going to God's book, we can determine who a saint is.

The word saint means "a holy one, one consecrated, and expresses a relationship to God as being set apart for his own." (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, (ISBE), p. 2661.)

"It should also be noted that while to be a saint is not directly and primarily to be good, but to be set apart by God as His own, yet the godly and holy character ought inevitably and immediately to result." (ISBE, pa. 2661).

There are several observations that can be made by reason of the fact that all the obedient are saints of God.

Called To Be Saints

Paul addresses his letter to the church at Rome as 'those beloved of God, called to be saints." (Rom.

1:7). The question arises: how were they called? Paul points out in another place that the Thessalonian brethren were "called by our gospel." (II Thess. 2:14). Therefore, this call is not through some miraculous manner such as the direct operation of the Holy Spirit, but is God's invitation to man to accept the benefits of salvation. All who have accepted this invitation offered in the gospel are "sanctified in Christ JESUS, called to be saints" (I Cor. 1:2).

As Becometh Saints

Since a saint is a holy one, set apart for God's own, the Word of God instructs one to live in such a manner as becometh saints. The Christians at Ephesus; are instructed "to be imitators of Christ; to be walking in love; and that fornication, uncleanliness, and covetousness are not to even be named among them, as becometh saints" (Eph. 5:1-3).

The word becometh in this phrase "denotes suited to a sacred character; that which is befitting in

persons consecrated to God" (W. E. Vine, p. 106). Certainly the need of the hour is for men and women who profess to be members of the body of Christ to live and conduct themselves "as becometh saints."

Love Toward The Saints

The Christians of the first century truly loved one another. This love was never cold and passive, but was always active and alive. They showed a real and sincere concern for one another and demonstrated such by their actions as we see set forth in so many scriptures, such as this :

"For this cause I also having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you, and the love which ye show toward all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers" (Eph. 1:15-16).

"For it hath been the good pleasure of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints that are at Jerusalem" (Rom. 15:26).

"But beloved, we are persuaded better things of you and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not righteous to forget your work and the love which you showed toward his name, in that ye ministered unto the saints, and still do minister" (Heb. 6:9-10)

No, a saint is not a perfect being, but is a Christian who should be striving hard for that goal. We having obeyed the gospel of Christ, need to ever realize that we are saints set apart for service unto God. May our every activity of life be exemplary of that sacred relationship we sustain to God.

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