Saints Alive

“To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord…” I Corinthians 1: 2

The title saint has been distorted and in some circles lost its meaning all together. Some think they are persons who lived a long time ago and committed some meaningful or miraculous activity and have had their likenesses portrayed in stained glass or in an oil painting with a halo. Not!

If you are a Christian you are what the New Testament refers to as a saint.

Believers are “called to be saints.” (I Corinthians 1: 2) The meaning of the Greek text is you have been summoned to be a saint. The expression is kleetos hagiois which literally means you were summoned to salvation.

The word saint is never singular in the New Testament. It is used as a reference to the Christian community. The Scripture uses the term saints as a reference to all Christians. A saint is one who has heard the call to salvation and answered it.

This same Scripture refers to those who “call upon the name of the Lord,” literally “the calling ones.”

It speaks of those who use the authority on another as the basis of the call. This is easier described than defined. Suppose I go by a small store and purchase an item and ask to come by later and pick it up. Later I go by and have someone with me who I asked to go in and get it for me. They would say to the merchant, “Nelson Price asked me to pick it up for him.” That person would be calling on my name. Christians are those who have heard the call to salvation and answered it. When we pray in Jesus’ name we are calling on the Father in Jesus’ name. Saints have the right to do so.

Sainthood has two aspects: our standing and our state. Our standing is we are Jesus’ protectorate, we belong to Him. Our state relates to our conduct. Often our conduct is unbecoming of our standing in Jesus. This causes confusion. The world is more aware of our state than our standing. Our standing is mystical and our state observable. 

Observe yet another misunderstood term used to describe a Christian, “sanctified.” This term further describes saints, that is, all Christians. In modern parlance it has come to be misunderstood as being perfect. No one meets that standard. However, I still have the business card of the pastor of the Perfect Church in Atlanta who professed to be perfect. I would like to talk with his wife about that. 

Sanctified comes from the same root as saints. It means set apart, devoted to God, separated, and belonging to God. Stop and reflect upon yourself in light of those terms. Our standing as saints who are sanctified demands, and deserves our best for Jesus.