The Roman Catholic Church captured the world’s attention recently with the announcement that two former Popes were going to be “canonized“, or officially named as “saints“. While I agree that there are time when we should honor church leaders who have gone before us, particularly if they have made a significant contribution to our understanding of the Bible, true “sainthood” is not bequeathed by man. It is God who makes saints.
Two of the Apostle Paul’s favorite greetings to his readers are: “To the saints who are in...”, and “To those who are called to be saints, who are in…”. Paul was writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so his writings carry divine authority. He makes it very clear on numerous occasions that it is God who is calling his readers “saints“. Paul’s “saintly” greetings:
“To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:” (Romans 1:7)
“To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints...” (1 Corinthians 1:2)
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the church of God that is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia:” (2 Corinthians 1:1)
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:” (Ephesians 1:1)
“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons;” (Philippians 1:1)
“To all the saints and faithful brothers in Christ in Colossae:” (Colossians 1:2)
For many of us, being called a “saint” is counter to how we perceive ourselves. We know our own sin, and being called a “holy one” just doesn’t seem to fit, however our “sainthood” is not dependent on our own goodness. If you have read my other posts, it is easy to understand my own reticence at being called a “saint“, but because I am in Christ Jesus, I am a saint.
Are you a saint? Are you in Christ Jesus? If you are in Christ Jesus, you are a saint, declared to be a saint by God Himself. There is no greater declaration, and no higher Authority.