Church of God, New World Ministries

What It Means To Be A Saint

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“Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. All the saints salute you, …” That’s the way the Apostle Paul expressed it in Philippians 4:21,22. This can mean “greet”, “embrace” or “draw together”. Many times I use the expression, “Greetings to you all”, which is a common way of saying “hello everyone”. I want to ask you a few questions. First of all, I want to focus on: to whom was the salutation addressed ? Why did Paul call these people “saints”? How do you become a saint? Would it make you feel a little uncomfortable to be called a saint? If it does, why? Is it because of our traditional concept or belief of what a saint is or should be? Do we human beings sometimes try to justify our misdeeds or shortcomings, by making statements like, “well I’m no saint, but I try to do the right thing?” Or “he thinks he is a saint, but he is no more perfect than I am.” Well, what about it - are we to act like saints or not? In fact, are we saints? What does it entail and what does God say about being a saint?

Today, I want to explain to you: “What it means to be a saint”

There is a widespread concept of how a person achieves “sainthood” or what qualifies one to be designated as a saint. The information I’ve read from various sources is totally wrong! First, I want to give you what I got from “U.S. News and World Report“, dated Jan. 11, 1999, entitled “Saint Makers”. This is information of how the major “Christian” religion, the Roman Catholic Church, recognizes just who is a saint. I quote: “All they need are two miracles (posthumous), connections in Rome ---and plenty of cash.” One more thing of interest I found was the title from a follow-up article on pg. 60, (ibid) entitled: “Worship of saints evolved over the ages.” Now, I want to give a few quotes from the “Encyclopedia Britannica”, dated 1962, from the article: “Canonization”. “In the early church there was no formal canonization.”; “Gradually the canonization of saints came to be included in the centralizing movement which reserved to the Pope the most important acts of ecclesiastical power.

The first acknowledged instance of canonization by the Pope is that of Ulric of Augsburg, who was declared a saint by John the XV in A.D. 993.” (Then the article goes into the common procedure of elevating a person to sainthood.) Finally it states: “The supreme judge in the matter is the Pope himself.” There is a lot of material on how sainthood is established, including the rites of canonization and beautification, which is similar, yet different in aspects. But basically, it is the belief that saints who died, are now with Christ in heaven, can be prayed to and receive intervention from them.

In the article, “Saint”(ibid), it states: “The saints, reigning together with Christ, pray to God for men. It is a good and useful thing to invoke the saints humbly and to have recourse to their prayers and to their efficacious help to obtain favors from God through His Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, who alone is our Redeemer and Savior.” But what does God have to say about these false ideas?

And they are false ideas of men! We can prove it by Your own Bible.

Let‘s ask the question, can the dead really help anyone?

Open your Bible (K.J.) to: Ecclesiastes 9:5,6,10 “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 6. Also their love and their hatred, and their envy are now perished; neither have they any more a portion forever in any thing that is done under the sun. 10. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”; Psalms 146:2 While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. 3. Put not your trust in princes, (human leaders) nor in the son of man, (mankind) in whom there is no help. 4. His breath goeth forth, (he dies) he returns to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. i.e. He now knows nothing! And, as any dead person, he can help no one, let alone assist Christ in answering prayers!!

How badly Satan has this world deceived! (Revelation 12:9) Christ said, “No man hath ascended into heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of man, which is in heaven.”(John 3: 13) Who are we going to believe, --- Jesus Christ or some deceived person in the Catholic Church? (And other churches, claiming to be representatives of Jesus Christ, have their “saints” and “icons”, which can mean sacred images of “saints”.) I think we should know the answer to that, if we have even an elementary understanding of God’s Word.

Let’s read and examine, just what is a real saint, according to the Scriptures. What does it involve?

  1. First of all, God must call you to be a saint or a Christian. John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draws him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (Also verse 65). Drawn or “called” to be what? Romans 1:6 “Among whom ye are also the called of Jesus Christ: 7. To all that is in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 1:2 “Unto the Church of God, which is at Corinth, to them that, are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours. 26. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.” II Corinthians 1:1 is addressed to: “---all the saints which are in Achaia.” II Corinthians 13:13 “All the saints salute you.” And all these saints were alive! Ephesians 1:1 “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.” 15. “Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,” 18. “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what is the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” ( Not “declared to be” or “canonized” by some pope!) This is just a small sampling of the fact that saints are those who are called of God to be Christians. The Apostle Paul refers to true Christians as Saints throughout nearly all his Epistles. (Also, other writers of the Bible have as well: Jude 3, Revelation 11:18; 13:7,10; 14:12 for instance.) The Scriptures we have referred to so far, (in the N.T.), and in the first area of sainthood, are all from the Greek word: “hagios”, which means, “set apart, separate or holy”, (from “Young’s Concordance“). (Another word closely associated with this terminology in the Greek, is “ sanctified”, from “hagiazo”. We hear this word in Christian dialogue, and whether the user is aware of it or not, it is a reference to being a saint.”) So you are “set apart” to be a Christian or to be a saint.

  2. Secondly, there are many advantages to being a saint. Early on in the Bible, where we find the word “saint”, is in I Samuel. We’ll begin reading in the first chapter of this Book where it gives the account of a woman named Hannah, who became the mother of Samuel, one of God’s greatest prophets. (excerpts) I Samuel 1:1 “Now there was a certain man ----, and his name was Elkanah, ---an Ephrathite: 2. And he had two wives; the name of one was Hannah,----: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. 3. And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there. 4. And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions: But unto Hannah he( Elkanah, her husband) gave a worthy portion (double); for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb. 11. And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and will not forget thine handmaid, but will give unto thine handmaid a man child, then will I give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head. 15. ---I have poured out my soul before the LORD. 27. For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I had asked of Him. 28. Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he (Elkanah) worshipped the LORD there.” Notice in this beautiful prayer by Hannah, Samuel’s mother, how she extols the LORD, (who later became Jesus Christ) and told of the many benefits or advantages of those who have the great privilege of being one of His saints. Remember that the LORD had answered her prayer to give her a son, whereas she had been barren. I Samuel 2:1 “ And Hannah prayed, and said, my heart rejoices in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. 2. There in none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. (read the other eloquent verses of her prayer.) 9. He will keep the feet of His saints, (protect them) and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. 10. The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall He thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and He shall give strength unto His king, and exalt the horn of His anointed.”

    Even back in the writings of Moses, when he was giving the blessing of the twelve tribes, he wrote of the LORD’S saints: Deuteronomy 33:2 “And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; He shined forth from Mount Paran, and He came with ten thousands of saints: from His right hand went a fiery law for them. 3. Yea He loved the people; all His saints are in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; every one shall receive of thy words.” ( This may have been a prophecy spoken of in the N.T. in Acts 7:37 “This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, a prophet shall the LORD your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall you hear. 38. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which God spake to him in the Mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us.” Do you want “good” things to happen to you? If you are one of God’s chosen saints, this is promised also. II Chronicles 6:41 “Now therefore arise, O LORD God, into your resting place, Thou, and the ark of Thy strength: let Thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let Thy saints rejoice in goodness,”; Psalms 37:38 “ For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not His saints; they are preserved forever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.”; Psalms 85:8 “I will hear what the LORD will speak: for He will speak peace unto His people, and to His saints: but let them turn not again to folly.” 97:10 “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: for He preserveth the souls of His saints; He delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.“ (Proverbs 2:8) Now remember, these saints being referred to here are of the Old Testament. My point is: They had long been dead when Christ said “no man hath ascended into heaven,---” So the “saints“ aren‘t in heaven, as the Pope says!

    The world at large does not have these real and precious promises! How thankful we ought to be, to even be considered to be a true saint of God. As God’s chosen saints, we are promised to have great joy in our lives. Turn with me further in the Psalms: Psalms 132:7-9;16, God’s anointed, King David, knew that His saints would have greata joy in thinking about the time when Zion would be the dwelling place of Jesus Christ and of His magnificent Government in the World Tomorrow! (Isaiah 2:1-3; Micah 4:1-3)

    What did Christ tell us in the N.T.?

    John 15:10 “If you keep My commandments , you shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My father’s commandments, and abide in His love. 11. These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”; 16:22 “ And ye now have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no man takes from you.”

    So what do these promises have to do with us, as living saints? EVERYTHING! This brings us to the greatest blessing of being called to be a saint at this time.

  3. The greatest blessing lies just ahead for God’s true saints. How we ought to rejoice and determine to remain faithful to our calling, when we contemplate our glorious future!! We will have the great honor of beginning to straighten out this rotten and corrupt world, that Satan has so deceived and misguided for 6000 years.

    Psalms 50:3 “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him. 4. He shall call from the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people. 5. Gather my saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.”; Psalms 149:5 “Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. 6. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand; 7. To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; 8. To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; 9. to execute upon them the judgment written: this honor have all His saints. Praise ye the LORD .”

So let’s conclude with the following thoughts in our discussion: Satan’s time is almost up! His kingdoms are going to be totally destroyed and replaced by the wonderful Kingdom of God and His glorified Saints. Daniel 7:27 “--The kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High,--” Christ’s true saints will join Him at His return to this earth: I Thessalonians 3:13 “To the end He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” Zechariah 14:5 “---: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. 9. And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and His name one. These are the same people spoken of in Revelation 20:4 “And I saw thrones, and they (the saints) sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, …; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”

There are many other Scriptures that describe the rewards of God’s chosen saints. The saints of God are not some dead persons who have been “canonized” by some Catholic Pope or any other religious group! But we now know what a blessing it is and what it really means to be a true Saint of God.

 
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