In this article, we aim to explore the true meaning of saints and shed light on the identity of every follower of Jesus Christ. While the term "saint" is often associated with holiness and religious devotion, its biblical significance goes beyond mere external recognition. Through an examination of scripture, we will uncover the profound truth that every believer, regardless of their shortcomings, is called to be a saint and set apart for God's special purposes.
Position before God:
The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, reminds us that through our faith in Christ Jesus, we are granted wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. It is crucial to note that the word "sanctification" is closely related to the term "saint." Therefore, all those who identify with Jesus Christ by faith are considered holy before God. This status of holiness is not earned through our own efforts but is bestowed upon us because of what Jesus has done on the cross.
While our position before God is one of holiness, our daily lives should reflect this reality. In the book of 1 Peter, believers are urged to refrain from conforming to their former ignorance and instead strive to be holy in all aspects of their conduct. The call to holiness is grounded in the scriptural commandment found in Leviticus 11:44, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." As followers of Christ, our lives should mirror, albeit imperfectly, the moral purity of God Himself.
Transformation through the Holy Spirit:
When an individual turns away from their sins and places their trust in Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross, they become a saint—a "holy one" set apart by God for His special purposes. The Holy Spirit dwells within each believer, working to transform their lives and bring about a reflection of the ultimate Holy One, Jesus Christ. This transformation occurs through the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit, enabling believers to live out their identity as saints.
Why does the Bible call Christians "Saints"?
The gospel, as the power of God, is not merely a collection of information but a force that brings about transformation. Through the gospel, believers are not only saved from spiritual deadness but are also given a new identity. The scriptures describe the life of a believer in various ways, emphasizing the transformative nature of the gospel. By recognizing ourselves as saints, set apart by God's grace, we embrace our role as a holy priesthood and ambassadors of Christ.
The Family of God:
The gospel also highlights our new relationship with God as His sons and daughters. As a family, we are called to love and support one another, reflecting the unity and love of our Heavenly Father. Our interactions with fellow believers should be characterized by grace, forgiveness, and a genuine desire to build one another up.
The Role of Ambassadors:
Just as an ambassador represents the leader or nation they are sent from, believers are called to be ambassadors of the gospel. In every circumstance, conversation, and interaction, we are to embody the character and teachings of Christ. As ambassadors, our words and actions should reflect what the King would say and do if He were physically present.
In conclusion, the term "saint" carries a profound meaning beyond religious connotations. It signifies that every follower of Jesus Christ is set apart for God's special purposes, both in their position before Him and in their daily lives. Through the transformative power of the gospel and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, believers are called to live out their identity as saints, representing Christ in all aspects of their lives. Embracing this truth allows us to understand ourselves, relate to others, and fulfill our role as ambassadors of the good news of Jesus Christ.