You Are a Saint

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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I am writing to God’s church in Corinth, to you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.

1 Corinthians 1:2

In yesterday’s reflection, I noted that all Christians are called by God. Today I will focus on one crucial aspect of that calling: You and I are called to be holy. In the classic language, we are called to be saints!

I expect your first response to this affirmation might be negative: “What? I’m no saint. Far from it, in fact. I’ll never be a St. Paul or a St. Peter. How can it be that God has called me to be a saint?” The answer to this question involves getting a clearer understanding of the biblical sense of sainthood.

For us, the word “saint” usually refers to someone of exemplary faith and service. But this misses the basic sense of the biblical language. Our word “saint” comes to us from the Latin word sanctus, which means “holy” or “holy one.” In the Greek of the New Testament, the word translated as “saint” is hagios. The NLT translates this word in 1 Corinthians 1:2 as “holy people” in the phrase “to you who have been called to be his own holy people.” The King James Version prefers, “called to be saints,” which is a literal translation of the Greek phrase kletois hagios. So all Christians are called to be saints, or holy people. But what exactly does this mean?

In biblical perspective, a holy person is someone who has been set apart by God for relationship with God and for joining God in his work in the world (see, for example, Exod. 19:4-6). What makes a person holy, or a saint, is not that person’s perfect life or sacrificial service. Rather, holiness or sainthood depends upon God’s choice and God’s call.

As Christians, we have been made holy by means of Christ Jesus (1 Cor. 1:2). This means that God, through Christ, has set us apart so that we might know God intimately and serve God with our whole lives. When we receive the good news of Christ in faith, not only are we saved, not only do we become Christians, but also we become saints, God’s special people. From the moment of our conversion onward, we are to live in close relationship with God and his other saints, serving him in all that we do. That’s what it means to be a saint . . . and that’s what you are!

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: When you hear the word “saint,” what connotations come to mind? How does the biblical understanding of sainthood and holiness impress you? If you really understood yourself as someone who had been called by God to be a saint, what difference would this make in your daily life?

PRAYER: Holy God, what an honor and privilege to be chosen to be a saint. How thankful I am that you have so graciously called me to know you and serve you. I realize this depends on your grace, not on anything I have done. Thank you for your amazing grace!

Help me, dear Lord, to see myself as a saint. No, I don’t mean that I should think of myself as some super-spiritual person. Rather, I need to see myself as someone who has been set apart by you for your special purposes. You have chosen and called me to belong to you and to join you in your work in this world.

O Lord, may I truly be a saint, growing closer in relationship with you each day and serving you in every facet of my life.

To you be all the glory, Holy God, who calls me to be holy as well. Amen.