“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus Christ,” Revelation 14:12.
The word ‘saint’ is derived from the Greek verb ‘hagiazo’ whose basic meaning is ‘to be set apart, sanctify, or make holy.’ In the history of the Old Testament belief, the idea of holiness or separateness was inherent in the concept of God. God was unapproachable in the tabernacle or temple by ordinary people, being accessible only to the priests and only under carefully specified conditions. His presence dwelled in the Holy of Holies or the Most Holy Place, the most remote and inaccessible place in the wilderness tabernacle and later in the Jerusalem temple. Only the high priest was allowed to stand in God’s presence in this area, and then only once a year at Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).
This sacred place was further separated from the ordinary Jewish worshiper by another room called the ‘Holy Place,’ which could be entered only by the priest. The intent was to impress upon the people the utter holiness and sacredness of the God they worshiped, as well as the necessity of their being set apart or sanctified as saints in his service. The idea of the separateness of God and his people is carried forward in the New Testament, which was written by Jews who interpreted God’s covenant with Israel through the teaching of Jesus Christ. Those who were dedicated to the teaching of
Christ were frequently called saints. Six of Paul’s letters to the churches are addressed to the saints.
“To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ,” Romans 1:7.
“To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” Colossians 1:2.
“Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi with the bishops and deacons,” Philippians 1:1.
Saints, in the New Testament, are never deceased individuals who have been canonized by the church and given sainthood. They are living individuals who have dedicated themselves to the worship and service of the one true God as revealed through his Son, Jesus Christ. Even the children of such parents are called ‘sanctified.’
“For the husband is sanctified by the wife, and the wife is sanctified by the husband: and your children are made holy,” 1 Corinthians 7:14.
How do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as a saint that Paul addresses in his letter to all the Christians in Roman, beloved of God, who are called to be saints (Romans 1:7).
Let us make sure that we are the saints “filled with all the fullness of God,” “filled with the Spirit” and “filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory of God.” Saint5s live a full and overflowing life that is ready to touch the world as a “saint of the most holy and true God.”
(Dr. Monterey D. Lee, Sr. is the pastor of Celebration Christian Center located at 1215 9th Ave. N, Nashville, Tenn. 37208. Visit www.celebrationchristian.online.)