It happens often after a loved one has died. As people talk about their loved one, they may begin by saying, “(S)he was no saint, but...” Then they will go on to list and explain all the good things this person had done in his/her life.
Have you ever wondered what is meant by the word saint? Although this word has been used in many different ways, the basic meaning of the word is this: a saint is someone who is holy or perfect.
Does this describe you? Could anyone claim to be a saint? Yes, I can, and so can every Christian.
But how can I say that? The Bible tells us that we are all sinners, and therefore not perfect. Think about the words that the Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, “There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:22-24).
So how can I claim that we are saints? Even though none of us can claim to have never sinned, Christians can rightfully claim to be perfect. Not because they lived a perfect life, but because Jesus lived a perfect life for them. Through Jesus their sins have been paid for. They are forgiven. Their sins are gone. Therefore, in Jesus, everyone who has faith in him is perfect. They are saints.
That is why the Apostle Paul was able to begin his letter to the Romans with these words, “To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:7).
Christians, rejoice! Through faith in Jesus, your sins have been washed away. You are forgiven. Therefore, even though you don’t always live like it, you are a saint.
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