WHO IS A SAINT?
The answer to this question must be from the Bible because God alone has the right to state the qualifications for sainthood. When we say the Bible has the answer, we do not mean merely the Protestant
Bible, but the Roman Catholic Bible as well. Every Bible teaches the same on this subject, if we confine ourselves to the text itself.
A saint is not a person who is now dead and declared such by a religious organization because he did so many good works and performed miracles while he was alive on this earth. First, no one can do more
good works than God requires – “When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10). In the light of these plain words from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ, how can anyone say that any person can do more than God requires?
It is impossible for a man to fulfill God’s holy law because man is a sinner by nature and practice. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). In the text of Luke 17:10 our Lord is speaking to the apostles who had believed on Him as the Son of God; even the apostles could not do works of supererogation, i.e., more than Christ required. So if the apostles could not do more than God commanded, how can any person today do more?
Second, if the performance of miracles is necessary to become a saint, then no one can qualify today because there are no miracles being performed today, as recorded in the Bible. Notice what Christ
commanded the apostles to do in Matthew 10:8. “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely ye have received, freely give.” No one today can do the miracles listed above. It is true that some claim they can, but their claims have proven fraudulent. The sign gifts of the New testament have passed away (1 Corinthians 13:8). The Apostle Paul tells us that “lying wonders” will be performed to support a false worship (2 Thess. 2:9) Satan has been supporting a false worship by means of lying wonders ever since the magicians opposed Moses back in Pharaoh’s palace (Ex. 7:10-12). The climax of satan’s religious deceit will be in the future when the Antichrist will be reigning on this earth. (Rev. 13:13-15).
No, a sinner does not become a saint by performing more good works than God requires and by performing miracles, but by faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross. The great word of true Christianity is, “It is finished.” (John 19:30). This word was spoken by Christ from the cross after He had suffered for our sins and completed the necessary payment for sin that a holy God demanded. In the six hours Christ was on the cross, He fully satisfied the demands of a holy God which we could have never satisfied even if we has
suffered in hell forever. “He shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied, by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:11). If God the Father says that He is satisfied with the work Christ did on the cross, then every human being should be satisfied. Yea, woe to the person who has the audacity to deny that Christ made complete satisfaction for all sins, past, present, and future of the true believer (Galations 1:8 & 9).
The book of Hebrews teaches that Christ is the only High Priest whose once for all sacrifice makes the believing sinner a saint; i.e., makes him holy in the sight of God, “Jesus also, that He might sanctify (make saints, make holy) the people with His own blood suffered without the gate.” (Hebrews 13:12). Our Lord willingly went to the cross for our sins, and through the act of His will in dying; believers are made holy, “By the which will we are sanctified (made saints), through the offering of the body of Christ once for all
I have spoken to people about their eternal destiny and some have said, “Well, I would not call myself a saint.” I have replied, “You better if you want to be in God’s heaven.” If we are not a saint before we die, we never will be one after death. The New Testament epistles were written to living people who were addressed as saints by the apostles. Notice several instances: “Called to be saints.” (Romans 1:7). “To the saints at Ephesus.” (Ephesians 1:1). “To all saints.” (Phillipians 1:1). The Apostle Peter wrote to those who were “Elect according to the God the Father through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:2). These people were once lost, guilty sinners, but had been washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11).
Thus we see from the Bible who is a saint. According to the Bible the writer of this article is a saint by the grace of God having been made holy, not by works, but by the cleansing power of the blood of Christ. You too can become one of God’s saints in the same way.
Donald C. Elifson
Computers for Christ – Chicago