Ponderings: Called To Be Saints

I was leading a workshop in a church in the midwest.  I announced that my subject in the session was going to be, “called to be saints.”  A man sitting near me up front spoke up and said, “Well, I’ll tell you one thing for sure, I’m no saint!”

I could not have asked for a better introduction to the workshop.

The man put into words what most of us think.  We have turned the word “saint” into a category all its own.  Thinking of it like an airplane ticket, we imagine that the saints fly First Class, while the rest of us fly Coach.  But this is completely the opposite of what the Bible teaches.  Every Christian is a saint, because the only thing a saint means is to be a person who is consecrated to Christ.

In some places, when Paul uses the word “saint,” it’s when he doesn’t know the names of the actual people who will be reading his letters.  “Greet the saints” (for example) is his way of saying, “Tell all the believers, hello for me.”  If you are a Christian, you are saint.  The only question remaining is, “What kind?”

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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