Romans 1:1-7. The called of Jesus Christ, beloved of God, called "Saints".
1 Cor. 1:1-9. To them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus called "Saints".
Ps.37:28. The Lord forsaketh not His "Saints"; they are preserved forever.
WHAT IS A SAINT AND HOW DO YOU BECOME A SAINT.
Well, the appalling truth is, that Christendom, the so called Christian Religion, has totally perverted the truth concerning what a Saint is. Therefore, the common perception by the religious followers and the unbeliever alike are completely wrong. The veneration, adoration and worship of saints is called the cult of saints in the Encyclopaedia Britannica and covers two pages regards origin and present day practice. The general idea amongst Roman Catholics and any other unbelievers alike is that you live a religious life, receive holy communion twice a day, keep going to mass, fast, do penance and good works for charity and if at all possible leave your earthly goods to the Church. Of course, even after all that, you will need the approval of the Pope. He makes the final decision, for he needs to be convinced that the person to be canonized - to be made a saint - is not in purgatory or in hell. So the first step, as in the case of Mary McKillop, is to have her beatified. That means to declare (a dead person) by a decree of the Pope to be among the blessed in heaven and to deserve religious honour. After that she may be canonized - that means to be formally declared a saint and placed on the official list of saints.
But, we can afford to discard all such nonsense and embrace the clear teaching of the Word of God which is far superior to the fantasies of ignorant men.
So what does the Bible teach, what and who is a saint?
The whole number of the redeemed are called saints, equal holy ones in Jude 14. Every saved person is called a saint. Phill.4:21 Paul says: "greet every saint in Christ Jesus." and in 4:22 they receive greetings from other saints in Rome: "All the saints greet you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household". Every believer is a saint. In 2Thess.1:10 they are called His Saints and they are described as "them that believed". Notice it says: "His saints" - the holy ones that belong to the Lord Jesus Christ.
How then do you become a saint ? You must be saved.
You need to get used to these words. Saved - Saints. Salvation - Sanctification and what they mean. A person who is saved is one who is no longer under the penalty and punishment for sin. Instead of going to hell he is going to heaven. Therefore the moment he is saved he becomes a saint and is set apart by God and for God. Saint, sanctification and sanctify all have the same idea of being set apart. Like all the jars in you cupboard half filled with jam and mould ready to be thrown into the garbage but there is one you set apart that you want to clean up and use for sugar and keep. Salvation and Saint-hood are like twins, like Esau and Jacob. But one comes first. The moment you are saved you become a saint also but this order is not reversed. You can not have Jacob first and then Esau. You do not become a saint and then receive salvation.
Therefore, we will have to know about salvation. We must know how to be saved, and what it means to be saved. We must know how to receive salvation. Some people say you must believe. But what is it that you must believe ? Some people say you must believe in Christ to become a Christian and so on - there are 100 reds of opinions but you can discard all of them. It is evident that if you believe in the historical Caesar Augustus, Nero or Tiberius you do not become a Roman. Or, if you believe in Paris and Helen of Troy you do not become a Trojan, do you ?
Neither if you believe in the historical Jesus do you become a Christian. Have a made that clear enough.? Worse still - the Bible explicitly states that no one is saved by the will of man.
Read John 1:12+13. it says: "as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God."
Read it again - what does it mean. You must be born of God. You must be born again. How then does anyone actually get saved ?
We read of the Ephesians (Eph.1:13.) for instance, that they trusted in Christ, after they had heard the word of truth, the gospel of their salvation.
What then was preached to the Ephesians ? for we read in Romans 10:17 that faith cometh by hearing, and hearing the word of God. But what was this word of truth, what was this gospel of their salvation ? What did they believe and what did they receive that they were born again. ? It must have been specific. It must have been an extraordinary story to be believed. It must have been more than the story that someone called Jesus was born in Bethlehem. There are millions of people that believe the Christmas story as much as they believe that the world is not flat, but are not saved, born again or saints set apart for God.
This Morning I would like to use the Ephesians as an example as to how they were saved. Christianity came to Ephesus by a pair of Jews. Salvation came to Ephesus by a Jew. Salvation is of the Jews you have heard that one before ? In Acts 18:1 we see Paul the Apostle in Corinth where he found Aquila and Priscilla. They were Jews expelled from Rome by Claudias. Paul lived and worked with them because they also were tentmakers. Paul’s teaching had the result that they were saved and became Christians. These two, Aquila and Priscilla, were literally dropped off by Paul in Ephesus. But in Ephesus there was already somebody preaching the word of God in an eloquent way - his name was Apollos. Acts 18:25. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spoke and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. He too was a Jew and he spoke boldly in the synagogue - but when Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him unto themselves and expounded unto him the ways of God more perfectly. The result of that we read in Acts 18:28 He, that is Apollos, mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the Scriptures, (by the Old Testament) that Jesus was Christ.
This one word I like to hone into - Convinced. You know what it means to be convinced ? Absolutely certain - 100% sure. Not the slightest chance of mistake, and Apollos had them convinced that Jesus was Christ. Not this is Jesus Christ but that Jesus was Christ. Let me explain. You see most people have this idea that Jesus Christ is some sort of a double name like Simon Bar-Jonah. But that is evidently not true. You see the Jews in Ephesus already knew that Christ was the Messiah, the anointed one, the holy one of God, and they were waiting for Him. They knew that the Messiah was God manifest in flesh. Read Zachariah’s testimony in Luke chapter 1:76-78. This was an ordinary Jew and his understanding of the Messiah was that he was the Day-Spring from on High. The righteous Branch and King from Jer.23:5 who is called in Jer.23:6 THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. The Messiah’s title is Jehovah Tsidkeneu. Now the Ephesians also would have heard about Jesus, that false prophet, that impostor who claimed to be equal with God, who said he was the Son of God - but of course he couldn’t have been because the Jews in Jerusalem had him crucified and that proves it, he is dead and gone.
Now do you understand what these Ephesian Jews were asked to be convinced about ? That Jesus was Christ, the one and same person. And that he was risen from the dead. Remember Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart, (to be convinced) that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
And there is more, Aquila and Priscilla would have told them that this was God’s plan to send the Son of God and that he came to die for our sins according to the Scriptures. Then they would have gone through all the Old Test. Scriptures that spoke of Christ and how they were fulfilled by that man they thought was an impostor, that man called Jesus - until they were convinced.
Have you ever been convinced. Have you ever come to the conclusion that the work of the Son of God was for you. Have you ever come to the Son of God and received Him to be your Saviour ? Make no mistake for without Him you are lost.
Remember Salvation is God’s work for the believer.
Sanctification is God’s work in the believer.
So if you are saved you are a Saint. Destined for glory. You belong to God. Sin and Satan has no longer any claim on you. You belong to God forever. From the moment you are saved you are set apart ( a Saint ) for the service of God. The Moment you are saved you receive the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is the seal that marks you as the property of Christ and that you have been paid for. The Holy Spirit is the Earnest ( the down-payment) the guarantee of our inheritance. Read 1Pet.1:4. For the saints there is an inheritance in heaven reserved and God Himself is making sure we are going to get it because it says that we are kept by the power of God for that very purpose. Ps. 149. The Lord’s portion are his people. Ps.16:3 The saints, are his delight. Why has God done all this ? Eph. 1:12 Because we are the first who trusted in Christ.
Hackham South 10.8.1997