By Larry Sitz Kedron Church of Christ

Exactly what is a saint and what must one do to become one? Let us look at what one denomination says on the subject. First of all one must have lived a virtuous life. Next, one must have died at least 5 years before and went to heaven. Technically they believe that everyone who lives a virtuous life, dies, and goes to heaven is already a saint. To be designated a saint and so named, one must have done much more. To be named a saint by this denomination, one must show proof of a life of heroic virtue. Then a local bishop must investigate the candidate's life and writings to make sure they have lived a life of heroic virtue. Next a panel of theologians must evaluate the candidate, and if approved, the panel may proclaim the candidate "venerable." The next step, "beatification", requires evidence that the person has performed at least two miracles after death to prove they are in heaven, and can intercede for those still living. If these conditions are met, then the person may be considered "blessed", and only then may they be designated and named a saint for the living. This is the process by which one denomination determines who can be venerated as a saint for the living. This is strictly what man says about saints.

I thought I knew quite a bit about saints, but after doing some research throughout God's Holy Word, I learned a lot more. The word saint translated in Greek literally means "holy", and it appears 229 times in the Greek New Testament, and 96 times in the corresponding text of the English King James version of the bible. Let us look at what God has to say on the subject.

The requirements for becoming a saint are exactly the same as for becoming a Christian, since they are one and the same. The bible views every Christian a saint, as a holy one set apart for God's work. Ephesians 4: 11-12 teaches that spiritual gifts are given "to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ." According to scripture, clearly "saints" are ordinary Christians involved in the work and service of the church. Christians are called saints because they are called to live holy in this world, but set apart from the corruption of the world. Followers of Christ are to be holy. (I Cor. 1:2, I Peter 1:15-16) Every single instance the reference to saints is to all believers (Acts 26:10, Rom. 1:7, I Cor. 1:2). Never is the reference to a special group, or individual Christian, who serves God better than others. In the biblical view of saints they are almost exclusively referred to in plural form, "saints." The church is Christ's body, He is the head and the saints are the many parts of His body. Scripture makes it abundantly clear that all Christians are saints. The bible is also crystal clear on how to become a Christian, a member of the body of Christ, the one church that He promised to build (Matt. 16:18, Eph. 1:22-23, 4:4-6). First one must hear the gospel (John 6:45), one must believe the gospel (Mark 1:15), one must repent and turn from their sinful ways (Acts 17:30 ), confess that Christ is the son of the living God (Rom. 10:9-10). be immersed in baptism for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38), be added by God, to His kingdom, the church (Acts 2:47), and live faithful until death to receive a crown of eternal life (Rev. 2:10). Why not become a Christian today, live for God now, and live with God for all eternity?

We invite all who would, to come together with us each Sunday morning at Kedron on the Coopertown Road, Russellville, Kentucky, to worship God in spirit and in truth. We neither add to God's Word or take from it. Bible study at 10:00 and Worship at 11:00.