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What is a…
saint

According to God’s Word, a “saint” is a true believer and follower of Christ. True Christians are to be separated from the world and consecrated to God—one holy by profession and by covenant.

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons” —Philippians 1:1 ESV

“To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” —Romans 1:7 ESV

“…the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” —Romans 8:27 ESV

“…the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.” —Hebrews 6:10 ESV

The “saints” spoken of in the King James Version of Jude 1:14 are probably not the disciples of Christ, but the “innumerable company of angels” (Hebrews 12:22; Psalm 68:17), with reference to Deuteronomy 33:2.

“It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones” —Jude 14 ESV

The word “saint” is also used of the holy dead.

“The tombs also were opened.
And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised” —Matthew 27:52 ESV

“And in her [Babylon the great city] was found the blood of prophets and of saints,
and of all who have been slain on earth.” —Rev. 18:24 ESV

“Saint” was not used as a distinctive title of the apostles and evangelists and of a “spiritual nobility” till the 4th century. In that sense, it is not a scriptural title.

Prayers to dead saints—people canonized by the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church

The Bible reveals that being a saint has nothing to do with the Pope, and the word was not used in Scripture as a distinctive title or indicative of a “spiritual nobility” or miracles. Prayer is to be addressed to God alone, not to any human being or false god, to do otherwise is a form of idolatry.

Article Version: February 21, 2019

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