What constitutes being a "Saint"?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Major, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. What is a saint. Do we have to do miracles to be a saint? Do we have to die to be a saint.

    Is there any Biblical information that might give us a clue?


    Acts 9:13 (ESV)
    13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. "

    Acts 9:32 (ESV)
    32 Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda".
  2. #2 KingJ, Sep 25, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
    A saint is simply the opposite of a sinner.

    This discussion will be about title. But, it shouldn't be as we are given a higher title when referred to as a royal priesthood in 1 Pet 2:9.
  3. According to Thayer's and Gesenius's Lexicons....

    Hagios in the Greek implies "Those worthy of regeneration", "Set apart for God", etc....
    In Hebrew - it's "Chaciyd" - kind, faithful, godly, pious....

    When you go back to this - the term in my mind is much more down to earth.... Kinda like separating believers from non-believers.....
    Heart_for_Christ, svdbyJesus and Major says Amen and like this.
  4. Agreed!
  5. Does the word..."Sanctification" come into play????
  6. #6 Roads, Sep 25, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
    According to http://catholicism.about.com/:


    I can understand what compels any person to want to honour excellence. Protestants sometimes have their own denominational-specific "saints," even if they don't have an official title for it (Calvin, Luther, Menno Simons, Willam and Catherine Booth, etc). While I don't necessarily mind that these individuals are being honoured, I am a little uncomfortable with a title being used to officially distinguish them from other Christians...

    When the NT believers tried to honour Paul, he simply told them:

    1 Cor 4

    I know some people will suggest that a denomination may officially name people with a title like "saint" simply to recognize that God has definitely judged them as worthy. But I think Paul's teaching here to "do not go on passing judgment before the time" is a healthier option: that we simply recognize that no one knows anyone's heart except for God, and no one speaks for God in terms of knowing how He has judged anyone. It's just the safer option for is to "learn not to exceed what is written" (v6).

    I've been rolling with the Salvos crowd for a while now, and I've learned a lot from them, but there is this tendency to constantly eulogize the Booths... it gets a bit much for me sometimes. I think it's great if we have role models. But ultimately, I'd prefer it if we could simply regard "eminent examples of the moral virtues" simply "as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God," as Paul instructs (v1), and not seek out ways to officially or unofficially class or title them separately from other believers.
    C1oudwatch3r, Major and KingJ says Amen and like this.
  7. It's not showing up in any of my concordance tools... so I can't say for sure.....

    I think I know what most people use it to mean.....
  8. JohnC, "Sanctification" comes from the verb sanctify. Sanctify originates from the Greek word hagiazo, which means to be "separate" or to be "set apart."

    In the Bible, sanctification generally relates to a sovereign act of God whereby He "sets apart" a person, place, or thing in order that His purposes may be accomplished. In the book of Exodus, God sanctifies a place of worship. "And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by My glory," says Exodus 29:43. Even a day can be sanctified as seen in Genesis 2:3 where the seventh day is "set apart" as a holy day of rest. "Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made."
    - See more at: http://www.allaboutfollowingjesus.org/sanctification.htm#sthash.pczgVBPh.dpuf
  9. I agree as usual with your comments.
  10. Thanks...

    I would assume that since "Saint" and "Sanctify" are from the same greek root - thus by extension - "Sanctification" as well - then, to answer your previous question - Yes, it is related.....

    A Saint is one set apart...
    Sanctify is to set apart
    Sanctification is the process of setting apart....
    Major likes this.
  11. That sounds logical to me but I am just an old country boy, so what do I know...right?
  12. King J said it very simply, and I think rightly, that the opposite of a sinner is a saint. A saint is an ordinary person who lived an extraordinarily holy life. Many of them suffered greatly, but because of their response, they chose the high road in doing God's will despite their difficulty in doing it.

    One does not become a saint by doing miracles. Technically, no one can really even do miracles except for God (though miracles can take place through people--like it was for Moses).

    Beatification of saints is tied to investigation of miracles through intercessions of those who have died, beatification also isn't a first step in MAKING a saint as it rather a first step in RECOGNIZING a saint. Pope Saint John Paul II was recently officially proclaimed as a saint, but his being a saint didn't begin when that happened -- it began long before that. His being regarded as a saint was a recognition of what already was.

    There aren't too many verses on saints. Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 14:33, Hebrews 12:1, Revelation 5:8, etc.

    Based on Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, and other church teachings, there is both an official and unofficial explanation for a saint. A saint can be someone who IS living a holy life in service to God and to others. That's the unofficial title. The official title is someone who HAS lived a holy life and is now with God in heaven.

    By 100 AD (or probably before), Christians have honored saints in asking for intercession, and this came directly from Jewish tradition long before Christianity.

    We're all called to be saints.
  13. I understand and agree with you. Now how are you going to convince the other Catholic believers of what you just said?
    Big Moose likes this.
  14. I disagree that a 'saint' is the opposite of a sinner: since all of us "saved" 'saints' are but sinners saved by grace.

    A 'saint' might be better defined as someone with faith in the One True God and His Son Jesus Christ pursuing holiness through the Word and Holy Spirit...(still a sinner saved by Grace).
    svdbyJesus likes this.
  15. By definition a Saint is one who has ascended into heaven. I don't know how the words in Greek were translated, but this is at least the definition today.

    Most of the time Saints were canonized only if they showed great piety, virtue and were faithful up until death, because these were the most likely candidates to have attained paradise. Martyrs were incredibly likely to be canonized.
    PeaceLikeaRiver likes this.
  16. However, at death, if one is saved, they are a saint, if not they are "locked" as a sinner. So, I think it is accurate to contrast a saint to a sinner.

    However, I disagree that anyone is, or can be, a saint before death, as God has not yet declared them as such. Although, I suppose in a very rare circumstance someone could attain theosis prior to death, but that is highly theoretical.
  17. Well when we 'die to sin' through Christ in this life; we start the transition into the Kingdom. Since then the 'kingdom of heaven is within us'; 'God/ Christ is in us' via the Holy Spirit, "Sainthood" is not for the dead-but of the living "In Christ". We are called as "Christians" to be the Saints of 'this earth' until the Second coming of Christ. Being the salt and light to the lost. We are called to be 'Holy, for Christ is Holy' in this life-or at least to pursue holiness while in this flesh. What good are dead 'saints' to the lost who need to here the truth of salvation? What good are 'saints' doing living among other saints in heaven? At that point the work is finished in our lives as Christ finished the work on the cross and ascended to heaven...

    We are called to be Saints in the here and and now; that title is insignificant after the judgement... 'I am = we are' because of Jesus Christ.
  18. God love ya brother but what you are saying is the Catholic definition of "saint" not the Biblical or even the dictionary's definition.

    Dictionaries - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Saints
    Saints [N]
    The word "saint" is derived from a Greek verb (hagiazo [aJgiavzw]) whose basic meaning is "to set apart, " "sanctify, " or "make holy."

    Saints, in the New Testament, are never deceased individuals who have been canonized by the church and given sainthood. They are living individuals who have dedicated themselves to the worship and service of the one true God as revealed through his Son, Jesus Christ. Even the children of such parents are called "sanctified" ( 1 Cor 7:14-15 ). That is, they are considered undefiled by paganism if at least one of their parents is a Christian. All saved are sanctified, but not all sanctified are saved.

    On occasion, when discussing the atonement, Paul carefully differentiates between Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians, calling the former saints and the latter believers. It was the saints, the holy people of God in the Old Testament, who brought the Messiah and redemption into the world, eventually extending the blessings to the Gentiles.

    This usage may be seen in 1 Corinthians 1:2, which is addressed to "those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy [saintsJewish Christians], together with all those [Gentiles] everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus ChristLord and ours." The same distinction is made in Ephesians 1:1: "to the saints [Jewish Christians] in Ephesus and the faithful [Gentiles] in Christ Jesus." Colossians is also addressed to "the holy and faithful brothers" in Christ.

    Blessing to you!
  19. What I'm reading from this thread is that there are two understandings of the word "saint," just as there are two understandings of the word "baptism".

    Interesting because when I go into Google and look for a definition the first thing that comes up is the "Catholic" (but also Lutheran, Orthodox, Episopalian, etc.) definition which is:

    noun: saint; plural noun: saints; noun: Saint
    a person acknowledged as holy or virtuous and typically regarded as being in heaven after death.
  20. I follow a blog by a Bible scholar named Jimmy Akin.
    I suspect there will still be disagreement on the definition, but he did a good job at going through what a saint is, and how the word "saint" has been used since there have been multiple uses for it...

    Q: What is a saint?

    A: The meaning of the terms for “saint” in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin is “holy one.” Thus the most basic meaning of “saint” is someone who is in some way holy, sanctified, or consecrated.

    Q: That covers a lot of ground doesn’t it?

    A: Yes it does, as does the range of the term “saint” in the Bible-a fact which is normally obscured in English translations and which we shall discuss below.

    Q: What are some examples of how the term “saint” is used in Scripture?

    A: In Scripture the term “saint” is used in the following ways:

    • to refer (indiscriminately) to Jews
    • to refer (indiscriminately) to Christians
    • to refer to notably holy people
    • to refer to those in heaven
    • to refer to holy angels
    • to refer to Jesus
    • to refer to God

    It thus has a very broad range of meaning. Often this makes it difficult to catch the precise nuance with which it is being used in a given passage, but the above usages can be positively verified in given passages.

    The article continues and he gets into each version of the word "saint" with Scripture and historical accounts, but I thought it was pretty interesting.

    You can read the entire article here ---> http://jimmyakin.com/what-is-a-saint

    Whether you agree or disagree, it's an interesting look at how the word has been used.

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