Read: Colossians 1:1-2

Many people are used to calling someone ‘saint’ after that person’s death and on the basis of their assumption that their prayers through that ‘saint’ were answered. It is probably not a name we would use for ourselves, but Paul the apostle often called believers “saints” in the New Testament (Eph. 1:1; Col. 1:2). Did he call them saints because they were perfect? No. These people were human and therefore sinful. What then did he have in mind? The word ‘saint’ in the New Testament means that one is set apart for God. It describes people who have a spiritual union with Christ (Eph. 1:3-6). The word is synonymous with individual believers in Jesus (Rom. 8:27) and those who make up the church (Acts 9:32).

Saints have a responsibility through the power of the Spirit to live lives worthy of their calling. This includes, but is not limited to, no longer being sexually immoral and using improper speech (Eph. 5:3-4). We are commanded to put on the new character traits of service to one another (Rom. 16:2), humility, gentleness, patience, love, unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:1-3), obedience, and perseverance during hardship and suffering (Rev. 13:10; 14:12). In the Old Testament, the psalmist called saints “the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight” (Ps. 16:3).

Our union with Christ makes us saints, and that is why Paul the apostle used the phrase “In Christ” in almost all of his letters. Moreover, our obedience to God’s Word through the power of the Holy Spirit makes us saintly.

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