It is discouraging and a bit frustrating when a Bible word loses its meaning due to misuse of the word. The word “saint” is one such word. Unfortunately, one religious group has tainted the word to refer to a highly virtuous person who has died but was later canonized as a “saint.” Others think that only a perfect person is a “saint”—“What’d you expect! I’m no saint!”
But, aren’t you glad that Bible words have Bible meanings? A “saint” is another word for a Christian. The Greek word means “set apart for God, holy ones,” denoting children of God striving to be like their holy Father. Can you imagine being a Christian in the first century and receiving a letter addressed to the “saints” and to hear, “All the saints greet you” (Phil. 1:1; 4:22)? Or how about hearing that the Holy Spirit “makes intercession for the saints” (Rom. 8:27), or “the prayers of the saints” ascend “before God” (Rev. 8:3-4)? No, we’re not perfect! But, as a “saint,” we are set apart BY God and FOR God to become more LIKE God! What a great word!