What Is a Saint?

In light of the news that Mother Teresa has been approved for sainthood by Pope Francis, I would encourage you to read this article by Tim Challies. It is a short, understandable description of both the Roman Catholic process of sainthood as well as the Bible’s teaching on the topic.

I would draw your attention to his summary: “We are saints who have no need of saints. All who have believed in the gospel of grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone have already been declared saints by God (see Romans 1:1-7, 1 Corinthians 1:1-3, 2 Corinthians 1:1-2, and Ephesians 2:19-21). We are God’s holy people, called by him and to him. Jesus Christ is the full and final mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5) who invites us to confidently approach the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16) believing that his Spirit is already interceding on our behalf (Romans 8:26-27). We are the saints of God who have no need for the intercession of saints who have gone before.”

This is truth that we should never forget. It should cause us to rejoice. If you have repented and believed, then you are a saint – a holy child of God set apart by Him and for Him. He has called you out of the world and brought you out of darkness into light, and now – like the tribe of Levi in the Old Testament – you are able to come directly into the holy places of God and serve the Lord. By His grace – apart from your works – God has made you a saint.

This truth should also cause us to strive for holiness. We should be holy because God is holy, and He has called us to be holy. We should strive with all we have to be what He has declared us to be. When we see Him, we will be like Him, and if we truly believe that, we should purify ourselves now (1 John 3:2-3).

And this truth should cause us to love Christ more. He is the One who intercedes for us and has opened the curtain of heaven so that we might come in. We have confidence to enter the holy places because of the blood of Jesus. That blood is enough. That blood is all we need. And that blood is ours by grace through faith.