Summary: We are called by the Lord to be His saints. We are to let Christ’s light shine in our lives and hearts. According to the Bible a saint is someone who is sacred, holy, pure, blameless, and dedicated.
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:6
One day a man was walking through a beautiful church building with his 4-year-old son. As they walked, the young boy looked around. He stopped and was curious about the stained-glass saints windows that looked so beautiful with their bright colors. As he looked at the windows, he asked, Daddy, "Who are all the people in the windows?" "They are Saints," said the father. "What are Saints, daddy?” the kid asked.
The father was stuck. How was he going to explain who saints were to a four-year-old boy? As the boy was still looking up at the windows, and the father was still wondering how he would explain who saints are, the young boy suddenly shouted. "I know who saints are, daddy. They are the people that the light shines through." A saint is someone the light shines through.
Today, for All Saints Day, we will give thanks to the saints and celebrate their lives. Luke’s second book of Acts does not have a conclusion. The book does not tell us what became of Paul or the rest of the church. After the book of Acts there are numerous martyrs, apostles, disciples, believers, saints, popes, godly people, and followers of Christ who died for the sake of the Biblical faith. The only remembrance we have of them is through old text and biographies. Without understanding that past, we are unable to understand ourselves. The past still lives in us and it influences who we are and how we understand the Christian message. It influences how we understand sainthood.
All the words in both Greek and Hebrew that are used in the Bible and are translated into the word "saint" all have the same definition. According to the Bible a saint is someone who is sacred, holy, pure, blameless, and dedicated. Of course the word "holy" doesn't mean "perfect.” It means "set apart." Set apart to serve God. And the only way people can be "pure and blameless" is through the blood of Jesus shed on the Cross covering and washing away the stain of their sins. The Lord calls on saints to separate themselves from the world through their salvation, compassion, dedication, and dependence on the Lord.
I. CHARACTERISTICS OF A SAINT
Matthew 22:30 Jesus said to Sadducees, “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels of God in heaven.” The first martyr of Stephen, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”. Quite often, we think of saints in the same way we may think of angels. Or very well-known people from the past, such as Saint Francis or Mother Teresa or Saint Patrick. But in the Bible, a saint is simply a follower of Jesus Christ. They become saints by being born again by the Holy Spirit, which can only happen through God. The people described as saints, in the Bible, were still very much human. They were called, they were holy, and they were extremely dedicated. Dedicated in terms of attitude and in terms of being set apart from the world. But they were still real people, far from perfect. They were fishermen, farmers, tent makers, doctors, teachers, carpenters, former prostitutes, extortionists, outcastes, robbers, etc.
They were not without mistake and sometimes they disagreed with one another. They were not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. They were on a journey, the journey of following Jesus. They were on the journey of learning to be more and more like Jesus, which means, becoming more and more loving, and less and less judgmental. They were on a journey to become more and more accepting of others, and less and less condemning of others. The Bible states, only Jesus is Perfect, but understand His people were and are not perfect.
As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:12 "Now we see a reflection in a mirror; then we will see face-to-face. Now I know partially, but then I will know completely in the same way that I have been completely known". Just think of all the mistakes the Apostle Peter made or John or James. They learned throughout their journeys. They learned from their mistakes. They learned by allowing Christ to forgive them, by accepting Christ's forgiveness and moving on in Christ with love.
As Christ's followers are called to live in His salvation. His salvation separates us from this world and calls us to a higher purpose. Through God’s salvation, normal people have been called upon to be His saints. They are called to separate themselves from this world.