ESV - 25 At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints.
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As translated by the New International Version of the Bible, the word "saints" (which is used in Romans 16:25 in the English Standard Version) is rendered instead as "the Lord's people", or, in other words, the Christian community at Jerusalem -- former Jews who had converted to Christianity. Paul was going to Jerusalem to give the Christians there contributions that had been collected and entrusted to Paul by other churches that Paul had visited in his travels, in order to assist the Jerusalem church in a time of need. As used more broadly by Paul in his epistles, the term "saints" (meaning ones who have been sanctified, or set apart, for service to God) applies to all Christians everywhere -- whether Jew or Gentile. Their sanctification indicates that, by virtue of being Christians, they are "in the world", but not "of the world" (that is living in the world, but no longer a part of the "world system", which is generally characterized by godlessness and immorality). When used in this manner, the word "saint" applies to any Christian -- not just those individuals whom one or more church bodies have designated as saints (such as St. Paul, St. Peter, and so forth) because of their dedication to Christianity, or because of meeting certain specified criteria (such as those established by the Roman Catholic Church) for being formally given the title "Saint".
As I had just read something about those who pray to the "saints" using novenas, I had begun meditating on the truth through His Word, that we as believers in Christ Jesus, who are in Him as He is in us, walking by faith & not by sight, are all "saints." I thought to answer this question was timely. To begin, the word "saint" is from the Greek word "hagios" which is translated as "holy" over 160 times in the NT. And in Romans 1:7, Paul begins his letter to those in Rome saying, "To all who are in Rome, beloved of GOD, called to be saints," that is, that they, like us, were set apart to be holy. Obviously, he is not addressing all the people in Rome, NO, just those who are born again believers in Christ Jesus. To those he calls "saints." We were set apart by Christ the moment we believed! The transformation from sinner to saint was instantaneous. We went from death to life in that same instant, filled with His Spirit, we were translated into the kingdom of Christ (Col 1:13). I love that word "translated" (KJV) Not just used as a word to describe one language changed to another, but as one who was lost now found! We were moved from death to life. Our bodies, souls & spirits were quickened as we were translated, we were moved from being spiritually dead, en-route to an eternity apart from GOD our Maker, to spiritually alive & on our way to heaven! What a glorious thing! What a magnificent moment! The phrase "to (unto) the saints" is used in Acts, 2 Cor., Eph., Col., Heb., & Rev. If we are true followers of Jesus Christ, we have been set apart as "saints." Not as the world may think of a saint, as one venerated as a saint by some church, to a place of worship to be prayed to. But as a saint in Christ Jesus, set apart to & in Him. Made holy, clothed in His righteousness. Some may pray to various "saints" who have been given that distinction by men. But the sainthood of true Christians, those who are born again, is from GOD through Christ. And we know in Whom we believe, knowing too that we are "sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise." Ephesians 1:13 Matthew Henry refers to Paul's epistle to the Romans, as an "epistle from heaven to earth." And we would do well to read the book of Romans often! Over 60 times the word "saint(s)" is used in the NT. Use your concordance, and take time to do a word study, looking up each verse. It is wonderful to read all that is said about GOD's chosen "saints."
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