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The word "saint" comes from the Greek word hagios, which means "consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious." It is almost always used in the plural, "saints." "…Lord, I have heard from many about this...
In the Old Testament "saint" is defined as "sacred, holy, Holy One, saint, set apart". In the New it is defined as "most holy thing, a saint". All who are truly born again, redeemed, saved are saints. Not because of any inherent righteousness but as believers in Christ's finished work we are declared saints, chosen and set apart for God's purpose.
All believers are saints. John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on His name. First John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know ye have eternal life. We are declared saints when we trust Jesus as our savior because we are born into Gods family at that point in time and are sealed by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13 Once we are sealed by the Holy Spirit we are a saint. So all believers, people who have at some point in their life believed the gospel, First Corinthians 15:1-4 that our sin debt has been paid in full, are declared righteous and are saints. John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath eternal life. All saints have eternal life because they have believed. A saint is not a sinless person. A saint is a born again person through the second birth by faith alone. Romans 4:5 We are declared saints the minute we trust Jesus as our savior and are born into HIs family. Second Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless, the foundation of God is sure, having this seal, (the Holy Spirit) the Lord knoweth them that are His, and let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. The Holy Spirit can never leave a saint. Hebrews 13:5 for He hath said, I will never leave you or forsake you.
Perhaps two scriptures that will help us to understand what the word " saints" mean are Daniel 7:18,21,22,27 and 1 Corinthians 6:1-4: "But the saints of the Most High [God] shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever" (Daniel 7:18 AMP). "As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them Until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High [God], and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom" (Daniel 7:21-22; AMP). "And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them" (Daniel 7:27 ESV). "When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life" (1 Corinthians 6:1-3 ESV). From these Bible passages, it is clear that the saints are Christians that will become rulers of, or in, the Kingdom of God. Jesus Christ, in Luke 12:32 referred to this group as the "little flock", whom the Father "has approved of giving the kingdom". Furthermore, the saints will, to use a popular parlance, be "raptured" to heaven, and will rule along with Jesus as kings in the Kingdom. (Daniel 2:44; 7:13,14; John 14:1-4). This is confirmed in Revelation 20:4-6. But what is the Kingdom? According to the Bible, it is the government that God has purposed to set up in heaven, under Jesus Christ as head King, and to be assisted by the saints of God, or the little flock. That government will take over rulership of the whole world, crush or put an end to all world governments, and bring good government, peace, justice, everlasting life to all the earth. All humans, which will be selected from all the nations and tribes and and languages of the earth, will live under the rulership, enjoy the rulership here on earth. Please read Isaiah 9:6,7; Genesis 22:17; Revelation 21:3-6. It is this kingdom that Jesus asked his followers to pray for to come and make God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9,10). Clearly, it is humans that will be on earth to do God's will. A well- coordinated study of the Bible will reveal that the saints of God constitute the Church; they are also the bride of Christ-compare Matthew 9:15; 2Corinthians 11:3; Revelation 21:2,9; they are the spiritual Israel and Anointed Christians. They are the " Jews" of Zechariah 8:23, whose job it is to lead in pure worship of God; and when combined with what Jesus said in the parable of sheep and goats in Matthew 25:31-46, we see that they are also the " brothers of Jesus " that people of the nations help and so are judged by Jesus as " sheep". If we appreciate that the apostles constitute the foundation of the saints of God, (in accordance with Luke 22:14, 28-30) it will become evident that not all Christians are saints. Apostles were selected from among the disciples, (Luke 6:12-13); therefore, while all apostles are disciples, not all disciples are apostles. Jesus Christ is the primary seed of the woman, while the saints are the secondary part (Genesis 3:15; Romans 16:20; Revelation 12:17). Similarly, Jesus Christ is the primary seed of Abraham, (through whom God promised to bless all the earth); the saints constitute the secondary part, (Genesis 22:18; Galatians 3:16, 26-29). God's blessing will be conferred on mankind by means of the Kingdom of God under the rulership of Jesus and the saints of God. One becomes a saint of God through the choosing by God himself. God anoints the chosen by means of his holy spirit.
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