As Pope Benedict names seven new “saints”, we should be reminded what a real saint actually is.
Spoiler alert: It’s not what the Pope says it is (love that hat, though).
In the Bible, anyone who is a born-again believer in Jesus Christ is a saint.
This can be readily seen by looking at most of the epistles in the New Testament, and seeing the author address the Christians in the various churches as saints, for example:
“…to all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints…” Romans 1:7
“…to the saints who are in Ephesus…” Ephesians 1:1
“…to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi…” Philippians 1:1
1. “Saint” (Greek hagios) simply means “set apart one” or “holy one” (“holy” likewise means “set apart”).
2. All born-again Christians are “set apart” by God as His children and part of the Body of Christ, and are therefore saints.
3. The Roman Catholic Church has perverted the meaning to give special recognition to certain dead Catholics, and then perverted the “mediator” role of Jesus Christ by teaching that praying to those dead “saints” can get one in good with God. Nonsense.
4. Attempting to communicate with the dead is forbidden in Scripture, and some of the reasons are clear.
a. We are free to speak to and petition the Lord directly, indeed to come “boldly” before the throne of God through Jesus Christ. It’s absurd to think that going through some intermediate dead person is better than that.
b. The Bible specifically forbids consulting the dead, a practice called “necromancy”.
c. Demons can pose as spirits of dead people and engage in abominable interaction with gullible humans.
d. Sidenote: praying to Mary the mother of Jesus is no more valid than praying to any other dead person, though she was a godly woman used greatly by God.
5. We Christians should greatly rejoice in being “set apart” by God as saints.
Through the death of Jesus Christ for our sins, His burial and resurrection, all who believe in him are saved, set apart, and therefore saints of God.
We demean that wonderful truth by acknowledging that any man can “name some more saints”.
For a related article, see “Was Pope John Paul II A Great Spiritual Leader?”