The Saints – Who are they? & How does one become one?

First, what is saint?

Is a saint a person who has been given supernatural gifts from God, and has earned their place, with Him, in Heaven – according to Roman Catholic tradition? Or is a saint, someone who has been made a god by God, according to Catechism, Profession of Faith, 460?

The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature“:78 “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.”79 “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.”80 “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”81

In order to know what a saint is, it must be determined by the true source, which is Scripture. In the Old Testament, the Hebrews word for saint is קדש/Kodesh and קדוש/kä·dōshe’ It means, a sacred place, person, or thing; rarely abstract, sanctity, and is also used in reference to God. Its root word is קדש/Kaw-dash. It means, to be (causatively, make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally). Old Testament examples of these kind of people would be priests, such as Aaron.

…they envied Moses in the camp, And Aaron the saint of the LORD ~ Psalm 106:16

Also, the righteous people who will reign with Christ on the earth:

the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever. ~ Daniel 7:18

New Testament examples of saints are those who were called out of darkness into the kingdom of light, in Christ; both Jew and Gentile. Also, described as “called to be saints”.

To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Romans 1:7

giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love;  in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. ~ Colossians 1:12-14

you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. ~ 1 Peter 2:9-10

In other words, saints are servants of Christ. Also known as “Christians“.

The Greek word for saint is “ἅγιος/hágios/hag’-ee-os“. It means, sacred (physically, pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially, consecrated). Its root word is “ἁγνός/hagnós“, which means, venerable or sacred. 

How does one become a saint?

The Apostle Paul stated plainly:

…the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, ” ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” ~ Romans 10:6-13

And Jesus said…

…as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. ~ John 3:14-17

Therefore, understanding what a saint is, is not a complicated matter. Instead, it is very simple. A saint is a follower of Jesus Christ, and the evidence of sainthood is a life of holiness, righteousness, and loving obedience to Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love ~ Ephesians 1:3-4

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments… ~ 1 John 5:3

The saints are also labeled as “the elect“, “the church/ekklēsia/ek-klā-sē’-ä/out-called“, and “believers“…etc. These are just some of the many labels for saints. Yet, all of the labels refer to the same group of people, which are Christians.

Also, their place in Heaven is not achieved through merit, because salvation cannot be earned. Instead, it must be acquired through faith in the mercy of God, demonstrated through the sacrifice of his Son, for the sins of the world. It is a gift – freely given by God, because of his love for mankind. As the Scripture says…

…by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.  ~ Romans 3:20-26

Therefore, the followers of Christ are the saints, who will inherit the earth.

If we endure, We shall also reign with Him… ~ 2 Timothy 2:12

…You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth. ~ Revelation 5:9-10