Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 135 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Romans 1 today and our focus is on Are You a Saint?  We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in  .  Thanks for listening!  Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\

Let’s discuss sainthood. How do you become a saint?  There are three main types of Saints in the Western world. #3, the New Orleans variety of football Saints – Alvin Kamara, Drew Brees, and Michael Thomas. We aren’t discussing those Saints today, and we especially aren’t discussing Michael Thomas because he tanked two of my fantasy football teams this year. If you want to be a New Orleans type  The second type of saint is the Roman Catholic flavor, perhaps the most famous kind of Saint in the world, sadly. I say sadly, because the Roman Catholic theology of sainthood and canonization is so thoroughly unbiblical that it is genuinely frustrating. To be a Roman Catholic Saint, generally speaking, you must have been dead for five years, you must have lived a life of heroic virtue (or died a martyr, or something closely related to that) and you must have two miracles attributed to you postmortem. Postmortem means after death, if you’re curious. How a deceased person can perform a miracle is an interesting question all it’s own, but apparently the Roman Catholics believe that deceased very virtuous Catholics can pray to God and get miraculous things done. When that happens twice, (or once…the Pope can waive the twice requirement), a dead Catholic is much on the way to sainthood. That Catholics view deceased people, particularly Mary, mother of Jesus, as able to mediate with God on their behalf is quite interesting, as there seems to be nothing in Scripture to suggest such a thing, and 1 Timothy 2:5 to contradict it, “There is ONE God and ONE Mediator, the man Christ Jesus.” But that’s not my biggest biblical problem with the Roman Catholic view of saints. My biggest problem with that view is found in our passage today, and dozens more like it. Consider Romans 1:7 “To all who are in Rome, loved by God, called as saints.

Paul addresses His letter to the church in Rome, calling the very much alive Christians there…saints! And this brings us to category #1 of Saints – the biblical category. How is the word ‘saint’ used in the Bible? Let’s look at a few uses:

  • Acts 9:13, ““Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem.”
  • Acts 9:32, “As Peter was traveling from place to place, he also came down to the saints who lived in Lydda. “
  • Acts 26:10 “I actually did this in Jerusalem, and I locked up many of the saints in prison, since I had received authority for that from the chief priests. When they were put to death, I was in agreement against them.”
  • Romans 12:13, “Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality.”
  • Romans 16:15, “Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.”
  • 1 Corinthians 16:1 “Now about the collection for the saints: Do the same as I instructed the Galatian churches.”
  • 2 Corinthians 1:1, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, and Timothy our brother: To the church of God at Corinth, with all the saints who are throughout Achaia.”
  • Ephesians 1:1, ” Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will: To the faithful saints in Christ Jesus at Ephesus.”
  • Philippians 1:1, “Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus: To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons.”
  • Philippians 4:22, “All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.”
  • Colossians 1:25, “25 I have become its servant, according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.
  • Jude 1:3, “Dear friends, although I was eager to write you about the salvation we share, I found it necessary to write, appealing to you to contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all.”

Now – the above doesn’t tell us exactly who the saints are, but it seems to be a pretty broad and general term, and several letters of the New Testament are addressed to the saints. At least two verses, however, do tell us precisely who the saints are:

  • 1 Corinthians 1:2, “To the church of God at Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called as saints, with all those in every place who call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord—both their Lord and ours.”
  • Ephesians 4:11-13  11 And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness.”

The saints are what Paul and other Scripture writers refer to Christians as. If you are saved by Christ – you are a saint! In fact, followers of Jesus are twice called ‘Christians’ in the Bible, a handful of times referred to as disciples, but probably most often called saints. You don’t have to die to be a saint. You don’t have to have miracles happen after your death when somebody prays to you to be a saint. (and I hope nobody prays to you or me when we die, because that is completely unbiblical and silly) You don’t have to have lived a life of heroic virtue, or be a martyr to be a saint – you are a saint if you are in Christ Jesus!

Let’s read our passage….

Bible Memory verses for the month of May: Matthew 28:18-20 18 Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”   

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