We live in a world that idolizes the idea of perfection. Most people have bought into that deception; as a result, when they make a mistake and miss the mark, they fall into guilt and self-condemnation. However, in God’s eyes, saints aren’t perfect, just forgiven. God’s definition of a saint is the complete opposite of the religious definition.
Religion defines a saint as someone who has died, been canonized posthumously, and has the ability to intercede for someone on the earth. The truth is that getting born again makes us saints without us even having to die first. The decision to accept Jesus Christ brings us into God’s family and makes us His called, chosen people. “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints…” (Romans 1:5-7). When we make Jesus our Lord and Savior and place our full trust in Him, we become saints.
Worldly attempts to describe sainthood may sound religious, but they contradict the truth. Correctly dividing the Word of Grace in this area clears up any misconceptions. Saints are godly, but only Jesus has the ability to intercede with God on behalf of man. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). Understanding this takes pressure off of us to perform and try to do things we were never meant to do.
There’s no such thing as “a sinner saved by grace.” Our identity is in who God says we are, not in what we do. When we sin, we don’t automatically become “sinners” again, because our old, sinful natures are dead. Remembering this allows God to pick us up when we fall and set us back on our feet so that we can continue moving forward. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT).
Not only are we made in God’s image, as saints we’re actually His children. The knowledge of who we are, and whose we are, brings us a joy that the world will never have. “Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness” (Psalm 30:4). Our heavenly Father has accepted us unconditionally and made us as holy as He is. Even with the full knowledge that we’ll continue to fall short from time to time, He has chosen to love us and never leave us.
Our prayers bring us into God’s presence. We can go before Him just as we are, with all of our issues, imperfections, and struggles. He loves when we talk with Him openly and honestly; hearing from us is like a sweet fragrance to Him. “And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints” (Revelation 5:8).
God takes great joy in His people. Being His sons and daughters here on earth makes heaven our final destination. “But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight” (Psalm 16:3). Religious works aren’t important at all to God. Having faith in His Son transforms us into saints, with no waiting required.