As for the saints who are on the earth,
“They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.” (Psalm 16:3)
Whom does the bible call saints?
Notice these ‘saints’ who are on the earth not in heaven…..
Biblically, you don’t become a saint when you die and go to heaven. You are called a saint when you are on the earth.
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 man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem” (Acts 9:13). “Now as Peter was traveling through all those regions, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda” (Acts 9:32). “And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons …“ (Acts 26:10). There is only one instance of the singular use, and that is “Greet every saint in Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 4:21). In Scripture there are 67 uses of the plural “saints” compared to only one use of the singular word “saint.” Even in that one instance, a plurality of saints is in view: “…every saint…” (Philippians 4:21).
The idea of the word “saints” is a group of people set apart for the Lord and His kingdom. There are three references referring to godly character of saints: “that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints …” (Romans 16:2). “For the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). “But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints” (Ephesians 5:3).
Therefore, scripturally speaking, the “saints” are the body of Christ, Christians, the church. All Christians are considered saints. All Christian are saints—and at the same time are called to be saints.First Corinthians 1:2states it clearly: “To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy…” The words “sanctified” and “holy” come from the same Greek root as the word that is commonly translated “saints.” Christians are saints by virtue of their connection with Jesus Christ. Christians are called to be saints, to increasingly allow their daily life to more closely match their position in Christ. This is the biblical description and calling of the saints.
How does the Roman Catholic understanding of “saints” compare with the biblical teaching? Not very well. In Roman Catholic theology, the saints are in heaven. In the Bible, the saints are on earth. In Roman Catholic teaching, a person does not become a saint unless he/she is “beatified” or “canonized” by the Pope or prominent bishop. In the Bible, everyone who has received Jesus Christ by faith is a saint. In Roman Catholic practice, the saints are revered, prayed to, and in some instances, worshipped. In the Bible, saints are called to revere, worship, and pray to God alone.
Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god; (Psalm 16:4)
There are spiritual consequences when we depart from the living God
5 O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.
6 The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance. (Psalm 16:5-6)
God said to the priests in the days of Moses: “I am your portion and your inheritance” (Numbers 18:20). David understood that this was a promise given not only to the priests, but also to all who would trust God to be the portion of their inheritance.
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons. (Psalm 16:7)
Charles Spurgeon once said, “The night season which the sinner chooses for his sins is the hallowed hour of quiet when Christians hear the soft still voices of heaven, and of the heavenly life within themselves.”
You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)
When I am tempted to feel down or depressed, I often repeat this portion of the verse to myself: “…In His presence is fullness of joy.” Then I ask myself two questions:
- Do I have fullness of joy?
- Am I in His presence?