“Sing praise to the Lord, You saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name” (Psalm 30:4).
“To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1).
“To me, who am least of all the saints. . .” (Ephesians 3:8).
“Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. . .” (Philippians 4:21).
What do we note about the above passages? Saints are being addressed. They are all alive. Addressing them as saints was not a posthumous designation given to those who earned such status by a life of good works. The believers who have been called to their eternal home are indeed saints but the designation is not reserved for those who have died. The saints were the shopkeepers, the farmers, the father, and mother, and their children, men and women of high degree and of low degree- all who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the Hebrew and in the Greek there are various words that are translated “saint” in our Bible. They have different shades of meaning in the literal sense, but basically designate the pious, the called out ones, the separate or the holy ones.
But how do people of sin attain such a grand designation? They are not called saints because they are without sin or have earned that name. Sin still clings to the living saints such as were addressed in the passages above. Saints are sinners who have been called out of darkness to the light. All those addressed as saints are common ordinary people who have attained sainthood though a foreign holiness, namely that of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ’s blood has cleansed the sinner. Through faith the sinner assimilates the perfection of Christ. They who are saints have been called to that blessed status through the Gospel. The Heavenly Father los upon the one who believes in Jesus as holy. Believers in Christ confess, “Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness, my beauty are my glorious dress. . .”
Surely this is a mystery of divine proportions that believers are “sinner-saints.” We are sinners by reason of our flesh; we are saints, and should see ourselves as such, in the sight of God who remembers our sin no more for the sake of Jesus Christ Who bore our sins on the cross. “But you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). The name “saint” and all the blessings associated with it are ours. The credit and the glory is God’s. A saint has not earned the blessed status of sainthood, but he will pray the Holy Spirit to give him the appreciation and the strength to reflect his heavenly status while he awaits the call to join the saints in heaven. “Therefore Saint (Your name), “Love the Lord. . . For the Lord preserves the faithful. . …. Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31:23).