Do you know what it means to be a saint?
You may have read the first line of the dictionary definition which describes a saint as someone holy and virtuous. This person is assumed to be heading to heaven when he or she dies because they exemplify holiness and goodness so well no one could doubt it.
In fact, if the church were to take a vote, we’d all let this pillar of human purity through the pearly gates without question.
You might look at that definition of a saint and think, “I could never measure up to that.”
And you’d be exactly right.
There is something wrong with our thinking of who is and who isn’t a saint. When we look at someone like Billy Graham, we think he can make it to heaven without grace. The error we make is comparing our worst sins with another’s public displays of purity. It’s what we don’t see inside the hearts of our Christian heroes that blinds us to the fact that everybody everywhere sins. Your pastor probably cusses when he stubs his toe. He gets mad at his wife and kids and blows his stack sometimes. Or maybe he internalizes his emotions and issues subtler, more sarcastic attacks on his loved ones.
Both are poison sin fruit.
Ephesians 2:8,9 reminds us were saved by grace. That means no effort, no sacrifice, and no amount of repentance will take the place of grace in our salvation. John 3:16, 17 is worded to tell us God sent and gave His Son so we could be saved from the punishment we deserve for breaking all God’s laws in thought, word, and deed.
You need grace to be saved. You also need grace to live like God wants you to. It’s grace that redefines you as a saint. Check the dictionary. Further down, if it’s a dictionary worth more than a dime it should define a saint as simply, “a Christian believer.”
If you trust in Jesus, you are a saint.
God grant you the grace to believe that.