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Wordwise Insight, Issue #119
July 14, 2014


BIBLE INSIGHTS (and Reader Q & A): What is a saint? Who can be saved?

WORDWISE HYMNS: My Blog called Wordwise Hymns for you to check out!

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Saints and Salvation

(What is a saint? Who can be saved?)

QUESTION: What is meant by a "saint"?

ANSWER: The word saint is used in the New Testament to refer to all Christians from the moment they trust Christ as Saviour. It does not single out special ones who have exceptional holiness or more saintly conduct.

Sainthood is not based on human achievement, but is a state into which God graciously calls us. It reflects our position in God's sight, not our condition in daily experience (though we are certainly called to live holy lives as well, I Pet. 1:15). The Greek word, also translated holy in the Bible, is hagios, meaning separated or set apart. The saints of God (believers) are ones God has set apart for Himself.

Here are some texts that indicate the inclusive nature of the word "saints."

Romans 1:7: Paul writes his letter to "To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints. The words "to be" are in italics in the King James Version, to indicate they have been added by the translations. More literally, the phrase reads simply "called saints." However, even leaving "to be" in there leads us in the same direction. The believers are called to be saints (set apart ones), not by the apostles or the church, but by God Himself, by whom they are "beloved."

First Corinthians 1:2: Paul writes "to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord." "Sanctified" translates another form of the Greek word hagios, and indicates Christians are set apart in Christ Jesus–our standing before God. And again the words "to be" can be omitted. The Christians in view are merely called saints.

Second Corinthians 1:1: Paul addresses, " the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia." Ephesians is addressed "to the saints who are in Ephesus, and ...

(To read the remainder of the article, click on Saints and Salvation.)


Come and Pay Us a Visit!

I have developed a blog that is called Wordwise Hymns. As the title suggests, it is about hymns, and church music in general.

But as many of you will know, a blog is especially designed to facilitate a conversation on its particular subject. Readers can easily post comments about what they see, and I'm able to reply. I hope you will take part in the discussion!

Through 2010, almanac entries dealt with what happened in hymn history on each day of the year. Beginning in 2011, I hope to analyze hymns from a biblical standpoint, linking to the material that has come before.

My hope is that the blog will add to the value of the website and this newsletter, and promote some profitable exchanges on the subject of sacred music.

What happened on this day in hymnology? To find out, click Wordwise Hymns.

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