Pursuing The Highest Calling: Sainthood

On The Journey To Christlikeness

Does your church produce saints? Is there evidence in your life, due to the efforts of your church, that you are becoming like Jesus Christ? Perhaps you’d like to be on an intentional journey of becoming a saint but are being held back by your church’s theology, teaching, or practices. I’d say, go for it anyway.

Pseudo-Saint

Some Christians claim they are saints because they’ve said the sinner’s prayer, been baptized, or chosen to follow Jesus. There may be legitimacy to this since Christians are set apart to God in love and holiness. But, does that mean these Christians actually live as saints? This is more theory than reality. If I believe I’m a saint, then I’m a saint. If I believe the Bible calls me a saint, then I’m a saint. I’m a saint “positionally.” But, if I am honest with myself, I’m not a saint in reality.

I’m a saint. But, I’m not a saint, saint.

And you’ve seen some of these kinds of “saints” in action, right? OMG!! See ya! Don’t want to be ya! Self-righteous, anti-so much, proud, unloving, and inconsistent. (I know one because I am one.) That kind of person is certainly not a saint.

People may think they are saints but that’s just proof they are not. A true saint would never claim that for himself or herself.

Additionally, saints are usually not recognized until they pass from this world.

So what we’re left with are the rare people who are on a journey to becoming a saint. That’s my point. Does your church have any theology, methodology, strategy, and examples to help these people actually become (like) Jesus Christ on earth?

Genuine Saint

Let’s consider what a saint might look like. A real, down-to-earth saint is someone who:

  • is in constant prayer quietly communing with God
  • battles their inner passions through daily ascetic efforts
  • lives in constant repentance with a deepening acknowledgment of their own sins
  • knows the Trinity in stillness of heart and mind
  • is actually dead to self and alive in Christ
  • loves every person they know without judgment or control
  • experiences God in creation and in every person they meet
  • is truly humble not claiming spiritual superiority or saintliness upon themselves
  • knows and actually lives the scriptures
  • lives in peace and contentment
  • perseveres in pain and hardship with joy, gentleness and kindness (suffers joyfully)
  • is generous and gracious with their resources
  • is able to impact other’s lives at a miraculous level
  • carries holiness lightly
  • possesses godly wisdom that draws the seeker and repels the proud
  • and above all, lives in union with Jesus Christ.

Do you desire to be like that? Is this the kind of person your church produces? If so, thanks be to God! If not, why not? What can you do about it? Why don’t you start by becoming the kind of person you think your church should produce?

Give that question some thought and action.

Share your thoughts below. 

Dr. K 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

6 thoughts on “Pursuing The Highest Calling: Sainthood

  1. Question: Is it the local church’s mission to help “produce” saints, or is it the Holy Spirit’s work alone in the individual seeker? (with or without the local church).

    • And the answer is…YES! Saints are only produced by the work of the Trinity – Father, Son & Spirit Who work in grace & love through the Church (sacraments, liturgy, etc.) where Christ is the Head. I think you challenge your own premises when you limit this kind of work to a “local church.” (But, you’d have to sort that out yourself or we could have a discussion :-)) One of the challenges of thinking about what it is to be a saint is the “individualism” that so pervades evangelicalism. Thanks for the question. Good stuff, Toby ;-). Dr. K

    • My pleasure Pastor Terry. This is not something most evangelicals give much thought to. Thanks for being open to it. Keith

  2. Excellent saint credentials. I don’t think I know an individual who embodies all of this list. Yet when I think of my church I see many of these traits in the lives of those who stand together in worship. It gave me a new visualization of the body of Christ as believers need connection in church. Together we begin to resemble saintliness as a church who loves God.

    • Love the insight – as the church, we get a glimpse of saintliness. I love the Church for her ability to produce saints. Having examples of men and women who look like Jesus in some way inspires. We are individuals together becoming as God designed us – in our humanity living in communion with God. A mystery indeed. Thanks for engaging, Lauren! Keith

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