Am I A Saint?

Bible Book: Selected Passages 
Subject: Saints; Christian Living; Godliness

Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos [AW-sem-ah-KOAP-ah-LES] shares the following:

“Two brothers had terrorized a small town for decades. They were unfaithful to their wives, abusive to their children, and dishonest in business. Then the younger brother died unexpectedly.

The surviving brother went to the pastor of the local church. ‘I want you to conduct my brother's funeral,’ he said, ‘but it's important to me that during the service, you tell everyone my brother was a saint.’

‘But he was far from that,’ the minister countered.

The wealthy brother pulled out his checkbook. ‘Reverend, I'm prepared to give $100,000 to your church. All I'm asking is that you publicly state that my brother was a saint.’

On the day of the funeral, the pastor began his eulogy this way: ‘Everyone here knows that the deceased was a wicked man, a womanizer, and a drunk. He terrorized his employees and cheated on his taxes.’ Then he paused.

‘But as evil and sinful as this man was, compared to his older brother, he was a saint!’”1

These days you might be able to find a preacher who would do that for you, but just because a preacher says you are a saint, doesn’t make it so. Rev. John G. Butler, longtime pastor and Bible commentator, warns, “You do not fool God by your craftiness. You may fool man, but God sees right through you.”2

Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe writes, “No word in the New Testament has suffered more than this word saint. Even the dictionary defines a saint as a ‘person officially recognized for holiness of life.’ Who makes this official recognition? Usually some religious body, and the process by which a person becomes a saint is technically known as canonization. The deceased person's life is examined carefully to see whether he qualifies for sainthood. If the candidate's character and conduct are found to be above reproach, if he has been responsible for working at least two miracles, then he is qualified to be made a saint.

As interesting as this procedure is, we do not find it authorized in the Bible.”3

Rev. Matthew Henry (1662-1714) cautions, “The Scriptures were written not to make us astronomers, but to make us saints.”4

Dr. Stephen F. Olford (1918-2004) explains, “Sainthood is not something you acquire by working your way to Heaven.  Sainthood is something God gives, for all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.  But when we admit our utter sinfulness and bow at the Cross in contrition and repentance, and the Blood of Jesus Christ is applied to our lives, something happens—we pass from sinnerhood to sainthood.”5

There are three things about a saint in Romans 5,6, and 8.

I. A saint, in essence; must be justified.

Romans 5:1, 16, 18, and 21 reads, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. . . . And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. . . . Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. . . . so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Dr. Albert Barnes (1798-1870) explains, “What is justification? It is the declared purpose of God to regard and treat those sinners who believe in Jesus Christ as if they had not sinned, on the ground of the merits of the Savior. It is not mere pardon. Pardon is a free forgiveness of past offenses. It has reference to those sins as forgiven and blotted out. Justification has respect to the law, and to God's future dealings with the sinner. It is an act by which God determines to treat him hereafter as righteous--as if he had not sinned. The basis for this is the merit of the Lord Jesus Christ, merit that we can plead as if it were our own. He has taken our place and died in our stead; He has met the descending stroke of justice, which would have fallen on our own heads if He had not interposed.”6

Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman (1859-1918) penned these words in 1910 about our Lord:

Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;
Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever:
One day He’s coming—O glorious day!7

Colossians 1:19-29 reads, “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister. I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.”

A saint, in essence; must be justified.

Only by Jesus must you be freed from the penalty of sin.

II. A saint, on earth; can be sanctified.

Romans 6:19 and 22 reads, “I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.”

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 reads, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” This is a positional sanctification and there is yet a practical sanctification, as we read in the following verses. Leviticus 11:45 reads, “For I am the Lord who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” Leviticus 20:26 reads, “And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.” 1 Peter 1:13-21 reads, “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’ And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe warns, “Any theology that minimizes personal holiness and excuses sinfulness is not biblical theology.”8 Someone said, “When holiness leaves a church it always becomes a sanctuary of devils.”9

The great Scottish Bible expositor, Dr. Alexander MacLaren (1826-1910), once wrote: “We may have as much of God as we will. Christ puts the key to the treasure chest into our hand, and bids us take all that we want. If a man is admitted into the vault of a bank told to help himself, and comes out with one cent, whose fault is it that he is poor?”10 Ephesians 1:13-14 reads, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

 Steven Dow shares the following: “You know when you buy toys for your kids or grand-kids often times on the package in fine print are these words: ‘Batteries not included.’ Do you know what that means? It means that you get the toy, but the power to make it work is not included. That is not the kind of gift that God gives. God’s gift of holiness includes the power of the fullness of the Holy Spirit - the power to make it work.”11 Ephesians 5:18 reads, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.”

A saint, on earth; can be sanctified.

Only by Jesus can you be freed from the power of sin.

III. A saint, throughout eternity; will be glorified.

Romans 8:17, 18, and 30 reads, “and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. . . .  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. . . . Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” Dr. David Brown (1803-1897) explains, “True, we must suffer with Christ, if we would partake of His glory; but what of that? For if such sufferings are set over against the coming glory, they sink into insignificance.”12

1 Corinthians 4:5 reads, “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.” 1 John 3:2-3 reads, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

Lou Nicholes shares the following: “I grew up on a farm and my mother used to make jam, I would watch her pour wax over the top of the preserves until it was at the brim of the jar. She would then carefully wipe some wax around the rim itself, and place the rubber lined lid on tight. The wax and the vacuum caused by the cooling preserves would seal that jar so tight that it could have sat on a basement shelf for years, and the jam would have been good when finally opened. Sealed, preserved, protected. The Word of God was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God, and after listening to the message of truth, the good news of our salvation, and having believed, we were sealed in Him (Christ) by the Holy Spirit of promise. A seal of God’s ownership was placed over our lives, and unlike Pilate’s seal, no power in Heaven or earth can break that seal, a seal that means a great deal to God. He shut us up tightly. We are set aside for His use, for His eternal fellowship. Preserved, protected until the day of the redemption of our bodies (or glorification).”13 Ephesians 4:30 reads, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Philippians 1:6 reads, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 3:8-11 reads, “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

A saint, throughout eternity; will be glorified.

Only by Jesus will you be freed from the presence of sin.


“What is revival?” Evangelist W.A. “Billy” Sunday (1862-1935) answers, “Now listen to me. A revival does two things. First, it returns the Church from her backsliding, and second, it causes the conversion of men and women; and it always includes the conviction of sin on the part of the Church. What a spell the devil seems to cast on the Church today!”14 Sunday adds, “When may a revival be expected? When the wickedness of the wicked grieves and distresses the Christian.”15

Rev. Richard Baxter (1615-1691) confesses, “I thank God for that word ‘whosoever’. If God had said there was mercy for Richard Baxter, I am so vile a sinner, that I would have thought he meant some other Richard Baxter, but, when he says whosoever, I know that includes me, the worst of all Richard Baxters.”16 When you think about saints, remember you do not pray to saints or through saints but as saints! Ephesians 6:18 reads, “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” Dr. Mark Hitchcock explains, “Yes, Scripture calls on believers to prayer for the ‘saints’ (Ephesians 6:18). But every true believer in Jesus Christ is a saint (‘set-apart one’) in Jesus Christ. Praying for the saints in the New Testament refers to praying for believers who are still alive.”17 Believers are frequently referred to as “saints” in the New Testament. Dr. Horatius Bonar (1808-1889) writes, “A saint is not one who serves God in order to be forgiven, but one who, having found forgiveness, serves God in love and liberty as a forgiven soul, and with an enlarged heart.”18 Dr. Alfred Plummer (1841-1926) writes, “Out of a sinful man to make a saint is more than to make a world out of nothing; and to keep sinful men from stumbling is more than to keep the stars in their courses.”19

Dr. J. C. Ryle (1816-1900) explains, “If we are true Christians, we must not expect everything smooth in our journey to heaven. We must count it no strange thing, if we have to endure sicknesses, losses, bereavements, and disappointments, just like other people. Free pardon and full forgiveness, grace by the way and glory to the end – all this our Savior has promised to give. But He has never promised that we shall have no afflictions. He loves us too well to promise that.”20 This is a journey that begins on earth with justification by grace and moves into eternity with endless jubilation in glory.

What about you? Now, is the time for self-examination. 2 Corinthians 13:5 begins, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.” Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon writes, “That the principal subject for self-examination with us all should be—Am I a saint?”21

A saint, in essence; must be justified.

A saint, on earth; can be sanctified.

A saint, throughout eternity; will be glorified.


11001 Quotes, Illustrations, and Humorous Stories: For Preachers, Teachers, and Writers, ed. Edward K. Rowell (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 2008), 470-471.  

2John G. Butler, Studies of the Savior – Jesus Christ: His Miracles, (Clinton, IA: LBC Publications, 2001). Database © 2006 WORDsearch Corp.

3Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary – New Testament, Volume 2, Ephesians {Wheaton: Victor Books/SP Publications, Inc., 1989, 2004), 8. Database © 2007 WORDsearch Corp.

4The Treasury: An Evangelical Monthly for Pastors and People 1884/1885, Vol. 2 (New York, NY: E.B. Treat, 1885), 649.

5Stephen F. Olford, “Thanks Be To God,” Sermon Notes: (Psalm 116). 

6Albert Barnes, Notes, Explanatory and Practical, on the Second Epistle to the Corinthians and to the Galatians (New York, NY: Homer Franklin, 1840), 319.

7J. Wilbur Chapman, “One Day” (1910).

8Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Decisive: Taking a Stand for Truth: Old Testament Commentary, Jeremiah, (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2010), 58.

9Leo J. Lenschow, “Sanctuary” Posted September 28 Repentance Accessed: 12/06/17 .

10Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman, Streams in the Desert, February 20 Reading (Los Angeles, CA: Oriental Mission Society, 1925), 58. Database © 2014 WORDsearch Corp.

11Steven Dow “God’s gift includes the power to make it work”, Sermon Central, Accessed: 12/04/17 .

12David Brown, The Epistle to the Romans: With Introduction and Notes (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1883), 87.

13Lou Nicholes, Family Times, “Making Jam and Sealing the Jars,” Accessed: 12/04/17 .

14William T. Ellis, Billy Sunday: The Man and His Message: With His Own Words Which Have Won Thousands for Christ (Philadelphia, PA: John C. Winston Company, 1917), 292.

15Ellis, Sunday, 293.

16Elon Foster, Cyclopedia of Prose Illustrations Adapted to Christian Teaching, First Series, # 5181 (New York: Funk & Wagnall, 1872), 572.

17Mark Hitchcock, 55 Answers to Questions About Life After Death (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2005), 46. Database © 2006 WORDsearch Corp.

18The Biblical Illustrator, ed. Joseph S. Exell, Hebrews 12:25-29 (Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing House, n.d. [originally published 1887]), Database © 2012 WORDsearch Corp.

19The Biblical Illustrator, ed. Joseph S. Exell, Jude 1:24-25 (Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing House, n.d. [originally published 1887]), Database © 2012 WORDsearch Corp. 

20John Charles Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: St. Mark (London, Wertheim and Macintosh, 1857), 83.

21The Biblical Illustrator, ed. Joseph S. Exell, 2 Thessalonians 1:10 (Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing House, n.d. [originally published 1887]), Database © 2012 WORDsearch Corp.


Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527

Author of Don’t Miss the Revival! Messages for Revival and Spiritual Awakening from Isaiah and

Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice [Both available on in hardcover, paperback and eBook] & /   / (251) 626-6210

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