It is a surprise to some people that Christians are often called saints in the Bible. The word doesn’t refer to exemplary people of the past who’ve been given sainthood by religious people. Such a notion was popular in the middle ages, a time when entire church buildings were designed to hold reliquaries (ornamental containers with physical remains of a saint inside, such as bits of hair, etc.). In the Scriptures, all Christians are saints.
The word means holy one, or one who has been made holy by God. In the Greek text, saint and holy come from the same word. One is a noun and the other an adverb. The verb form is sanctify. So what is the Bible telling us? Those who obey the gospel are made holy before God. Colossians 12 says that God qualified us to receive the inheritance of the saints. We don’t become saints by heroism or martyrdom; God makes us saints through Jesus Christ. Continue reading
Easter. Many people feel today is the highlight of the year. Churches swell on Easter Sunday, just as they do at Christmas time. While we enjoy having extra people this day, let’s think a little more about Easter.
The entire Bible revolves around the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is no doubt that these events are the heart of the faith. But isn’t it strange that the New Testament does not mention the celebration of Easter – as a specific yearly day above all others? Historically there was a debate over the date when the crucifixion took place; nobody really knew for sure. It grew into an early church squabble, so a date was chosen at the first church-wide council (Nicea) in 325 a.d. Even then the controversy continued. Two hundred years later the church had become more institutionalized and preferred to baptize people only on Easter Sunday. While Jesus Christ didn’t reveal in the New Testament a special yearly day to celebrate his death and resurrection, men chose one anyway. Continue reading