All Saints Day

Over the past few years I’ve been fascinated with the idea of ‘Saints’.  In the Catholic (meaning: Universal) Church, we often hear about certain deceased believers referred to as Saint ‘So-and-so’. There is even a process and list of requirements for someone to be recognized as a Saint, referred to as canonization. Once someone achieves canonization they are added to the cannon or list of ‘Saints’.

However, I came to the realization that the New Testament has no such list of requirements to achieve sainthood. Paul when addressing believers said the following:

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father. Col 1:1-2

To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 1:2-3

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth with all the saints who are throughout Achaia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Cor. 1:1-2

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Eph. 1:1-2

Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Phil. 1:1-2

There are also other numerous places were believers are referred to as saints,

Now as Peter was traveling through all those regions, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. Acts 9:32

But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem. Acts 9:13

I think you get the picture… All believers are Saints. Paul addressed all the believers, in churches found in specific localities, as saints. Consequently, how on earth have we formed this idea that there is some sort of hierarchy between believers who are saints and those who aren’t, and that sainthood can only be achieved after death? In reality it did actually happen after death… The death of Christ on the cross. Saint simply means ‘holy one’ or ‘set apart one’. We have been set apart and made holy in Christ Jesus, which makes us saints. Nothing we can do will make us a saint. We are saints because of what Christ accomplished on the cross. Paul even addressed the Corinthians as saints, besides the fact that they were a Church made up of believers who were caught up in immorality and disorder.

With this in mind, it came to my attention that the first of November is All Saints Day. This day evolved out of the early believers remembering saints who were martyred for their faith in Christ. It evolved into a yearly All Saints Day feast, and Halloween was simply the eve before the feast. Some cultures have turned All Saints Day into a day where they celebrate the dead and carry out all sorts of strange traditions. However, the original heart behind All Saints Day was remembering brothers and sisters who took Christ as their way, truth, and life, even if it meant physical death.

Realizing that we are all saints in Christ Jesus gives All Saints Day a new meaning for me.. To me it is a day to celebrate all my fellow brothers and sisters who are saints. I realize how blessed I am to have saints in my life who I can enjoy the Lord with. In fact, besides referring to believers as brothers or sisters, I love to refer to them as saints. It is a wonderful reminder when calling our brothers and sisters saints, that our identity in Christ, is one who is holy and set apart.

Let us realize our true identity as saints in Christ Jesus, and may our love for our fellow saints grow each day!

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About the author

Nathan Odell Nathan Odell is the author of Joined to Him. You can connect with him on

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