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Who Are Saints? -According to the Bible

Updated on June 6, 2014

What Is A Saint?

It is a well known fact that the word 'saint' appears in the Bible. What is lesser known about this word is the fact that it first appears in the Old Testament. The word 'saint' is used in the book of Deuteronomy showing us that saints of God existed and lived since the beginning.

But, what is a Saint?

Webster's dictionary defines a saint as " A person sanctified; a holy or godly person;one eminent for piety and virtue; any true Christian as being redeemed and consecrated to God."

Most people think that saints are those who are recognized as saints by the Roman Catholic church, Eastern Orthodox church, Anglican church or Coptic Orthodox church. Although the saint, according to the Bible, is one who follows after God, the word has changed to mean a more specific thing in certain churches. Because of the belief in Purgatory, the R.C. church refers to the saints as 'those who have led extremely holy lives and who are able to do miracles even from the grave'. New saints are declared often but one must go through many tests before one is declared a saint in the Roman Catholic church.

There are many people who have been declared as saints over the centuries in the varying churches. The Roman Catholic church alone has declared over 10,000 people as saints. These people have moved on from this temporal life into an eternal one, and, according to the church, because of their holiness, they can intercede for those on earth and help them win the favor of God. Saints are usually declared as saints because of miracles that were done during their lifetime and answers to prayer that were achieved after their lives were spent.

But is this truly what a saint is?

"Victory O Lord!" by John Everett Millais portraying Moses holding up his hands so that Israel would prevail in battle.
"Victory O Lord!" by John Everett Millais portraying Moses holding up his hands so that Israel would prevail in battle. | Source

Men Of God In The Old Testament - Are They Saints?

The men of God in the Old Testament admittedly did many of the things that certain churches require people to have done in order to be saints. Yet, these people are not declared as saints in some churches simply because they were on earth before Christ and not on earth with Him or after Him.

In the Roman Catholic church, when one is being confirmed, one has to chose a saint whose life causes inspiration. This saint is chosen because the person being confirmed can publicly declare that they would like to be most like them. Those being confirmed are not allowed to choose people like Moses or Elijah and Elisha because they are from the Old Testament and not the New Testament. Yet Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus on the Mount in the New Testament. (See Matthew 17). Obviously, both Moses and Elijah were considered and are considered worthy to be in the presence of the Lord since He allowed them to stand with Him on the Mount.

The men of God in the Old Testament were called men of God because they walked with Him and He with them. They did mighty feats because of Him,yes, but even when they were ordinary He did show that He favored them and it was recorded as such. This was because they all believed in the Messiah and in the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Some of the things the men of God did in the Old Testament through the power of the Holy Spirit were:

  • raise the dead
  • part the waters
  • heal the sick
  • defeat giants
  • create a nation
  • save nations
  • defeat mighty armies.

They served God and followed Him and were acknowledged for doing so by those in the New Testament. (See Hebrews 11)

The men of the Old Testament who served God and did not turn away from His way were and are saints.

Do the men of God in the Old Testament count as saints as well?

See results

Men Of God In The New Testament - Are They Saints?

Most people of the New Testament, the ones who followed Christ, are considered to be saints by various denominations. Saint Peter, Saint Paul, Saint Jude and Saint John are all well known and generally accepted as saints. However, these men of God refer to as others as saints. As a matter of fact, they refer to as saints all those who follow after and believe in Jesus Christ. Whether great or small, whatever the function, once a part of the Bride of Christ, those who were mentioned in the New Testament, who followed after Jesus, were saints of God.

If these men of God, who were undoubtedly devoted to the Lord God of Hosts, did not flinch to call those who followed Christ with them saints, then wouldn't they be?

Those who loved and followed after Christ in the New Testament were also saints of God.

Two Verses In Revelation About The Saints

And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. (Revelation 5:8 K.J.V.)

And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. (Revelation 8:3 K.J.V.)

Are There Saints of God Existing Today?

The Bible ends with the Book of Revelation. In it the saints are mentioned. These saints are not named and so one cannot be certain who the saints are specifically unless their lives are examined personally. It was said by Jesus that they will be known by their fruits and so the type of life a person leads does give one an idea of whether or not that person is a saint of God according to the Bible.

If there are saints of God existing today then spotting them would not be a very hard thing to do. The saints of God follow after Him and walk in His way. They believe that Jesus is the Christ and that He is the only way to heaven. They acknowledge Him as Judge, as King, as Priest and as Prophet and agree with John the Baptist when he says, 'He must increase. I must decrease.' These are those He calls His saints.



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    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 3 months ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth. between the oceans

      EXCELLENT article and scripurally accurate unlike so many on here.

      Good work

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 3 years ago from The World (for now)

      Thanks for reading, ginjill ashberry!

    • ginjill ashberry profile image

      Ashley TKL 3 years ago

      Hello North Wind,

      Thank you for sharing this.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 4 years ago from The World (for now)

      Thank you tsadjatko,

      I also hope to be on your team as well. I am in the midst of reading (well watching) your hub on Atheists and after I am finished I hope to comment. I have the slowest internet connection so the videos are slow to load. I am halfway through the debate though. I have to say debates make me really riled up! Anyway, I appreciate your visit and comments.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 4 years ago from https:// online/ hubpages. html

      So you don't have to be a pro football player to be a Saint? Oh, that's right, you said Saints of God, I was thinking New Orleans Saints. Wrong team, wrong sport but hope to be on your team at that Super Bowl in the sky one day.

      I really enjoy reading your thought provoking hub pages on spiritual issues, thank you.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi shofarcall,

      It is my constant prayer to walk in His way and that my steps will be pleasing to Him. We, who belong to Him, are truly ambassadors. I know that what ever I do, I want it to please Him and for it to be according to His will.

      Thanks for your vote and I will visit your page soon.

      The Lord bless you as well!

    • shofarcall profile image

      shofarcall 5 years ago

      Hello Northwind, What a great hub particularly as I found myself in prayer a few nights ago calling out to God for us, His saints, still here in this world but not of it.

      The person I had been praying with had also recognised us as the Ambassadors of Jesus Christ, each time we step out of our doors. gives going out an entirely different meaning!! If only we can remember.....

      Appropriate timing for me to come across your hub. Love to see you on my page too if you have some spare moments. Voted awesome. God Bless.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now)

      Thank you for reading, Teaches. The saints of God live to do His work and long for the kingdom of God.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Thank you for the history and education on saints. We who follow Christ are saints who serve him and others. We are not perfect by any means, but our service and love through Christ will give us the honor of being called saints for God.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hey Faith Reaper,

      All of God's blessings for this new year that He has gracefully given to us! Than you so much for embracing God's truths and for declaring them as such.

      God bless you, your children and your grandchildren :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 5 years ago from southern USA

      Excellent and very informative hub on Saints. Thanks so much for sharing His truths.

      Voted up +++

      God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi Teacherjoe,

      The saints of God are those that God calls saints and those who belong to Him He claims. Saints do try to live a life that pleases Him, not so that they can get into heaven but rather because He has provided The Way to get into heaven.

      I pray that you are pleasing to Him always as well.

    • teacherjoe52 profile image

      teacherjoe52 5 years ago

      Good morning North Wind.

      This is a lesson I learned just a short while ago.

      All who are Christians are saints and are holy. That does not mean we are perfect, but rather we life a live pleasing to God.

      May you always be a pleasing saint to Jehovah.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi Michele,

      I forgot to wish you all the best for the new year on your hub. I hope that this year brings good health, strength and blessings to you and your family.

      Thank you so much for your kind words. Your hubs are always interesting and if not for you I would not have known about many things that are happening around the world.

      You have a unique style of writing and that is why so many people appreciate it.

      Take care and God's blessings be upon you.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Thank you so much for writing this hub. I did not know this much about Saints. All of this information is wonderful. But, then so are you. You have taught me a lot, ever since I joined hubpages, you have taught me a lot about God.

      Thank you very much.