by Mike Ratliff
1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;
7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 1:1-7 (NASB)
As I have mentioned many times on this blog, I grew up going to church. The churches our family attended as I grew up were all SBC churches. None of them would qualify as “liberal.” Some people might say that they leaned somewhat toward “fundamentalism.” The Gospel was preached but so was repentance as well as exclusion from parts of our culture that was considered “worldly.” In my formative years my hometown had a very large Roman Catholic church and school. Our home was built only a block away from that campus. I had many Roman Catholic friends. We hardly ever discussed religion. But one thing that we could never agree on was the terms “saints” and “sainthood.” These Roman Catholic kids were educated very early that “saints” were men and women who’s lives were exceptionally holy. We weren’t taught that at all. In fact, we would refer to the Apostle Paul as “Paul” for instance while the Roman Catholics would reverently refer to him as Saint Paul. What does the Bible teach us about this?