The Life of a Saint
According to “Understanding Catholicism,” a saint is defined as the following: “People who have lived exemplary Catholic lives and who the church declares worthy of special honor. They have a saint and a prayer for every day and all occasions. Their goodness and holiness have been witnessed by others and ruled on by the church through a special process. The saints have been chosen and assigned to represent particular values. Saints are friends of God who have proven their sincerity and reaped the rewards of their good lives. They are in heaven and have the power to help us. They can speak to God on your behalf. Saints offer INTERCESSION.”
That belief has its roots in paganism. When you become born again, saved by God’s grace, you are a saint. Saints are referenced to in the Bible as being alive on Earth, not dead and then alive again in heaven making intercession. A saint simply means a holy one. This holiness is given by God and is spiritual, based on grace, not on works or some special achievement.
1.Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2. (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4. And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 5. By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: 6. Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: 7. To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 8. First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
Paul opens Romans with the richness of Jesus Christ being declared the Son of God through (via) the resurrection from the dead (among the dead in the text) and those all that believe are the called of Jesus Christ, called to be saints. He is speaking to those who are alive and that he prays for them. Nowhere in the Bible does Paul exhort to pray to dead saints. We are to pray for the saints who are still alive.
9. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers.
Paul opens to the Corinthians with a salutation.
Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2. Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.
An apostle is called by God ( Eph 4:11). The church of God is the spiritual body of believers who are saved by calling upon the name of the Lord ( Rom 10:13) and are sanctified, set apart, by God. The called to be saints.
2 Corinthians 1:
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints …Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Saints are the believers that make up the church of God. Notice that grace is always present.
Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians:
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints that are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2. Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 2. Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, 2. To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you,
We pray for each other, for the saints, while we are still alive.
We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; we give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you.
This prayer language that God has given the saints that are alive is what makes intercession.
Romans 8: 26
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Praying in the spirit (speaking in tongues) is making perfect intercession, for we don’t know always what or who to pray for ( infirmity: singular in text) but God does. We can pray in our understanding and we can pray in the spirit. (I Corin 14:14,15) This is referring to praying in the spirit.
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
According to God’s will. Isn’t that perfect. Many people so often wonder “Am I doing the will of God?” or “What is the will of God?” Speaking in tongues is doing God’s will perfectly.
Saints is "holy ones" in the Greek; sanctified or set apart by God's gift of holy spirit, not by a council of men or a religious denomination. Rom 15:16; 1 Corinthians 6:11.
Here is another working translation according to Greek text:
Likewise, the spirit also jointly helps us with our weakness. Moreover, we do not know what we should pray for as necessary, but the spirit itself makes intercession with inexpressible groaning. He Who (God) searches the hearts knows what the thinking if the spirit (God’s gift) is, because it makes intercession for the holy (sanctified) ones in accordance with God. We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, that is, to those who are called ones in accordance with His purpose.*
How wonderfully clear. We as saints are making intercession for things we don’t even know about because God communicates spiritually to the called ones which is his divine purpose working in us. Not because we are especially good but because we chose to love God and grace is upon us because of what his Son accomplished.
1 Timothy 2:5
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
All believers, saints, have the spirit of Christ within them, making available direct spiritual contact mediation. There are no special outside dead people we are to pray to, we have the power within us now.
Lets handle a couple of verses that may have led to this false ritual of praying to the dead.
Jude 1:14; 1 Thess 3:13; 2 Thess 1:10; and Revelation 5:8
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied (future) of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe. 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.
This is all future. The context here is judgment. According to Thessalonians there are those saints who are asleep, dead, and those who are alive. The dead shall rise first and those who are alive shall follow to meet the Lord in heaven. This is the gathering together of those who are “in Christ”, the saints, not those who will be resurrected later at the judgment. The gathering together and resurrection are two separate events in the future that have clouded minds for centuries as being one in the same. Never the less, if you believe that there are those alive in heaven or hell now,**then you are under the false belief that the judgment has passed already.
2 Timothy 2:2
Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
The only beings alive in heaven besides God and His Son are angels.
But though we, or an angel from heaven, Gal 1:10
After the gathering together (rapture) of the church (the saints) , a future time comes when Christ returns in judgment for the Old Testament believers and the unbelievers past, present, and future. We, the saints, will be already made alive and be with him. Saints are a new creation of God, not voted on by men. What a glorious privilege of grace to be counted among the saints of God