Today, November 1st is celebrated by Christians around the world as “All Saints Day” to acknowledge people who’ve lived victoriously for Jesus.

A little boy attended a church with beautiful stained glass windows depicting the apostles St Matthew, St Luke, St John, St Paul, St Peter. Onde day he was asked, “What is a saint?”
The boy replied, “A saint is a person that the light shines through!”

Often there’s too much emphasis on “All Saints Day” devoted to honoring the dead in ways that aren’t glorifying to God, and some cultures take it to a demonic level – in the name of “Christianity”.

Perhaps one reason Luther posted the 95 theses (or, statements of faith) on Oct 31st was declaration that we’re saved by grace alone instead of the focus on canonized saints and their works – which can be at the heart of celebrating past “Saints”. He was well aware of the extent that many people tended to worship and idolize the saints.

While we don’t want to worship or idolize any human, there is validity in remembering and celebrating people who have spiritually influenced our lives, after all the Bible is filled with stories of people whose lives God used.

While Wikipedia, and many people, define saint as “a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God.”, the true meaning of the word in the Bible,“hagios / ἅγιος”, means “set apart” “sanctified” “holy” “true believers”. The word hagios appears 229 times in the Greek New Testament.

“Holy ones” was a known identifier to the Jews. Exodus 19:5-6 God described the Israelites as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. He’d set them apart, chosen as His people.
Daniel 7:18 God showed Daniel a vision of heaven and of God’s kingdom to come. In the vision a messenger said to Daniel, “But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.”
Matt 27:52 when Jesus died on the cross the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised…
Acts 9:13 Annanias refers to the saints that Paul had persecuted
Six times Paul addresses letters to the saints at…”
Rev 14:13 Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus!

Why? Why contemplate the lives of other Christians? Because their lives show us what can happen

because of faith!

Hebrews 11 Is often called the Roll Call of Faith Every single person exemplified / lived their faith through obedience! The author begins Hebrews 11 with “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” He goes on to list person after person who obeyed God because of faith!

Heb 12:1, 2 exhorts us to be faithful by fixing our eyes on Jesus.

This week I encourage you as you fix your eyes on Jesus to give the desires of your heart to Jesus in order to live as a “Set Apart One” a Holy person as He calls us, to also be mindful of, and grateful for, those who have affected and influenced your walk with Jesus, because of their faith.

How is your spiritual walk influencing anyone?

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