During his recent visit to the United States, the pope stirred up quite a bit of controversy when he canonized an 18th-century friar named Junipero Serra. The pontiff sought to recognize the friar for his work in bringing Catholicism to California, but there are some who claim he treated Native Americans harshly. This explains why a statue of Serra was vandalized after his elevation to sainthood was announced. As you can see, when your sainthood depends on your conduct, there will always be someone who will stand up to contest it.
How different it is with the saints mentioned in Scripture! The Corinthians were known for their carnality (I Cor. 3:1), yet Paul calls them “saints” (I Cor. 1:2). If you are wondering how this could be, it is because Paul knew that the verb form of the noun “saint” is sanctify, and while the Corinthians were carnal in their conduct, they were “sanctified in Christ Jesus” (I Cor. 1:2). In the Bible, men are “sanctified by the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 15:16), not by any earthly church. They are “sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ” (Heb. 10:10), and not by their behavior. Rome awards sainthood to men who are known for good works, but the Lord says that men are “sanctified by faith that is in Me” (Acts 26:18).
So it is that while the canonicity of all Rome’s saints can be contested by men, not even the devil himself can contest the sainthood of the believer in Christ. It’s no contest! Just remember, sainthood is a high calling, so make sure “that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Eph. 4:1).
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.