Rom. 1:7 ¶ To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: ¶ Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Living in New Orleans we hear the word ‘saint’ used a lot. Everything from our beloved football team ‘The Saints” to the Catholic use of the term in this predominantly Catholic city, to the famous song, ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’. The funny thing is few people understand what the Bible means when it calls people saints. Paul uses the term saint in today’s verse referring to all the Christians in the church in Rome. We can understand a little about this word if we look at the greek word used by Paul in his letter. It is the word hagios which literally means set apart to be holy. This tells us that a saint is a saint not because of their personal deeds or goodness. A saint becomes a saint totally by the work of God. Here is how Albert Barnes sees it.
“The word saints—hagios—means those who are holy, or those who are devoted or consecrated to God. The radical idea of the word is that which is separated from a common to a sacred use, and answers to the Hebrew word kodesh. It is applied to anything that is set apart to the service of God, to the temple, to the sacrifices, to the utensils about the temple, to the garments, etc., of the priests, and to the priests themselves. It was applied to the Jews as a people separated from other nations, and devoted or consecrated to God; while other nations were devoted to the service of idols. It is also applied to Christians, as being a people devoted or set apart to the service of God. The radical idea, then, as applied to Christians is, that they are separated from other men, and other objects and pursuits, and consecrated to the service of God.”
So maybe its not only football players or ancient men and women of God that are saints, maybe you are a saint. Its not the estimation of your holiness or works but the work of Christ at the cross that makes you a saint. What is our part? Our part is yielding to His voice. He loves us and calls us out of the world to a place of separation from the world, as we yield we become one of His saints.