Friday, November 27, 2009


There are a great many opinions in answer to the question, "Who is a saint?" Different organizations and denominations of Church, as well as individual Christian-professing people, have several interpretations. The historic Christian practice of asking the saints—for their intercession has come under attack in the last few hundred years. Though the practice dates to the earliest days of Christianity and is shared by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and, the other Eastern Christians
The original Bible words that have been translated to the English word saint are found through the entire Old and New Testaments. Saints did not originate at the time of the earthly life of Jesus.
The Hebrew Words in The Old Testament
koe-desh meant sacred, holy, or dedicated
kaw-dosh meant sacred or holy
kaw-seed meant good or holy
The Greek Word In The New Testament
hag-ee-oes meant sacred, pure or blameless
All of the original words above (listed in their transliterated form - written according to how they sound in English) all carry the same definition of a saint - someone who is sacred, holy, pure, blameless, dedicated. They became saints by means of the Holy Spirit, which can only come from God. God therefore chooses His saints, and gives them of His Holy Spirit to make it possible
The word saint is almost always used in the plural, “saints.” "…
Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem" (Acts 9:13)
"Now as Peter was traveling through all those regions, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda" (Acts 9:32)
And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons … “(Acts 26.10)
There is only one instance of the singular use and that is "Greet every saint in Christ Jesus…" (Philippians 4.10) In Scripture there are 67 uses of the plural “saints.

When a Christian prays to a saint, they are not worshiping the saint, but rather, asking the saint to pray for them. It is not meant to be any different than one person asking another person to pray for them. The saint and the person are praying together to Jesus. One charge made against it is that the saints in heaven cannot even hear our prayers, making it worthless to ask for their intercession. However, this is not true. As Scripture indicates, those in heaven are aware of the prayers of those on earth. This can be seen, for example, in Revelation 5:8, where John depicts the saints in heaven offering our prayers to God under the form of "golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." We are explicitly told by John that the incense they offer to God is the prayers of the saints. Another charge commonly leveled against asking the saints for their intercession is that this violates the sole mediatorship of Christ, which Paul discusses in (1 Tim. 2:5). But asking one person to pray for you in no way infringe Christ’s mediatorship, as can be seen from considering the way in which Christ is a mediator. The intercession of fellow Christians—which is what the saints in heaven are—also clearly does not interfere with Christ’s unique mediatorship because in the four verses immediately preceding 1 Timothy 2:5, Paul says that Christians should intercede: "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good and pleasing to God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:1–4). Clearly, then, intercessory prayers offered by Christians on behalf of others is something "good and pleasing to God," not something violates Christ’s role as mediator.
Praying for each other is simply part of Christian way of life. As in, 1 Timothy 2:1–4, Paul strongly encouraged Christians to intercede for many different things, and that passage is by no means unique in his writings. Meanwhile, Paul directly asks others to pray for him (Col. 4:3, Rom. 15:30–32, Eph. 6:18–20, 1 Thess. 5:25, 2 Thess. 3:1), and he guaranteed them that he was praying for them as well (2 Thess. 1:11). Jesus himself commands us to pray for others, and not only for those who asked us to do so (Matt. 5:44) so it cannot be regarded as superfluous on the grounds that one can go directly to Jesus.

Bible would not recommend it if there were not benefits coming from it. One such benefit is that the faith and devotion of the saints can bear our own weaknesses and supply what is lacking in our own faith and devotion. Jesus regularly supplied for one person based on another person’s faith (e.g., Matt. 8:13, 15:28, 17:15–18, Mark 9:17–29, Luke 8:49–55). Remember, God always answers the prayers of the righteous. James declares: "The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit". James 5:16 “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Those in heaven are perfectly righteous, and their prayers are efficacious. How can one ignore them?

Finally, one of the most fundamental ideas of faith is that the person with faith should allow God and their feelings to guide their actions. If that person doesn't feel comfortable praying to Mary or the saints, they shouldn't feel pressured to. However, if they do pray to them, they shouldn't permit others to tell them that they aren't allowed. Faith is an intensely personal matter- if in uncertainty, you can ask God.

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