No man is…a believer who is not a saint; and, on the other hand, no man is a saint who is not a believer.
We should keep up the name of “saints,” that the reality of the true religion be not lowered by avoiding this title; for in these times it is to be feared that the name is out of use, because holiness itself is out of fashion.
Those who are not saints on earth will never be saints in heaven.
Grace is indeed required to turn a man into a saint; and he who doubts this does not know what either a man or a saint is.
We must be saints before we die, if we are to be saints afterwards in glory. The favorite idea of many, that dying men need nothing except absolution and forgiveness of sins to fit them for their great change, is a profound delusion. We need the work of the Holy Spirit as well as the work of Christ; we need renewal of the heart as well as the atoning blood; we need to be sanctified as well as to be justified.
The greatest evidence that God has transformed us as saints will be our desire to live as saints.
It is a shame that the word “saint” has been hijacked by the Catholic Church. In the original Greek the word simply means “holy.” In Christ you are perfectly clothed with His holiness. In that sense you are a saint. That is how you are seen in the eyes of God. How many of you who profess Christ see this as your identity? You don’t if you are trying to find your acceptance from other people. You don’t if you are seeking to earn God’s favor. And you don’t if your life isn’t seen as one that is practically becoming more holy (or more “saintly”) over time. Your position is saint. You are not trying to become a saint. Your identity is Christ. It begins here and everything flows from that reality for the believer.
You cannot make a sinner into a saint by killing him. He who does not live as a saint here will never live as a saint hereafter.