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Author Topic: Who Are The New Testament Saints?  (Read 372 times)

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Who Are The New Testament Saints?
« on: September 22, 2017, 09:46:52 AM »

Who Are The New Testament Saints?


Have you ever noticed that there always seems to be a distinction between the Saints and the rest of the faithful?  For example:

"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:" -- Eph 1:1 KJV


There is also a clear distinction between the saints and the Gentiles in the next chapter:

"Now therefore ye [Gentiles] are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:" -- Eph 2:19-21 KJV


In this passage Paul makes a distinction between the saints, and the bishops and deacons:

"Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi with the bishops and deacons:" -- Phi 1:1 KJV


Distinctions between the called saints and the "run-of-the-mill" believer, like me, are found in these passages:

"Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their's and our's:" -- 1Cor 1:2 KJV

"To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." -- Col 1:2 KJV


The scripture also seems to be saying Christ comes with his saints to be glorified in them, and to be admired by other believers:

"When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day." -- 2Th 1:10 KJV


When Jude wrote his book he implied the Saints had already been chosen:

"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." -- Jude 1:3 KJV


In the Revelation there are distinctions between the prophets, saints, martyrs, and those who fear his name:

"And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth." -- Rev 11:18 KJV

"For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy." -- Rev 16:6 KJV

"And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration." -- Rev 17:6 KJV

"And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth." -- Rev 18:24 KJV


Oddly, Paul considered himself less than the least of the saints, but equal to the chiefest of apostles:

"Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;" -- Eph 3:8 KJV

"For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles." -- 2Cor 11:4-5 KJV


Perhaps the saints are those who were set apart for special things, such as these fellows:

"Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." -- Ps 50:5 KJV

"I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom." -- Dan 7:21-22 KJV

"Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?" -- 1Cor 6:2 KJV


The disciples may also be saints since they are given judgment:

"And Jesus said unto [the disciples], Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." -- Mat 19:28 KJV


These are most likely those thrones of judgment:

"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." -- Rev 20:4 KJV

You will note that in the last verse there is a distinction between the judges sitting on the thrones, and with the souls of the martyrs, again implying a separation of the role of the saints from that of the other faithful.


We know that Gentiles who accept Christ become fellowcitizens with those saints [Eph 2:12-22]; but there does not appear to be any reference that specifically states a Gentile will ever become a saint. Perhaps that is what Paul meant in this verse:

"What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way . . . " -- Rom 3:1-2 KJV

Israel is, after all, God's chosen people, except for those who apostatized and were cast away:

"For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people." -- Acts 3:22-23 KJV

"What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory," -- Rom 9:22-23 KJV


That last passage also points to the saints being from Israel . Recall from an earlier passage that the Lord, at his coming, is glorified in his saints [Jude 1:3]. He is also glorified in his disciples, who are also Israelites and judges:

"I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them." -- John 17:9-10 KJV


Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that the scripture points to two distinct "classes" of Christians: 1) those who are called by the Lord, and 2) those who call upon his name. Those two "classes" are clearly distinguished in this aforementioned passage:

"Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their's and our's:" -- 1Cor 1:2 KJV


That is also foretold in this passage by Joel, which tends to distinguish between those who call upon the name of the Lord, and the chosen (elected) remnant of Israel who are called:

"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call." -- Joel 2:32 KJV


Dan

« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 12:36:12 AM by LXXResearcher »
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Daniel

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Re: Who Are The New Testament Saints?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2017, 12:20:04 AM »


Have you ever noticed that there always seems to be a distinction between the Saints and the rest of the faithful?  For example:


All my life I have heard all Christians are saints. I did a lot of checking on the internet and didn't find anyone who didn't believe that way. The first one that came up said:

"The New Testament uses the word saint or saints 67 times. In every instance, the reference is to all believers (e.g., Acts 26:10; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2). Never is the word used of a special group of believers who serve God better than others. Scripture is clear that all Christians are saints."

https://www.compellingtruth.org/Christian-saints.html

When I read your verses they all seem to be saying what you are saying. Why do they all say something different?

Daniel


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Administrator

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Re: Who Are The New Testament Saints?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2017, 06:39:50 PM »


All my life I have heard all Christians are saints. I did a lot of checking on the internet and didn't find anyone who didn't believe that way. The first one that came up said:

"The New Testament uses the word saint or saints 67 times. In every instance, the reference is to all believers (e.g., Acts 26:10; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2). Never is the word used of a special group of believers who serve God better than others. Scripture is clear that all Christians are saints."



Daniel, thanks for the link.  I read the article and could not find any proof of the leading assertions -- the ones you quoted, which are:

1) The New Testament uses the word saint or saints 67 times. In every instance, the reference is to all believers

2) Never is the word used of a special group of believers who serve God better than others.

3) Scripture is clear that all Christians are saints.

Not one of those assertions is provable. If the scripture was "clear", we would not be having this discussion.

It appears the author of that article simply made up those assertions, or is parroting someone else who made them up.

Dan




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Daniel

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Re: Who Are The New Testament Saints?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2017, 07:23:16 PM »


Not one of those assertions is provable. If the scripture was "clear", we would not be having this discussion.

It appears the author of that article simply made up those assertions, or is parroting someone else who made them up.


Who is this verse talking about?

NIV 1Cor 6:2  Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?

Daniel

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Re: Who Are The New Testament Saints?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2017, 10:59:44 PM »


Who is this verse talking about?

NIV 1Cor 6:2  Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?


Daniel, the first letter to the Corinthians was addressed to the saints:

"Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy [saints], together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ-- their Lord and ours:" -- 1Cor 1:1-2 NIV

Other translations are a little clearer:

"Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their's and our's:" -- 1Cor 1:2 KJV

Let us see if we can determine who those saints are. That might be best determined by looking at characters and content of the letter.

First the characters:

1) 1 Cor 1:1 -- Sosthenes, a Jew, was the chief ruler of the synagogue at Achaia (Acts 18:12-17)

2) 1 Cor 1:12 -- Apollos, a Jew born in Alexandria, had spoke boldly in the synagogue at Ephesus (Acts 18:24-28).  He appeared to be well-known at Corinth (1 Cor 3:4-6)

3) 1 Cor 1:14 - Crispus, a Jew, was the chief ruler of the synagogue at Corinth (Acts 18:8 ).  Paul baptized him (1 Cor 1:14).

4) 1 Cor 1:14 - Gaius, of Macedonia, was one of Paul's traveling companion (Acts 19:29).  No mention is made of whether he was a Jew or Gentile, but Paul had baptized him (1 Cor 1:14).  He was likely the elder addressee in 3rd John.

5) 1 Cor 1:15 -- Stephanus, of Achaia, was also baptized by Paul, as was his household, which was the firstfruits of Achaia (1Cor 16:15).

6) 1 Cor 16:19 - Aquila and Priscilla were Jews from Italy whom Paul first met at Corinth (Acts 18:1-2). They became Paul's traveling companions for a time (Acts 18:18-19). At the time this letter was written, they had a Church in their house (1 Cor 16:19).

Most were specifically named as Jews. It is likely Stephanus was also a Jew since the Revelation indicates the firstfruits were all Israelites (Rev 7:1-8, 14:1-5).


The content of 1st Corinthians seems to have been targeted to Israelites:

"It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife." -- 1Cor 5:1 KJV

"Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?" -- 1Cor 6:1 KJV

"The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord." -- 1Cor 7:39 KJV

"Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?" -- 1Cor 9:8-9 KJV

"Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." -- 1Cor 10:1-4 KJV

"But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils." -- 1Cor 10:20 KJV

"In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord." -- 1Cor 14:21 KJV

"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law." -- 1Cor 14:34 KJV

"The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." -- 1Cor 15:56-57 KJV


As you can see there is not a lot of "Gentile" in that book.  When Gentiles are mentioned, it is either in a negative or neutral sense, or in reference to the common salvation:

"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." -- 1Cor 12:13 KJV


Based on the characters and content, we can safely say that not a single Gentile is specifically named in any role within the Church -- leadership or otherwise.  Therefore, it is reasonable to assume the saints at Corinth were all Israelites.

Dan
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 12:34:34 AM by LXXResearcher »
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Dallas

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Re: Who Are The New Testament Saints?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2017, 02:20:46 AM »


Based on the characters and content, we can safely say that not a single Gentile is specifically named in any role within the Church -- leadership or otherwise.  Therefore, it is reasonable to assume the saints at Corinth were all Israelites.


I always wondered about that, but I never got around to researching it. Thanks for posting.
Dallas

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CharlesE

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Re: Who Are The New Testament Saints?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2017, 02:36:59 AM »


Have you ever noticed that there always seems to be a distinction between the Saints and the rest of the faithful?


All the time. I have thought for some time that the saints and elect were first century Jews who were gathered during the generation of Christ.

Charles

« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 12:37:19 AM by LXXResearcher »
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