“Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus, to all the holy ones in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the overseers and deacons.”
Paul addresses this letter to the Christians in the church in Philippi and in doing so, refers to them as “holy ones,” or as many of our Bible’s word it, “saints.” The word “saint” comes from the Latin word, sanctus, which means, “holy.” Holiness itself is a word that we use in the church great deal, but also don’t always understand. Biblically, holiness is not so much a state of being that is generated within you — often the society thinks of “holy people” as those who set themselves apart as gurus or in a kind of aloof manner. Yet, you don’t ever make yourself holy. We are made holy by another who is greater than us and who has set us apart for his own use — that would be God himself.
Thus the term “saint” or “holy one” or even “one being sanctified” is a term that has little to do with us and much to do with Jesus Christ who sets us apart to be saints. The question with which we are faced is whether we will be faithful to that calling or not. God has set us aside for his use in our salvation…he has done that work from beginning to end, drawing us effectually to himself. Yet, how will we respond to that drawing? Will we be sharp tools, ready for the master’s hand? Or will we allow those old sins to dull us and leave us dull. To preserve the analogy, tools are sharpened with a stone or a file and when put on a grinder to be sharpened, sparks fly — not the most comfortable process for the tool, but a needful one if it is going to be useful to the master. Which will you be?