Who Is a Saint on All-Saints Day?


To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.

1 Cor. 1:2 ESV

Who is a saint on All-Saints Day? Let’s break down each term.

Who is a saint? You are, if you have given your life to Christ receiving him both as your Savior and Lord.

What is a saint? A saint is not someone who is perfect, but a sinner who looks to Christ for life-transforming grace in their chronic weaknesses and on-going struggles. Saints are not those who perform adequately in the spiritual life, but are those who most available to the Holy Spirit’s gifts and power. Saints are needy, they know they cannot live the Christian life by their own energy and resources. Biblical saints look constantly to Christ for help. They know their need for Christ. True saints are not the most adequate, but the most desperate for Christ and his love.

What is All-Saints Day? All-Saints Day is celebrated every year on November First, a day set aside to honor those men and women of the past who trusted Christ though want, need, rejection, and persecution.

To be holy does not mean being superior to others: the saint can be very weak, with many mistakes in his life. Holiness is this profound contact with God, becoming a friend of God: it is letting the Other work, the Only One who can really make the world both good and happy.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger


The Saint and God’s Goodness

The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.

Nahum 1:7 NLT

What does it means for God to be good? It means in him, there is nothing deceptive, misleading, evil, or impure. All of God’s motives are honest, loving, grace-filled, and kind. In him, we can trust and find a place of security, rest and peace. As we place all of all reliance on him, he is pleased and he responds in sympathy, mercy, provision, and blessing. A saint is not one who has achieved great spiritual heights, but one who trusts in the simple goodness of God even in the darkest of nights.

That God is good is taught and implied on every page of the Bible and must be received as an article of faith as impregnable as the throne of God. It is a foundation stone for all sound thought about God and is necessary to moral sanity.

A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (New York: Harper & Row, 1961), 88.

The saint is not one who tries hard to be good, but one who surrenders to [God’s] Goodness.

E. Stanley Jones, In Christ (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1980)


Thank God!

Thank God in All Things Whether Good or Bad

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Col. 3:17

Thankfulness is a genuine gratefulness flowing from our hearts which sees God’s appointment in the midst of our disappointments. A thankful heart trusts God’s goodness irrespective of their unexplained difficulties, chronic trials, and persistent obstacles. Thankfulness says “yes” to God’s grace knowing that whether good or bad, the Lord can use our circumstances for his glory and our growth.

The apostle [Paul] says. “In everything give thanks” (1 Thess. 5.18). Why so? Because God makes everything work for our good. We thank the physician, though he gives us a bitter medicine which makes us sick, because it is to make us well; we thank any man who does us a good turn; and shall we not be thankful to God, who makes everything work for good to us?

God loves a thankful Christian. Job thanked God when he took all away: “The Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1.21). Many will thank God when He gives; Job thanks Him when He takes away, because he knew that God would work good out of it. We read of saints with harps in their hands (Rev. 14.2), an emblem of praise.

We meet many Christians who have tears in their eyes, and complaints in their mouths; but there are few with their harps in their hands, who praise God in affliction. To be thankful in affliction is a work peculiar to a saint. Every bird can sing in spring, but some birds will sing in the dead of winter. Everyone, almost, can be thankful in prosperity, but a true saint can be thankful in adversity. A good Christian will bless God, not only at sun-rise, but at sun-set. Well may we, in the worst that befalls us, have a psalm of thankfulness, because all things work for good. Oh, be much in blessing of God: we will thank Him that doth befriend us.

Thomas Watson, All Things for Good, Puritan Paperbacks series (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2008), 62-63.

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