1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, 7just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf 8and has made known to us your love in the Spirit. Colossians 1:1-8
When Paul uses the word “saints” to address the followers of Jesus he is saying that they are “holy.” They are a people “set aside” for God. That is, they are on reserve, cleaned and like God. When the Scripture speaks of holiness it always has God as the reference of holiness. One important note though, our holiness is not preserved by staying on a reserve shelf, tucked away safely from the world. No, we are also faithful. We are able to engage in life remaining faithful and responsive to Jesus.
Some Christian traditions have identified particularly outstanding Christians in our history as saints. But the New Testament reference of saints is to all the followers of Jesus. We are the saints, the holy ones made so “in Christ.” In Christ we are becoming a “faithful” people. The steady movement of our long obedience in response to Jesus’ grace transforms our character and makes us faithful.
This is who you are, and who you are becoming: A saint. A faithful one in Christ Jesus our Lord!