Followers of Jesus go by a few different names – Christians, disciples, children of God, believers, people who’ve been born again are some examples. Few of us default to calling ourselves saints. We think that only people with extraordinary faith should receive that name, and perhaps only after they have died.
The apostle* Paul would disagree. He called the Christians in Corinth “saints.” They certainly were not extraordinary compared to other believers (except perhaps in finding all sorts of ways to live unfaithfully). Yet as far as Paul was concerned, they were saints. They were in the process of being sanctified (a word related to the word saint) by the Holy Spirit, and so long that was happening, they could be called saints regardless of how far into the process they were or yet had to go. The same is true for us.
Monica and I were reminded of this the other day when we read this in our devotions:
A saint is not a person who has achieved perfect goodness, but one who has come to desire it with their whole heart.
*If apostle literally means “one who is sent forth as a messenger,” I suppose we could be called that, too, as we are sent by the Holy Spirit to invite more people to become saints!