EPH. v. 3. “As becometh saints.”
MANY words are becoming lowered in their meaning. But
this word seems a kind of exception, for it seems to be
used in a somewhat higher and more transcendent sense
than what we find in the New Testament. The Roman
Catholics appear to restrict it to those who, after due
examination, have received a patent of spiritual nobility;
and we to the elect of the elect, the aristocracy of the
kingdom of God.
I. Consider the new Testament use of the word.
It means the whole body of professed believers—trans-
ferred from the Church of the elder dispensation to the
Church of the new. Six Epistles of Paul at least are
addressed to saints, and we find in them reproofs so
stern and piercing that one has said the Epistle to the
Corinthians seemed to him, in spite of its beginning, an
Epistle addressed to sinners.
It means dedication to God. This dedication cannot
be accomplished without the help of the Holy Spirit.
II. This corrects many of the false standards of saint-
ship. Who are these that are clothed in white robes, and
whence came they? The servant in the house doing his
duty; the governess submitting to the vulgarity of the rich
for the sake of duty; the old man bearing pain bravely and
“When earth last saw them they were bleeding,
Thorn-crowned and sore perplexed;
They shall be changed and beautiful exceeding,
When we shall see them next.”
III. The fountain of saintship is Jesus Christ. The love
that makes the Christian holy, is the love that looks out
from himself and clings to the person of Jesus Christ. He
is the Saint of saints, the Holy of holies. Loyalty to an
idea is a great thing, but far grander and deeper to beings
like us is the enthusiasm of love.
William Alexander, D.D.