Should Martin Luther King, Jr. be considered for Sainthood?
To answer that question, let's look at what the Scriptures say about becoming a saint.
The Old Testament Hebrew term for saint is "qodesh," meaning "sacred, holy." The New Testament Greek term is "hagios," meaning, "set apart by or for God; to be holy, sacred, loved by God, to be called out."
Consider these Old Testament Scriptures:
"[The Lord] will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail" 1 Samuel 2:9 (KJV).
". . . the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom . . ." Daniel 7:27 (KJV).
"Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness" Psalm 30:4 (KJV).
In the New Testament, followers of Christ were also called saints:
"Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda" Acts 9:32 (ESV).
Before his conversion, Paul was zealous to kill followers of Christ, "I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them" Acts 26:10 (ESV).
Later, Paul addressed his letters, the Epistles, "to the saints," that is those who were followers of Christ Jesus:
"Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God . . . To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints . . ." Romans 1:1,7 (ESV).
"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus . . ." Ephesians 1:1 (ESV).
"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the saints and faithful . . ." Colossians 1:1-2 (ESV).
God's people, throughout Scripture, are referred to as saints. In other words, sainthood is a designation that God imputes to his people through Jesus Christ. We are holy because of his sacrifice on the cross. He took our sins, and in exchange he gave us his righteousness. God's people are then set apart for use in his Kingdom—to be his ambassadors, his representatives, to bring the Good News message of forgiveness, justice, and peace to God's world.
Martin Luther King, Jr. claimed to be a follower of Jesus Christ. More importantly, his life's work bears out his testimony. He dreamed God's will for his life, his family, his people, and for America. He then worked to bring peace and justice to our world.
Should MLK be considered for Sainthood? The answer is NO! Why? Because according to God's Word, he is already a Saint! Praise the Lord!
Prayer: "Dear Lord, like our brother Martin Luther King, Jr., help us also to take up our mantle of sainthood and bring the good news message of forgiveness, peace, and justice to our world. Amen."
Copyright 2019 Sarah A. Keith
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