In our final three verses of this letter, we see the word "saint" two different times.
It's a word that just about everyone knows, but very few people understand what it means biblically. What is a saint? Are you one?
Most Americans when they call someone a saint, they are thinking of someone who is super spiritual.
In the Catholic church, a saint is someone you can pray to for healing or to get your loved one out of purgatory.
Most of us wouldn't feel like our lives measure up against the great saints like the Apostle Paul or John. And even if you could make the cut, even if you could meet the standard, would you really want churches named after you, with statues of you that people bow their knees to, and bring flowers and gifts to, and kiss.
To most of us, that seems so clearly to be idolatry. It breaks the 2nd commandment-no graven images. Which the Catholic church deletes from their version of the 10 Commandments.
So often, when we hear the title "saint" it has a negative connotation for us.
And yet Paul's favorite word for Christians is "saint." He uses it over 60x in the NT.
And he's not usually referring to super saints. He's not referring to spiritual standouts. He's referring to ordinary Christians like you and me.
So in v. 21 he says "Salute (Greet) every saint." In v. 22, he says "all the saints greet you."
This ties back, like a bookend to the very first verse in this letter "to the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons." V. 21 says "Salute every saint in Christ Jesus." Everybody who is "in Christ Jesus," everybody who is truly born again is a saint.
The word "saint" means "holy or set apart one." Because the moment we repent of our sins and trust Christ to save us, we receive His righteousness.
That's why we can be called "holy ones" because that is our legal status in God's courtroom. Now in practical life, there's still a lot to work out.
That's what we call "sanctification" from this same root. We could call it "saint-ification"-becoming a saint.
Our lives should be characterized by more and more holiness. We should be set apart from the world and set apart to Christ.
And yet there are Christians today who aren't acting like saints. They aren't shining out the light of Christ to others. They aren't even shining it out to each other-to other saints.
Their hearts aren't full of joy at the sight of other Christians. They're full of bitterness and envy and even hatred.
This morning we're going to see that Christians Greet the saints and experience the Joy of the saints. By relying on the Supply of the saints.