1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:1–3, NKJV)
Just as Christ called Paul to be an apostle, Christ calls sinners to be saints. Paul was called to be an apostle through the will of God, and, God’s will calls sinners through the gospel to be “sanctified in Christ” – holy and set apart from sin and set apart unto God. The word saints (“holy ones”) is applied in the Scriptures to every Christian, not just special ones the church decides ought to be called saints (like is practiced in Roman Catholicism). The church is a “holy nation” according to Peter in 1 Peter 2:9. Those who are “beloved of God” are saints according to Paul in Romans 1:7. In today’s text, saints “call on the name of Jesus Christ,” and through Him obtain grace and peace from God. In Catholicism, Saint Patrick is the “patron saint of Ireland,” but in the Scriptures, all Christians are saints. The reason is simple: “Be holy, for I am holy,” says the Lord (1 Pet. 1:15-16).