Apparently, there are five steps:
- Wait five years - or don't
- Become a "servant of God"
- Show proof of a life of "heroic virtue"
- Verified miracles
In Acts 9, which is dominated by conversion of Paul, there is a little bit about Peter the non-Pope visiting Lydda:
Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. (Acts 9:32)
So, if someone can only be a saint if they have been dead for 5 years, then how could Peter be visiting saints who lived at Lydda?
When Paul writes to the Philippians, he states:
Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar's household. (Phil. 4:21)
So, the church in Philippi should greet dead people, and there are dead people in Caesar's household.
It is clear from this that the term "saints" should include living people - but which ones? Should we restrict it to a league of super-Christians who put us all to shame? Well, there are many people who provide us with examples of godly living; some are big names, others will be those that only people in their church know.
The term "saint" comes from sanctified - so it is simply someone who has been sanctified.
Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, which was beset by troubles caused internally and externally, and he begins:
Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: (1 Cor. 1:1-2)
The saints are those sanctified, all who call upon the Name of Jesus, accepting Him as Lord.
When someone becomes a Christian, they become a saint.