Why don’t we say that we’re saints? I recently encountered the protestant belief that all Christians are “saints,” and this puzzled me, but some explanation is in order. The word “saint” appears all over the Bible, referring to folks who are set apart to the service of God, and in this sense, yes, all baptized (and chrismated) people, regardless of our personal holiness or sinlessness, could be called “saints.”
That said, this is not the Orthodox mindset, as our conception of saints goes significantly beyond the protestant understanding, and in many ways is less legalistic than the Roman approach to the same. The title of saint is not something that we should abrogate to ourselves - for reasons of humility and avoiding hubris, primarily, but also to avoid confusion about our understanding of the salvific work of Christ. Saints are those who have shown most clearly what it means to faithfully follow Christ, and while this ought to be the goal we’re aiming at, it would be the height of pride to suggest we’re already there.