Some Christians say, “I’m just a sinner saved by grace.” Other Christians say, “I’m a saint who occasionally sins.” Who’s right and does it really matter? Well, it mattered to Jesus who died on the cross for our sins to give us new life in Him! Paul writes in Galatians 2:20 that we have been crucified with Christ and we no longer live, but Christ lives in us, and the life we live in this body we live by faith.
Now in the Old Testament (before the cross), in the Gospel of Luke 18:9-14, it reads, “To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men – robbers, evil doers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
However, in the New Testament (after the cross), the Apostle Paul calls us saints, not sinners. Example: In Ephesians he addresses his letter “to the saints in Ephesus”…in Philippians his salutation is “to all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi.” In 2nd Corinthians 5:17 Paul writes: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come!”
Christians have a new identity, and knowing who you are in Christ Jesus is critical to living the Christian life. Remember, everything changed at the cross! (See Hebrews 9:16-17) Oswald Chambers writes in My Utmost For His Highest on June 12 about this topic Sinner or Saint: He states “Pride is the sin of making ‘self ’ our god. And some of us today do this, not like the Pharisee, but like the tax collector. (See Luke 18:9-14 above). For you to say, ‘Oh, I’m no saint,’ is acceptable by human standards of pride, but it is unconscious blasphemy against God. You defy God to make you a saint, as if to say, ‘I am too weak and hopeless and outside the reach of the atonement by the cross of Christ.’ Why aren’t you a saint? It is either that you do not want to be a saint, or that you do not believe that God can make you into one.”
LIFE LESSON: I believe that God can make us and did make us into saints who occasionally sin. He gave us His righteousness, His holiness, His redemption, and wisdom from God. Therefore, let anyone who boasts, boast in the Lord. Reference 1st Corinthians 1:30, 31.
Proverbs 23:7 tells us, “As a man thinketh, so is he.” (Sinner or Saint?)
Romans 12:2 tells us, “To be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
John 8:32 tells us, “Once we know the truth, the truth will set us free.” Now that’s something else to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, our new identify! Thank you Jesus!
Please keep us in mind for your year-end giving. Our funds were depleted with the expense of the completion of the Galatian Road, A Road Less Traveled Bible study/seminar. We’re excited about this resource which is now available on our website www.gigm.org Please help us tell others about this Christ glorifying study!
We are receiving great feedback from the pastor in India on the Hindi translation of the Galatian Road, the Road Less Traveled mini book and about how well it is being received especially by the young people. We sent them 1,000 books! Very exciting to see where God is going to take this.
We appreciate your continued support and for partnering with us to proclaim the truth in God’s Word about His amazing grace. To Him be the glory!
Happy Thanksgiving from Growing in Grace