Many of us who have accepted Christ as our Savior and Lord, because of patterns of besetting sin or addiction in our lives, view ourselves as sinners saved by grace. However, the truth is, we are saints who sin.
Birth, not performance, dictates nature. The world’s definition of a sinner is performance-based; if a person sins, then he’s a sinner. God’s definition is different. His view is that a sinner is a sinner because he or she was born that way, and neither good nor bad performance can change that fact. It’s not sins that send a person to hell, it’s their nature that sends them to hell. To go to hell, you just have to be born and reach the age of accountability. That’s it. Unless you submit to God’s plan to get your nature changed, you’re toast (literally)!
[click here if you would like to learn how NOT to be toast]
When a sinner gets saved, he does NOT become a sinner saved by grace but instead becomes a saint who sins. The world sees a saint as a person who rarely, if ever, sins. However, the New Testament refers to born-again people as “saints” fifty-six times, whereas it rarely (two or three times) uses the term “sinner” to refer to a Christian (we can deal with this apparrent contridiction but not in this blog entry; I hope that you will pick the fifty-six instead of the three). Therefore, the truth is, if you are saved, then you are a saint, regardless of whether you still sin a little or a lot. Your new born-again (re-birthed) nature makes you a saint.
Why is how you view yourself important?
If you still view yourself as a sinner, then it is difficult for you to accept and appropriate the truth about your new born-again identity (who you are in Christ). How can I believe that I’m a filthy, rotten, no-good sinner while at the same time believe that I’m “the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus”, “above and not beneath”, “the head and not the tail”, etc? See the contradiction? However, if I believe the truth that I’m a saint, then this is in agreement with what the Bible teaches about who I am in Christ (e.g. I’m… a new creation, accepted not condemned, holy, set apart, etc). There is no contradiction.
[Much of this blog entry comes from Bill Gillham’s excellent book “Lifetime Guarantee”, although it has been modified.]