Are We Sinners or Saints?
“I’m just a sinner saved by grace.” Really? Consider this: while telling a lie makes you a liar, you would not characterize yourself as a liar for telling a lie, a few lies, or even several lies. When you lie, you are being a liar, but then (hopefully) you cease lying and speak the truth. In fact, you may consider yourself an honest person, as do others, even though you lied.
Compare also that if you get caught in a lie, you don’t blow it off by saying. “You know, I’m just a liar saved by grace.”
For some reason we gladly bear the title “sinner” when Scripture calls us “saints.”
Consider Peter’s words, we have escaped the corruption in the world that comes from sinful desire. How? We are partakers of the divine nature. Doesn’t jive well with being a sinner. You can’t in one breath say you partake of the divine nature and yet sin dominates your character.
But how can we partake? Through the precious and very great promises. But why give us such promises? They come from his glory and his excellence. For His glory and excellence, he called us to salvation. And since we are saved, His divine power enables us to live in true life and godliness.
The short version is this: God’s power makes it possible for us to live godly lives which have escaped corruption due to sinful desires.
However, such a phrase does not fit on a bumper sticker very well, so I guess that’s why it never caught on.
The distinction is this: The Bible warns us not to lie to ourselves and say we have not sinned, but it clearly does not say we must live as defeatists as if we have already committed future possible sins.
Jesus says, “Go, and sin no more!” Peter quoting the Law says, “Be holy.” Paul asks “Should we go on sinning,” and he offers a vivid illustration to the contrary.
Are you a defeatist? Do you wage war against the flesh, or do you abandon the spirit on the field? Do you die to yourself, or do you roll over and play dead? God has provided all we need through divine power to make us divine nature partakers.
We are spiritually schizophrenic. We boast not in our own righteousness, so boast in the righteousness God imparts through Christ. If Christ’s righteousness is yours, if you are covered by the blood, then live as a saint and nail your sinner self to the cross (Galatians 5:24).