Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Sinner or Saint?

I was just thinking earlier today about the dichotomy between sinner and saint. I was talking with a widower today and his decision to get remarried. He was afraid there was some sin in it and that he would not be honoring his departed wife. The lady to whom he is engaged is a widow, just to clarify.

What concerned me was that he was trying to find some sin in the relationship. However, it led me to a conclusion about something that I have been pondering for a time. It often rattles me how often Christian teachers, preachers, bloggers, writers, and so on take much time to remind us that we are sinners but rarely to ever remind us that we are saints. Instead of looking for the good in something, we automatically look for the bad.

We are sinners. Absolutely. However, we are no longer citizens of this world, but we have been translated to another kingdom, a kingdom not of this world and we have an alien righteousness bestowed upon us by a loving Creator through the death of His only-begotten. My friend had nearly resigned himself to further despair because he seemed to want me to find some sin in his decision to become engaged.

I think a lot of resignation, despair, depression, and hopelessness is generated by those pastors and teachers who fail to instruct their people that Christ and His righteousness is theirs now and not just later.


Anonymous said...

Lil' Bro:
Sometimes I think we forget one main point of our relationship with the Father: HE came down for us, we did not go "up" and get Him. I know in my work as a Church Strengthener, the very first thing God leads to be done is to remind people not that they are sinners whose Church is in the mess it is in because of that fact, but in worrying about how their Church is "not like it used to be," they have forgotten about who THEY are in Christ, and what HE wants to do for them. I think you are absolutely right in your conversation with your friend. We are indeed sinners, but the gift of Jesus on the Cross of Calvary changes it from :
"Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God" to
"Saints in the Heart of a Loving God"

Bernard Shuford said...

Way too many people miss the majesty of grace when they contemplate the Gospel.

Tony said...

Big bro,

'Bout time you worked up the gumption to comment. :)

We think along the same lines; I can browbeat the folks and tell them how awful they are or I can tell them just exactly how much God loves them and though he wants them to be perfect, it is only through the bestowed gift of His Son's perfection that they can achieve it--and that it is perfectly possible.


I agree. I once was one. )

Luke said...


I preached that point long and hard. That we are NO LONGER titled by sinners but saints instead. Read the Scriptures. To the saints at, Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Ephesians 5:3; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:2. People actually thought I had a screw loose when I told them that we have moved from the title of sinner to saint. For whatever reason, we have begun to glory in who is the chiefest of sinners and that in itself has led to pride in some. But, I guess as long as people are people, we'll have those who once they find out that they are saints think they no longer sin and those that sin fail to understand that once in Christ, they become saints and should start acting like it.

Thanks for the good word.

Tony said...


You're welcome. There is that fine line between what some might call "sinless perfection" of which there are some ultra-conservatives and fundamentalists believe is possible while in the flesh (Michael Pearl being an example) and then there are those of the Gnostic strain, who think any deed committed in the flesh is "already" atoned for, even though it IS, there are special steps one must take to be forgiven. Too many use grace as a taskmaster and not a liberator.

Have a blessed day.