Are you a sinner or saint?
On Sunday, our pastor posed that rather interesting question.
I evidently left my halo at home – so of course, I had to claim the sinner hat.
As I'm sure everyone in the audience did.
And then, our pastor proceeded to tell us why we were wrong.
He's teaching from the book of Ephesians. And the book of Ephesians begins with Paul's enthusiastic list of all the things that belong to us as children of the King.
Yes, we who belong to Christ, are new creations, with new identities.
We are saints.
He gave this good example. When I got married, I became a wife. And when I had my children, I became a mother.
These were titles and positions – conferred on me because something foundational had changed.
Did I always behave like a wife? No, sometimes I still did "single-minded" things. Did I always behave like a mother? No, sometimes I still did "un-Mom" things.
But, no matter how I behaved, I was still a wife – I was still a mother.
In the same way, when I came to saving faith in Jesus, something foundational changed in me. I became a new creature – born again.
I am no longer a sinner trying to behave like a saint – I am now a saint letting go of sin.
There’s a subtle difference between the two.
One is all about my work – the other is all about what God has done, and continues to do.
If I view myself as a sinner, I am all too tempted to do one of two things.
One, I'll try to be better, to try to be good, to try to be good enough – I'll fall prey to the performance temptation of doing good works. I'll try to earn my sainthood, if you will.
Or, knowing that I fail miserably at any attempt to earn my sainthood, I'll live a life of shallow pretense. I'll be like one of those white-washed tombs – lovely on the outside, but hiding on the inside, dead and ineffective.
How should we look at ourselves?
Well, we should recognize the truth of our salvation. That we now live IN Christ. And because of our changed identity, we are saints…
…not sinners trying to be saints, but saints...
Saints being sanctified in Christ.
It was a rousing sermon.
Eye-opening, enlightening, inspiring, and full of TRUTH!
"And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Grab your halo, my friends!
We belong to the King – and He is doing His good work in us.
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"