SINNER OR SAINT?
Are you a sinner or a saint? Well according to the Bible, if you are are someone who has been united to Jesus, you are considered a saint – a holy one, set apart by God. It doesn’t mean you are perfect or that they will make statues of you. But it is your identity whether you feel like it or not.
Your old self died with Jesus, and you have been reborn just as surely as Jesus has been raised from the dead. You are a new creation and now carry the nature of Christ instead of Adam. If you doubt this, read Romans 5-6!
You may wonder, “Then why do I still sin if I’m not a sinner?” Good question! I’m glad you asked. You sin because you choose to. Adam and Eve were created without sin but with a free will. They didn’t have a sinful nature. They didn’t have to sin, but they still chose to sin. And they did it on behalf of the whole human family.
You Still Have a Choice
As their descendant, you may have been born a sinner, but when you became a Christian, you died with Christ. (Rom. 6:4) You are no longer someone who can’t “not sin”. You now have the same free state of choice in which Adam and Eve started. (Rom 6:7) But even though you are no longer a sinner and can choose not to sin, you can also still choose to sin. (Rom. 6:11-13)
Jesus was subject to temptation and could have chosen to sin. But he chose not to. Temptation came to Jesus. It was real. But his nature was not predisposed to evil, and he didn’t let it trip him up. You have his nature now, and you no longer need to be tripped up by the temptations to sin that you face either.
The problem is that you have chosen sin enough times in your life that you have created habits of thinking, feeling and acting that are sinful. These habits are simply pathways in your brain that automate behavior that you can change with practice. They are your habits, but they are not your nature.
Your New Nature
As a Christian, your new nature is to be like God. That was the original design (Gen. 1:26) and the pre-planned destiny for which you were redeemed! (Romans 8:29) Believing your nature is sinful keeps you stuck and hopeless, waiting for death to save you from yourself instead of understanding that you are already saved by Jesus!
You have an enemy who loves to lie to you and tell you that you are a sinner . . . that you like sin . . . that God is not enough for you . . . that you deserve it . . . etc. And you sometimes fall for those lies because they seem true at the time. But when you recognize them as lies and you understand their source, you don’t have to fall for them.
When you go around confusing your habits or your thoughts with your nature, you end up fighting yourself, hating yourself and punishing yourself. Guess whose agenda that serves!