I’m Just a Sinner!
We hear that a lot. Especially those of us who make church-going something of a habit. “We’re all sinners,” or, “I’m just a sinner, saved by grace” sounds wonderfully humble and forgiving, and it’s usually accepted as a core part of Christianity. Is it worth a second look?
When asked, the person will usually refer to a passage such as, “All have sinned,” or “We like sheep have gone astray.” This is all true, as far as it goes, but such statements are always in the past tense and some, like the second one, are incomplete. The rest of it reads, “but the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” If another has taken your guilt, you are no longer guilty. If your sins have been taken away, then you have no sins for which to answer: You are forgiven, and you are free! If we look through the Bible, we find that God does not speak to His own as “sinners” unless in that context there is a particular sin problem to address. To belong to God means being made holy to Him: Not “sinners,” but saints!
What does this mean? First, that we are no longer deserving of death (..the wage of sin is death.) because Christ has died in our place. Second, it is no longer our nature to sin (though it still might be our habit!), because not only is our guilt nailed with Him to that cross, but our very sinful natures sin have likewise died. For a Spirit-born child of the living God to deliberately sin is to reach into the past and put back onto ourselves the crucified body of sinful desires, like crawling down into the grave of an executed enemy to cuddle the corpse!
Is this God’s plan for His own? Of course not! He commands us, “Be holy for I am holy!” We see that the very fact of God’s holiness gives us the reason, and the means, to live holy. By our own strength? What strength could that be? It was while we were helplessly lost in sin that Christ died for us! Not our strength, but His, as it says, “..how shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” and, “If the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwell in you, He shall quicken your mortal bodies by that Spirit,”
What then is the answer? “Awake to righteousness, and sin not?” Easier said than done? But yet, if our mamas taught us not to exaggerate, because that was the same as lying, then why are we so quick to say that the Bible is speaking a hyperbole? Isn't that a polite way of saying it's an exaggeration? The same Lord Who said, by His Spirit, “Awake to righteousness and sin not” also told His disciples, “Give ye them to eat,” and a mob was fed from a sack lunch. If we, as His disciples, have the bread of His Word, and the fish that is Christ, (to borrow from the early Greeks) then we know that we have all that we need to also live as His true disciples, carrying His bread to the world with clean hands, free from the stain of sin. Then we can serve gladly, knowing we can feed others without fear of offending, and confident with our Lord beside us!