I can still hear those old time testimony services that were part of a Sunday evening service in the church my father was pastor of. Old timers would get up and talk about the goodness of God to their lives. Some would testify of His provision. Some of His healing power. Other’s of deliverance or divine protection. It was always a time where people were able to encourage other people by how God was working in their own heart and life. On more than one occasion I can still hear some individual get up and say, “I am thankful I am just a sinner saved by grace”. Many in the congregation would shout Amen. Hearts were warmed by that statement. People felt good. They were thankful for salvation. But, as I set where I set today even though the statement sounded great it was theologically wrong. Now that I have your attention, continue reading. Many of you may have said that statement as well. Your upbringing taught you to say that. But here is the rub. I am either a sinner, or I am saved. But I cannot be both. It is impossible. How do I know that? Because the Bible states that fact.
Ok, don’t take my word for it, get your Bible. Open to 2 Corinthians 5:17 and read the verse slowly. Paul states, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things arepassed away; behold, all things are become new”. This does not mean you and I have sinless perfection. It does not mean that from time to time we do not blow and make mistakes. What it does mean though is that we are not “sinners saved by grace”. Here is why. Far too long within the church world our entire emphasis has been on the fact that we are nothing but a bunch of sinners. If that is the case guess what sinners do? That is right, they act like sinners. But, if the emphasis were placed on the fact that our past is gone, completely wiped away, never to be remembered or recalled by God once it is under the blood of Jesus Christ, our lifestyles would begin to represent saints. Would we always act like saints? Probably not. Would any of us feel like saints? Undoubtedly no. But, regardless of my feelings, or even from time to time my actions if we are “in” Christ we are saints of the most high God.
Honestly, it is the work of the devil himself to keep you and me in a position of seeing our mistakes, shortcomings, faults and failures. That is his job. He knows if the tables are ever turned and we begin to see ourselves as God sees us then hell cannot stop us, defeat us or even destroy us. But, because the church world has preached for so long that we are nothing but sinners, people in the body of Christ have done what we naturally would do because we have not been taught our rightful position in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Feel free to disagree. Feel free to challenge. But, I assure you that when you begin to see yourself as God sees you, there is a power surge within your inner being that you perhaps have not had in a very long time. You feel like a child of God should feel. You feel alive. Radiant. Engerized. Empowered. No longer weak or helpless. You feel like royalty. You have that spring in your step. That wonderful smile on your face. Your entire being feels alive. Exactly what you should be feeling because now there is life flowing through you in a beautiful way.
Allow me to say again that I am not talking about sinless perfection. But, “in” Christ old things will begin to drop off and new things will begin to come forth. Like a new sapling that has broken forth from the acorn you start to grow. You are not a tall oak tree yet, but in you there is that potential. Other trees might laugh at you. Other trees might even mock. But, you continue your growth spurt. After awhile a new sprig comes forth from your trunk. Leaves begin to appear. And before you know it there is wonderful fruit for others to partake from of your life.
If you are a sinner reading this blog then I say it is time to repent. Turn around. Go in the opposite direction of what you have been walking. If you are a saint, someone who is “in” Christ act like one, talk like one, be one. But, remember and never allow any one from henceforth to call you, “just a sinner saved by grace”, for there is no such creature!!!