Are We STILL Sinners?
As I was doing my daily walk this morning in the dark, I was impressed to write this addressing the question of; Are We STILL ‘Sinners’?
It is important for us to study “the Word of truth” comparing Scripture with Scripture to determine what applies to us and what does not apply to us during this age of the “dispensation of the grace of God,” so as to arrive at the truth.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
I started researching the often-heard phrase “Sinners Saved by Grace.” I’ve long-known I WAS a sinner saved by Grace. For Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us how we were saved.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.”
From this verse we see how that ‘faith alone’ does not save us, but rather;
- it is God’s Grace that offers us salvation as the Free “gift of God,”
- being received ‘by faith in Christ alone,’
- - ‘Christ alone,’ meaning, totally apart from any sort of religious works (sacraments, baptisms, rituals, rites) or so-called good works that we may do. We cannot earn salvation.
It is from the Pauline scriptures that we learn and know that Faith in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection is vital (1Cor. 15:3-4). Faith is the necessary conduit by which we receive God’s grace to be saved. Our salvation is of God’s work in our lives.
We can look at Faith and Grace like this;
It’s as if you were standing on top of a 10-story building that is on Fire. There are firemen below with a Net ready to catch you. To step off of the building is a step of Faith, and the Net that saves you, is God’s Grace. For, God in Christ is The Trustworthy One that Saves us.
Still, the question arises is this; Are we still Sinners?
Sadly, most Christians today have been robbed of the truth of salvation and been dumbed down from what the Scripture actually has to say. The term sinner was ‘our former state of being’ before God’s Grace in the person and work of Christ saved us.
That means that the term “sinner” is refers to our past, and it should be substituted with the term “Righteous” since we as believers have been “counted righteous” through God’s grace and our faith. Consider these words from Paul, “the Apostle to the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:13).
“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God IMPUTETH RIGHTEOUSNESS without works,
7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute [or count his] sin. Romans 4:5-8 (KJV)
These words do not mean the we consistently live a righteous life after we are first saved. The process of ‘sanctification,’ means to become righteous in our daily living. This is the lifetime work of God in us that begins the day we are saved by grace… through faith.
“For it is God which Worketh In You both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13
“Being confident of this very thing, that he [God] which hath begun a good work In You will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ [so long as we live, after which we are ultimately Raptured to heaven]” Philippians 1:6 (KJV)
The Bible term ‘Justification’ is a legal term that simply means a judge finds and declares us to be “Not Guilty.”
“[Jesus] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation [sin-debt payment] through faith in his blood,
to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance [or patience] of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he [Jesus] might be JUST, and the JUSTIFIER of him which [whoever] believeth in Jesus. Romans 3:25-26 (KJV)
Paul tells us Jesus was ‘made to be sin for us’ so that we could be made righteousness of God by faith in Jesus Christ.
“For he [God the Father] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, [that is Him] who knew no sin; [so] that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 (KJV)
Thus, we as genuine believers have all been found ‘not guilty’ of our sins because Jesus took our sins upon Himself 2,000 years ago. It’s as if God is saying,
“If you accept My Son hanging on the Cross ‘as you’ [in the place of your person] then I will accept my Sons death on the cross as being “your death.”
To believe in this way we have to be humbled by God… enough to surrender our former self-justification and excuse making … in order to receive the Free Gift of God’s Grace that is … extended to us… in the person of Christ on the cross hanging there AS US and FOR US.
You might ask, how does this affect our walk with God after we are saved?
Please realize that we as believers know and must admit that we still on occasion commit ‘acts of the Sin nature’ (‘sin’ is located “in the flesh” of our physical body (Rom. 8:3b) … even after we have been saved.) To deny this is to deny our daily reality.
Note that we never did anything to effectively be saved and we are not required to do anything to remain saved… however, if we have genuinely believed and received the Lord as our personal Savior then we will have a growing sense of appreciation and love for the Lord. This appreciation and a growing love for the Lord comes as we begin to understand the details of what He has done for us... we study the Bible. His love extended to us will eventually run its course and ‘constrain our heart’ to want to walk in union with Him and the will of His indwelling “spirit of life” (Rom. 8:2a). His indwelling “Spirit” inwardly convicts our hearts of wrong doing and wrong thinking, motivating us toward living righteous lives.
Since we are “counted” by God as already being righteous, to say that you are still a sinner, is incorrect. We still have a free will to commit acts of sin and by His indwelling Spirit we are always aware when we are sinning against what we know of the Lord’s will for us. Yet we are no longer, never again, sinners in the sight of God.
Our new identity is “in Christ” “who is our life” (Col. 3:4). We are “new creatures” as member of “His body” on earth. This is so from the very moment we first believe to receive Christ as our Savior and as our new life.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
“I [Paul] Am Crucified With Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ Liveth In Me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (KJV)
Again, this is not to say that we do not still commit acts of sin on occasion, but we are no longer thought by God to be ‘sinners.’ Rather, we are “heirs of God” through having been ‘regenerated’ by “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:2), making us “co-heirs of God with Christ.”
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and Co-Heirs With Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:17
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of Regeneration, and Renewing of the Holy Ghost;” Titus 3:5 (KJV)
As “co-heirs of God with Christ” we are partakers of the ‘Royal lineage of the Godhead.’
Our Union with the Godhead… is by Christ and His “Spirit of life” now in us as our only legitimate life.
God has ‘clothed us with His Garments of Righteousness as of the purest ‘White’ (Mark 9:3) - indicating our state of SINLESSNESS.
So, if you still view yourself as a ‘sinner’ then you are hindering the Holy Spirit from completing a perfecting work in your life and giving Satan a tool to condemn you. Father God wants to make you Holy (righteous), but He is hindered if you adopt or keep a negative view of yourself.
KNOW THIS… you will never be ‘condemned’ by God because He has counted you righteous… “In Christ.”
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in [in union with] Christ Jesus, [those] who [deem to] walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1 (KJV)