When asked if you are a sinner or a saint what would your response be? For most, without hesitation, “sinner” is exclaimed without barely even trying. What is wrong with this you ask? Is that not what we are supposed to say?
2 Corinthians 5: 17 says if anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new creation. In Galatians, Paul writes that “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
We say, “I just do not understand. If you only knew the things that I struggle with in my flesh.”
In observing Romans, we can finally relate with Paul: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do.” We can now stop reading and put down our Bibles and say with a melancholy honesty, “That’s right. I’m such a phony pretender.”
How convenient for us to fall again into the lie of the enemy. He loves to tell us how we will never overcome our flesh; that we are stuck in our lives of never ending sin. The words in the Bible can not be true. You are just a hypocrite!
But we have stopped reading to soon. Paul finishes his conversation in Romans 7 by confessing, “As it is, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me.”
Now hold on just a minute Paul. Do you mean to tell me that I do not have to take the blame for what I actually do? I can commit wrongdoing and simply throw the blame on this so-called “sin living inside of me?” Sounds great! Pull out the Beatles, Rubber Soul, strike up a “J” and pass me a cup of that mushroom tea! It’s not actually my desires that are speaking but the little devil inside of me.
“Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God , through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (vv. 24-25) When Jesus died on the cross for our sin, we died too. When He rose from the grave to new life, we rose too. And in our death and resurrection we were set free from the law, which had condemned us to hell.
So what is it Paul? Are you or are you not a wretched man?
Referring the Paul’s verse above, the truth lies in the “want” and the “no longer.”
If I want to commit sin, I am still doing it. If, in my heart, I am divided over it – meaning part of me wants to do it and part of me does not – there is my new creation crying out to no longer sin and instead be like Jesus.
In conclusion, the problem here is found when we sin and give into the lie of the enemy who lies, “this is the real you and you can never change.”
Are you a new creation or not? This is the battle to be fought: Will we believe what God says about us or will we believe Satan’s voices telling us that God could not change who we are?
What is our offensive weapon? “The sword of the Spirit,” which is the word of God and the Holy Spirit. (Eph 6:17) So we have a choice: Will we believe our experiences or will we believe God’s word?
God said, “Be holy, because I am holy.” …And once again we, the church, hang our heads disgruntled at this unfathomable task.
NO! Does this verse say be holy in everything you do? Never commit sin again???
It says “be” …TRY… DO YOUR BEST, never stop trying to be holy for the rest of your life!
You and I both know the endless battle we will fight for the rest of our lives in this skin we do not have a choice to live in.
But we do have a choice to accept victory or defeat. God’s word has made it clear that we are victorious in Christ Jesus.
So, I challenge you to think twice the next time you are asked whether you are a sinner or a saint?
Thanks to Paul Thorson for contributing your reasoning