I am not a sinner, but maybe a heretic?

Am I really that vain that I can actually say I am not a sinner? Well I must admit I am human, so I do have vanity within me, but trust me, that is not the reason for me saying, “I am not a sinner.” This is something God put on my heart a few years back that has really helped me break free from the shame I felt myself walking around in.  I will do the best I can to explain this. Please shoot me an e-mail with your comments bryce@christcore.net. I welcome them regardless of what they may be.

THE DIFFERENCE

Ok. Let us begin by defining our terms.

Sinner: A noun (person, place, or thing), that is what you are, it embodies everything you stand for..

Sinful An adjective (something that describes one small aspect of a noun).

A SAINT

I am a saint, holy, sanctified, set apart for Christ’s work. Through Christ’s death on the cross, He covered my sins and made me a new creation.  2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old [a sinner] has gone, the new [a saint] has come.”  Make a mental note of that “the old has gone.”  Romans 5:8 states, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Notice “we were still sinners.” That is past tense, my friend. I strongly believe that Paul had grasped onto the fact that as Christians, we are saints. That is why he often started off his letters “to the saints of…”

Interesting Note: There are roughly 45 references to Christians as “Saints,”40 as “Holy,” and 5 as sanctified as compared to a whopping 4 as “Sinners.”

Please note that these numbers are approximations, but relatively accurate.

There is quite a difference in those numbers. You think maybe God is trying to get something across to us? One thing I do not understand is how it is possible to proclaim what Nehemiah 8:10 states – “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” –  when we walk around in shame proclaiming, “But I am a sinner,” “I am a failure”? We as Christians need to grab onto the fact that Christ died on the cross for our sins. This is huge! This is the pinnacle of the Christian faith, that through His death on the cross we receive salvation, the slate is wiped clean, we are new.

Sinful

I don’t want to give the wrong impression that I am saying I am sinless. If I gave you that impression I apologize. Though I am a Saint (the noun meaning, Holy, Set Apart for the Lord’s work) I still struggle with my sinful nature. But joy can be found in this: my sinful nature is now only a very small part of my life. Like a heavy backpack that, though I let it go once, I pick up and feel the aches from every once and awhile. Still, it does not define who I am. By proclaiming the fact that I am a saint, I proclaim simply that Christ is what defines me from now on. Yeah, I’ll screw up. I always do. But when God sees me, He sees His son and what He did for me. How amazing is that?

The fact that I live in Jesus is much more exciting than proclaiming the sad fact that I am a defeated sinner. The Gospel is not a club used to beat me down when I’m feeling low. It is good news and should be shared that way. Yes, we need to share that all are sinners and fall short of the glory of God, but there is more to it. God pulled us out of that so we could live in something different. Live in that sainthood today.

I am a saint, holy and sanctified by Christ’s death on the cross. I will live with that joy daily and praise God for it continually.

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Bryce Cooley
I've been doing some form of ministry since 2000. For 13 years I was involved in the youth ministry at Cordova Neighborhood Church as everything from youth intern to youth pastor. God has led me and my lovely wife Bethany to Church of the Foothills where I currently reside as the Digital Publishing Coordinator. I'm excited to see where God leads my wife and I.