How many times have you heard? “I’m just a sinner saved by grace.” That identity is wrong my friend; that’s not who you are.
Here’s the deal: You were a sinner, who was saved by grace through faith, and you are now a saint.
The new testament lists “sinners” as hellbound lost people. Look at 1 Timothy 1:9 please:
“Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers”
In that verse, we got a double blessing of information: 1. The law doesn’t apply to saints, and 2. “sinners” are clearly listed as non Christian lost people.
Now look at Romans 5.8-9, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”
Do you see the context of your identity prior to salvation? “while we were yet sinners,” That’s who we were, not are. And of course, that’s who Christ saves…sinners.
Christians are biblically referred to as “saints,” “holy brethren,” “sanctified,” & “beloved,” Etc. (1 Cor. 1.2, 1.30, 6.11, Eph. 1.6, 1 Thess. 5.27, Heb. 2.11, 3.1, 10.10, 10.14, 13.12, Jude 1.1).
Yes, (we still sin all the time) so in practice, we are saints that sin. But it’s our flesh that sins, not the new man, (Romans 7:14-25, 1 John 3:9).
The identity of “sinner,” is not WHO we are anymore. We are “saints,” who are the righteousness of God 24/7, (regardless of our sinful flesh).
“But wait, didn’t the apostle Paul refer to himself as the chief of sinners in 1 Timothy 1.15?” Yes, but the preceding verses make it clear that he is referencing his life prior to his salvation. (And even if this wasn’t the case)…We wouldn’t make a doctrine out of one single verse that would be in direct contradiction to the avalanche of post-resurrection/new covenant verses that say the opposite.
“Yes, but I still struggle with sin, like Paul described in Romans 7. Doesn’t that mean that I’m a sinner?” No, that means you’re normal. Every Christian has this struggle. This is the war between our flesh & spirit. And incidentally, Paul never referred to himself as a “sinner” in Romans 7.
God doesn’t want you to label yourself as those to whom His wrath is upon. It’s not humble for a Christian to identify oneself as a “sinner.”
And how absurd would it have sounded, if the apostle Paul would have written something like this: “To the sinners who are at Ephesus…”
So own who you are in Christ. Your Father loves and adores you.
All glory to the risen Lord Jesus Christ