I am not a sinner saved by grace.
And neither are you.
Or rather, you shouldn’t be.
Either you’re a sinner, or your a new creature in Christ, you don’t get to be both.
Christ did not save me so that I could go back and wallow in a pit of despair, saying "woe is me" while I continue to live in the shackles of sin that He died to break me out of!
A few posts ago I wrote about "denying the power", about how 2 Timothy 3:1-5 was speaking specifically about this issue. (You might want to go back and read it if you get a chance.)
I’m not sure why I’m posting again on this same subject, except hat it’s been bugging me more and more lately, as I’m hearing person after person spout the "I’m just a sinner like everyone else, I’m just a sinner saved by grace" nonsense. If you are just a sinner, and nothing else, then you are denying Christ! Christ is not some lame duck God that has no power to help you keep from falling into the sins that he died to bring you out of. He is real, living, powerful, capable, and absolutely able to cleanse and sanctify. And if you don’t believe that, then you might as well throw away your Bible and live up to that "sinner" label you’re so fond of.
He did not save you so that you could go wallow in the mud of your familiar sins!
Christians love to quote 1 Corinthians 10:13 — Or, I should say, they love to misquote it. They love to say that "God won’t give you more than you can handle" — ignoring the obvious context of the verse, and the actual text of the verse, they take something said about temptation, and make it about life’s burdens. It’s great to think that God won’t let life throw us more burdens than we can bear. It’s not so great to think that we have no excuse for our sins. But that’s exactly what this verse says:
That’s right. God won’t allow you to be tempted beyond what you can, but will provide a way of escape. That means for every temptation to sin, there is a way for you to check yourself, and not sin. Every time you’re tempted, you have a choice.
As Christians, we are to learn to look for those choices, look for those ways of escape, and get better and better at not sinning when faced with temptation.
Does this mean that every Christian is going to be perfect? Of course not. We’re still human, and we still have to wrestle with these choices, and we’re still going to screw up from time to time. But as Christians we have a responsibility to lay aside our old, sinful nature, and live as a new creature. A creature with the power of Christ and the Holy Spirit behind us.
Insisting on claiming the label of "sinner", even in the context of a "sinner saved by grace", is essentially denying what was given to you when you accepted Christ as Lord. You might as well be throwing down that spotless garment and picking up the old one again. "I don’t want to seem like I’m better than anyone else, I’ll just wear this dirty rag, okay, Lord?". How insulting can you get?
Furthermore, the more often you say you’re just a sinner (yeah, yeah, saved by grace), the less likely you’ll be to look for that way out. After all, you’re just a sinner, and God’s grace is sufficient, right? Why not just give in to the temptation? I’m not any different from anyone else, after all, right?
And we wonder why so many Christian leaders fall? We need to purge this ridiculous notion from the body of Christ. We are not just sinners saved by grace. We were sinners. We were saved, by grace. And now we’re new creatures, and we need to stop denying the power that was given to us and learn to live that way.