How would you answer that question? What is your immediate thought? My daughter had this question in her Bible curriculum and it launched a meaningful and profound discussion. It was such a good topic to explore and search the scriptures on. At first, she was unsure of her response. But after our talk and our investigation in God’s Word, she became sure of her answer. How sure are you of yours? Are you a sinner or a saint?
Paul Addresses The Saints
When Sarah and I began talking about this question, we looked at how Paul addressed the Christians of his day. In his letters to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Corinthians, he does not say “To the sinners who are in Ephesus.” Or “To all the sinners in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi.”
No, he addresses his brothers and sisters in Christ as saints.
Paul wasn’t the type of guy to mince words. He told it like it was. If there was sin, he pointed it out..and then directed the people back to Christ. He was a straight-shooter.
Therefore, if he is addressing the Church as ‘saints’, then I am going to believe him. We, the Church, are saints. If you are being sanctified through Christ, you are a Saint. If you have been called by God, you are a Saint. If you call upon the name of Christ, you are a Saint.
Sainthood Does Not Mean Perfection
Now that does not mean we will not fall into sin. It does not mean we are perfect. We live in a sinful word. Falling into sin is inevitable. But what we do with that sin is what is important.
We must confess and repent of our sin. Confessing is admitting the sin and repenting is asking for forgiveness and turning away from our sin. We then must receive Christ’s forgiveness – I wonder how often this step is missed. Jesus has already forgiven us – but we need to accept His forgiveness.
The last thing to do is lay that sin at the foot of the cross and then leave it there. How easy it is for us to pick it up again and pack it around. Our enemy loves to remind us of that sin, doesn’t he? When we allow him to remind us and we start giving the past sin a spotlight, then we have taken it back from where we have placed it. Jesus has redeemed us from that mantle of shame over our sin. According to Colossians 2:14-15, He nailed our sin to the cross that fateful day, long ago. He is the authority over our sin, who are we to question this truth? He nailed it there Himself, let’s live in the freedom of that, shall we?
This may mean that instead of reminding each other of our past sin – we ought to remind each other the truth of where our sin actually is. Imagine if we lived like that? Maybe that is how the Saints are called to live.
Maybe you believe that you cannot be referred to as a saint because you aren’t good enough. Or maybe you think you sin too much or too often. Wouldn’t our enemy love for us to embrace this lie? His lie? Believing any of his lies prevents us from living a life of freedom in Christ and slows us down in our calling and purpose.
Maybe we have the wrong definition in mind when we think of ‘Saint’. The first definition I come across when looking up ‘saint’ is all about a person’s works. If I dig a bit deeper, I find this: “(In or alluding to biblical use) a Christian believer.” (Oxford dictionary). If we are Christians, should we not be using the Biblical definition of ‘Saint’?
Is this hard for you to accept? Are you still wrestling with the lie of your identity? I have good news for you if you believe that lie.
The Mantle Of Saint
Our identity as saint has absolutely nothing to do with our accomplishments or accolades. If that was the case, I don’t think there would be one single saint among us – present or past! Paul, himself, declares that he was the worst possible sinner. This is the guy who would hunt down Christians just to arrest them or have them stoned. This is what he lived for. And yet, I don’t think any of you would disagree with me in calling him a saint.
He is a saint only because of Christ. I am a saint only because of Christ. And guess what? You are a saint only because of Christ. This is His work. When we chose to heed His call on our hearts; that is when we became saints. When we decided to believe Him and to work out our salvation, we became saints. When we declared Him as Lord over our lives, we traded that mantle of shame for a mantle of saint.
Can we live like we are clothed in sainthood? Can we live in that freedom? It is all because of Jesus that we can.
Since our discussion, my daughter has been noticing the fact that the pastor of the church we have been attending addresses the congregation as “saints”. I am sure this was the same in our previous church; it is just become more noticeable since our talk. And I am glad. I want my children to rest in the truth that their position in God’s family and their identity in Christ is a direct result of what Christ has done for them. Will you rest in that truth as well?
So, are you a sinner? Or a saint?
I have created a printable for you to print off and remind yourself of this truth.
An 8×10 printable created for my post “Are You A Sinner Or A Saint?“