People of Faith Series ‘Sinner, Saint, or Both?’
A sinner is a person who habitually breaks God‘s rules without understanding the consequences of their actions. I have heard many church folks say, “I’m just a poor sinner saved by grace.” If you are still a sinner, you’re not saved. Nowhere in scripture does it say that a child of God is a sinner. We were sinners who at one time habitually broke His rules before He rescued us from our sinful life, adopted us into His family, gave us a new nature, and called us saints. A saint will sin occasionally, but a saint is not a habitual sinner. When the saint seeks forgiveness for their sin, God forgives them, forgets it, and moves on. We should too. A saint is not perfect, but they are working on becoming all they can be for the One who rescued them from their sin.
People who called themselves, “A poor sinner saved by grace” use that analogy as an excuse for their actions. A person sins when they are weak, but God tells us, “When we are weak, He shows Himself strong in our behalf,” or He strengthens us to help us keep from sinning. Just because we are tempted doesn’t mean we have to submit to that temptation. Birds fly over our head all the time, but that doesn’t mean we have to let them build nests in our hair. I haven’t seen any one with a bird nest in their hair, so people understand that principle pretty well. Our mail box is full of junk mail everyday the mail runs, but that doesn’t mean we have to buy what the junk mailers are peddling. However there are people buying from these junk mail companies or these companies would not keep loading our mail boxes with their junk mail. So not everyone has learned you don’t spend money you don’t have. That’s a good analogy of the Christian. Satan keeps shooting temptations at us because he knows some people are going to give in to them. Temptations come for one reason only and that is to destroy our trust in our Heavenly Father. Junk mail comes to take a portion of our income from us that would be better spent elsewhere. Giving in to temptation does not make us stronger; and neither does buying things from junk mailers make us richer. God is able to sustain us through all things if we will give Him something to work with, but He can’t strengthen us if we don’t have the courage to take a stand against temptation anymore than we can save money if we won’t stop spending.
Do you not realize we are tempted by Satan to give in to our fleshly desires so he can gain control of a part of our life just like the junk mailers want some of our money. The more we give to Satan and the junk mail companies, the less control we have over our life and money. If we give Satan an inch, he will take a mile. If we give him a mile, he will take control of our life. When we give him control of our life that makes him the god of our life. Yes, we have to give him control. He does not have the authority to take control of a Christian’s life unless we allow him to do so anymore than the junk mail people have authority to withdraw money from our checking accounts unless we authorize them to do so after we make a purchase. And after we have made him god of our life, we have no right to call ourselves Christians and confuse those people who are searching for strength to overcome their sinful life. That’s what’s wrong with the church today; we have a bunch of babies who want to do things their way and enjoy their sin and still be classified as Christians. They may fool their church leadership into believing they are Christian, but the sinner and the saint knows better. Christ Jesus was our example and He wasn’t a weenie. He met every crisis head on. He instilled His values in the early church and they weren’t weenies either and they turned the Roman empire upside down for Christ. And down through the ages there have been men and women who have seen this truth and started revivals that opened the door for many poor sinners to be forgiven and made into saints.
When the Lord returns for His church He is not coming back for a broken down whore who prostituted herself with every devil that tempted her. She will be as magnificent and beautiful as the Bride Groom who is coming to receive her. He gave His life for her, and she makes herself ready for Him by resisting the temptation to sin against Him. She will not be a prostitute, but a Lady who gladly lays her life down for Him on a daily basis just like He did for her. She will be worthy of Him. She won’t be a ‘poor sinner who makes excuses for her sinning ways’. She will be a saint, a Lady, ready to receive Her husband and rule with Him over all of creation for all time.
If this message seems hard to some of you; it was meant to be. The church needs to grow up and face facts. Being a Christian is more that going to church two days a week. We can train monkeys to sit still in a pew twice a week, but we can’t train monkeys to become saints who would die for their Savior rather than give in to His enemy. Either the Lord God of heaven and earth is our Lord God, or Satan is. The one we yield to is the one we serve. The one has promised us a heavenly future; the other hides the truth of your eternal destination from you because he doesn’t want to go there alone. I don’t think he has anything to worry about though, Jesus said, “Wide is the gate that leads to destruction and many there-be who goes in there-at.” DThrash