I believe many of us, believers in Christ, are familiar with this phrase, or have used it to describe ourselves: “I’m a sinner saved by grace.” But how accurate is this statement?
You see, the assumption when saying this is that I am a sinner because I have sinned, & yet the Bible says that we sinned BECAUSE we were sinners. After Adam sinned, we were all made sinners, and there was no good thing that we could do that could change that status, only faith in Jesus. In the same way, we are not righteous because we do what is right, we are righteous because we have faith in Jesus’ complete obedience. He who never sinned became sin, that we may become the righteousness of God, and in the same way no right thing we did could change our status as sinners, the same way no sin changes our status as righteous, because we didn’t do anything to earn that status.
One would ask, “Then why do people still sin?” Well, man is a 3-part being: spirit, soul & body. When we get born-again, it’s our spirit that is changed, that is made new, that is made righteous. However, our soul, which comprises of our will, thoughts, feelings, and emotions, still needs to be renewed, and the rest of the Christian life is about renewing our minds with the Word of God, so that they align with the righteousness in our spirits, our true selves.
Let me give an analogy: we are all born male or female. However, we need to learn what exactly it is to be male or female I.e. how a man meant to conduct himself, how a woman is meant to conduct herself, etc, and we begin to learn this from the time we’re born throughout our lives. If you are born female, for example, whether or not you act like it, you are female. Even when you act like a man, it doesn’t change the fact that you are female. Same thing with you being righteous. When you got saved, you were BORN AGAIN, and your new born again spirit is righteous. It is the same spirit that Jesus is. So even when you sin, it doesn’t change the fact you ARE righteous. You are not what you do. You are who you are in the spirit, & the rest of the Christian life comprises of you aligning your thoughts, feelings and emotions with who you really are – RIGHTEOUS! So once you’re born again, don’t call yourself a sinner anymore. You WERE a sinner, now saved by grace. You are now THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN CHRIST, and how amazing is that!! Proclaiming you’re still a sinner is saying that what Adam did was more powerful that what Jesus did. I know many of us like to identify ourselves as sinners to express that we’re not perfect, but don’t despise what Jesus has done for you. YOU ARE RIGHTEOUS! Not because of what you did, but because of what JESUS did. He took all your sins upon Himself on the cross. Past, present AND future sins! That is the Gospel. That is the too-good-to-be-true news, that you are saved by grace, through faith, and that not of yourself; it is the gift of God.
People don’t go to hell for not living right. They go to hell because they reject Jesus and what He accomplished for them on the cross.
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
~ Romans 5:19