Who Are You, Really?

mynameIt never fails. Regardless of which church or which city I’m in, attending a typical evangelical church, I hear that one phrase that grates against my heart and my sensibilities. It might be a pastor or an elder stepping up to the microphone to pray or encourage the flock, and he begins with the fateful statement,

“We are just sinners, saved by grace”….

Although it offended my spirit, I never really knew why until I decided to do a study on it. Now I understand why that phrase is not only unscriptural, but also illogical, and one of the sticks we use to beat ourselves up in the church.

The point is that I want to call myself only what God calls me. If you look throughout the entire New Testament, nowhere does God call His people sinners. He calls them righteous.  1 Peter 4:8 is a good example:

“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

There is a name for you if you have believed in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. That name is “righteous”. If you want other names, they are “light”, “believer”, and “temple of God”. Listen to Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:14-16,

14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.

Could it be clearer than this? In our false humility, we resort to calling ourselves and each other names. Again, nowhere in the NT does God call you a sinner. There will be no sinners in heaven. People are not sinners because they sin, they are sinners because they have not come to Christ to become new (righteous) creatures. Conversely, you are not righteous because you do right things all the time, you are righteous because you are a new creation, because of Christ’s work and the transformation by the Holy Spirit.

It doesn’t matter if you add “saved by grace”. That is irrelevant, as the first part of the statement says “I am a sinner…” (present tense). You are not (present tense) a sinner. You were a sinner, but you are not one now. Why glorify that part of your life, when God does not? You are a saint. Go through all of Paul’s Epistles and see how he addresses the church. He typically begins, as follows,

Romans 1:7  To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints

1 Corinthinans 1:2  To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy…

2 Corinthians 1:1  To the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throughout Achaia:

Ephesians 1:1   To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus….

Philippians 1:1 To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons…

I could go on, but I hope my point is made. Why didn’t Paul say: “To all the sinners saved by grace in Ephesus…”?  You are NOT a sinner, you are a saint, you are of a holy nation, a peculiar people, a people belonging to God. Do this for yourself: study the NT closely, looking for the names God calls you. See that He calls you a child of God in 1 John 3:2

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.

John didn’t say that you would become a child of God. You are already a child of God!! That’s who you are and what you are. He calls you many other names besides, none of which is “sinner”.  The reason I’m discussing this here is that it affects your faith and your faith is important in healing.  Calling yourself (present tense) a sinner is harmful to your faith because it is a lie.  So let us grow up in Christ and stop using that harmful phrase, “I’m just a sinner, saved by grace”. It is neither humble nor true.

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2 Responses to "Who Are You, Really?"

  1. Zee says:

    Hallelujah!! We are indeed the children of God, new creations, born again by the ressurection, righteousness, light, believers and saints e.t.c. That expression “sinner saved by grace” is such a crock of false humility. Who on earth gives birth to children and requires them to clothe themselves with a garment of inferiority complex? We should take the lesson of Phil 1:6 and acknowledge every good thing in us in Christ Jesus. Thanks much for sharing this truth. (Reference – Kenneth Hagin minibook – In Him).

  2. Nathan says:

    What’s your reaction to Paul calling himself the chief of sinners?

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