Sinners and Saints

Justin Johnson

When a soul is saved it is given a new position and a new title. I’ve never heard anyone use it outside of more religious sects and the Bible.

It is common to hear people in churches call each other “brother” or “sister”. This seems to be Biblical in that “brethren” is used frequently to describe our close relationship to other believers.

“Believer” is only used once by our apostle to describe those who are saved (1 Tim 4:12).

Calling ourselves “saved” would be an appropriate description according to 1 Cor 1:18, but it more aptly describes what has happened to us and not who we are in Christ. We are saved just as we are also redeemed, justified, and sanctified.

More faddish groups would like to call themselves “Jesus followers” based upon what the twelve apostles did with Jesus while he was on earth. This is not only dispensationally wrong, but sounds more like a Jesus fan club than God’s church.

Speaking of church, some prefer to use the word “member” to describe people who have ceremonially joined their special group. Yet, every time the Bible uses the word “member” it is in reference to body parts. Being members of Christ’s body and of each other speaks of our relationship towards our Head and other parts of the body (Eph 5:30).

Converting a Sinner

Before God saved us by Christ’s finished work on the cross we were called sinners.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

By Adam’s disobedience we were born into a sinful world and death passed upon us all (Rom 5:12).

“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” – Romans 5:19

In Christ we are made righteous. We are no longer made sinners in Adam. We are now made something new in Christ. It is the operation of God that places us into his body, and gives us this new position.

Made a Saint in Christ

The Bible calls those in Christ “saints”. No one has ever called me a saint, except my Bible.

I suspect that is because the few religious sects that use the title “saint” restrict its use to those they believe performed great religious service or exhibited extraordinary religious fervor.

Yet, this is foreign to the Bible’s definition of saint. I would not pretend to be called a saint according to the Roman Catholic tradition. It takes years just for their popes to be sainted.

To understand our position as saints we must ignore tradition and let the Bible define its own terms.

In the Bible if you are not a sinner dead in sins, then you are a saint. You became a saint of God when you trusted the gospel of Christ, irregardless of your religious works.

Saint is your new title and position. Christ has dealt with your sins. You are no longer in Adam, but in Christ. The Bible calls us saints of God by the grace of God, not by our works, lest any man should boast (Eph 2:8-9).

Now, if only we can get this through our thick skulls, perhaps we will start acting like one.

“Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:” – 1 Corinthians 1:2

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Published: October 15, 2011
Last Modified: March 24, 2017
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