The question, “Who are you?” may be answered in a variety of ways. You may respond by telling others about your profession, but that’s what you do. Some may find their identity through performance – titles, degrees, and achievement. Some find their identity through their possessions – the more toys we have then the more successful we seem to be. Others find their identity through popularity – your reputation is what others think of you; however, your character reveals who you really are. The issue is not what others say about you, the key is what does God say about you.
A common word the Bible uses to describe Christ followers is the word saints. As I look at my life and the things I’ve done, the word saint does not seem to be an accurate description of me. The truth is all of us were born with a sin nature, but Jesus came and paid the penalty for our sin,
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
Those who have received God’s free gift have become a child of God with all of the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of sonship,
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, (John 1:12)
As a child of God, I no longer define myself by my sin or the sin committed against me, but by who God declares me to be. As the Apostle Paul addressed Christians he often used the word “saints”. The root meaning of “saint” conveys the idea of being separated from sin and therefore consecrated to God. If you are a child of God, then you are a saint. Look how Paul addresses the recipients of his letter at the church in Rome,
to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:7)
A saint is someone who is beloved of God – let that thought sink in. You may be thinking, “But I’m not a saint – I still sin!” Welcome to the club – no one arrives. Here’s the good news, God knows all about your sin and He loves you anyway. Your view of yourself is one of the most revealing commentaries of your theology.
To resolve our sin issues we must begin by trusting who God says we are. We will never resolve our sin issues through self-effort. Grace teaches us that God, and only God, can handle our sin. The Bible teaches us that we are saints who sin, rather than sinners striving to be saints. God isn’t interested in changing the Christian – He already has. We are now responsible to work out what He has worked in. If we do not start with trusting who God says we are, then we will end up trusting in our own resources.
See yourself as God sees you – one who is radically loved by God.
Associate Pastor – Discipleship. The Church at LifePark
Professor of Discipleship, Columbia International University
Follow me on twitter: rickhiggins5