This post is going to raise a question that is probably going to upset some people, but that is nothing unusual, Christians believe passionately in the Bible but don’t always agree on what it means. One of the comments that I have noticed of late is that we, as Christians, are ‘sinners in need of grace’. Now I know what people mean by this, but is it true? I’m not so sure. Lets have a look at both sides of the story, compare it to scripture, and then we can all make up our minds.
The first side is the usually the side of the more conservative Christians who say that we are sinners in need of God’s grace. They say that we have a daily struggle to resist our sinful nature and submit to God’s will. Even as a Christian, we are still exposed to sin and have to resist it, and all of us will fail at some stage, therefore we are still sinners in need of grace. I can see their point of view, and I know all too well that none of us are perfect, and I would never claim to be perfect in my own strength. In fact the only reason what I am not 10 times worse is because of what Christ has done!
The other side, usually the more charismatic Christians, say that we are a new creation in Christ and have been made righteous with God through His sacrifice. They say that we are a new creation and we have been made holy, not because of who we are or what we’ve done, but who Christ is and what He has done! I can understand their point of view, and I must say that I agree, we are a new creation. Calling ourselves sinners in need of grace, could actually undermine what Jesus did for us on the cross. What we are actually saying is something along the lines of ‘what Jesus did was not good enough and we are still sinners in need of grace’. I’m sure we’ll all agree that this is just not true. So how do the two views work hand in hand?
Romans 7:14-25 says, “We know that the Law is right and good, but I am a person who does what is wrong and bad. I am not my own boss. Sin is my boss. I do not understand myself. I want to do what is right but I do not do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. When I do the thing I do not want to do, it shows me that the Law is right and good. So I am not doing it. Sin living in me is doing it. I know there is nothing good in me, that is, in my flesh. For I want to do good but I do not. I do not do the good I want to do. Instead, I am always doing the sinful things I do not want to do. If I am always doing the very thing I do not want to do, it means I am no longer the one who does it. It is sin that lives in me. This has become my way of life: When I want to do what is right, I always do what is wrong. My mind and heart agree with the Law of God. But there is a different law at work deep inside of me that fights with my mind. This law of sin holds me in its power because sin is still in me. There is no happiness in me! Who can set me free from my sinful old self? God’s Law has power over my mind, but sin still has power over my sinful old self. I thank God I can be free through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 says, “For if a man belongs to Christ, he is a new person. The old life is gone. New life has begun. All this comes from God. He is the One Who brought us to Himself when we hated Him. He did this through Christ. Then He gave us the work of bringing others to Him. God was in Christ. He was working through Christ to bring the whole world back to Himself. God no longer held men’s sins against them. And He gave us the work of telling and showing men this. We are Christ’s missionaries. God is speaking to you through us. We are speaking for Christ and we ask you from our hearts to turn from your sins and come to God. Christ never sinned but God put our sin on Him. Then we are made right with God because of what Christ has done for us.”
This scripture shows the two sides, although the last sentence of the first passage holds the key! I understand why people refer to us as sinners in need of grace, but I believe that we WERE sinners in need of grace, we are now righteous in God’s eyes! Even though we may (and probably do) continue sinning, Jesus has already paid the price so we are still holy in God’s eyes, thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice! Now please don’t get me wrong, I know that we can’t achieve this on our own, and I know that we will never be perfect as far as the law requires. Having said that, we are fortunate enough to be righteous and holy in the eyes of God, all because of what Jesus did for us! So if we are righteous as far as God is concerned, why should we go around calling ourselves sinners in need of grace?
I know I couldn’t do it on my own and I know that I would never succeed while trying to follow the law, however thanks to what Jesus did for us, I am righteous and holy in the eyes of the Lord! I believe that all of you who have accepted what Jesus did and call him Lord, can state the same. So yes, from now on we should acknowledge who we are in Christ, yet always remember how we got there!
I hope this makes sense, I don’t want you to think that I suggested that we can do this on our own. All in and for Christ!