Saint or Sinner

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published 11 March, 2016 on Amanda’s Facebook page and was edited to fit the format of Land. Visit her website to find out more. 

Bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor 10:4-5).

In other words, all that we believe about us and God should line up with, or obey, what Jesus accomplished on the Cross. 

The obedience of Christ is the filter through which we should determine all our beliefs–and most especially our personal identity in Christ. 

It’s so very important to make sure our understanding about our relationship with God is based upon the Truth of the finished Work of Christ. 

If we think incorrectly, with repetition those lies can become part of our belief system (or strongholds, as the Bible calls them) which absolutely determines the quality (or lacking quality) of life that we will live (Prov 23:7).

Many Christians erroneously believe we are still sinners because we experience sin in our bodies and/or thoughts (minds, souls). 

However, instead of walking by sight (the senses, which is of the flesh) or by what our favorite magazine says, we should rather determine our spiritual identities by what the Word says (which is Spirit, according to John 6:63), clearly dividing the line between soul and spirit (Heb 4:12).

The Word says that all people are three-part beings: spirit, soul, and body (1 Thess 5:23). 

In Him, the same verse, tells us Jesus has promised to preserve blameless and sanctify (or make holy) our three-part being. The next verse doesn’t say that we will, but that God will do it until Jesus returns again (1 Thess 5:24). 

That is awesome good news, isn’t it?! 

To illustrate this meaning, think of a jar of preserved fruit jam you buy at the grocery store: you can put it on the shelf for years and years and it will never get one speck of mold or bacteria in it, right? 

Similarly, that purity is exactly like the blamelessness that God promises to keep our whole being in without our additional effort to live holy.

It’s very important to realize that we worship God consistently according to the condition of our spirits (John 4:24) and not necessarily always according to our souls or bodies (which sometimes can be fickle, or sinful).

Although God is concerned with how we feel in our souls (Heb 4:15), He is not one with us there in our souls. Rather, we are one with Him in our spirits (1 Cor 6:17). 

Because God never changes (Heb 13:8), and we’re one spirit with Him, then that also means that our spirits will never change from the perfection we received from Him when we first trusted in Jesus, when we received forgiveness for all our sins. 

That’s right! Your spirit is FOREVER PERFECT (Heb 10:14)! 

How wonderful is that?!

When we trusted Christ, it was our spirits that were sealed up with the holiness of the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13), and preserved like that fruit jam I mentioned.

Because Jesus can’t sin, and we are exactly “as He IS” in our spirits (1 John 4:17) right at this moment, it’s also IMPOSSIBLE for our spirits to sin (1 John 3:9)! 

Now of course, while we remain here in our corruptible bodies, our souls and bodies will continue to occasionally sin. 

However, focus on the truth about our oneness with God and that our relationship with Him is rooted in our spirits, which He inflexibly created forever to have HIS righteousness (His gift to us, independent of our behavior–2 Cor 5:21, Rom 5:17)!

Our spirits are the portion of our being that became a brand newborn again” creation when we trusted in Jesus (2 Cor 5:17). 

This means we were instantly transformed from being sinners in the kingdom of darkness to being saints (meaning holy ones or children of God) in God’s kingdom of Light. 

We were made holy simply by trusting in Jesus and not by our good performance (there are acts of holiness, which is just a reaction of who we are already–but I’m not speaking of those in this context).

Isn’t this good news?! 

This is why many of Paul’s letters (which comprise most of the New Testament) were not written to sinners, but instead were addressed to the saints in Rome, Ephesus, Corinth, etcetera.  

Agree with God that you are no longer identified by Him as a “sinner saved by grace” (though we once were), but NOW you are a SAINT, made holy only by His blood (Heb 13:12)!

2 Cor 10:4-5, NKJVProv 23:7, NKJVJohn 6:63, NKJVHeb 4:12, NKJV;
1 Thes 5:23-24, NKJVJohn 4:24, ESVHeb 4:15, ESV1 Cor 6:17, ESVHeb 13:8, ESV; Heb 10:14, TEV; Eph 1:13, NIV1 John 4:17, ESV; 1 John 3:9 , NKJV; 2 Cor 5:21, Weymouth; Rom 5:17, NKJV2 Cor 5:17, NKJVHeb 13:12, AMP

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4 comments

  1. Well, slap my face & call me stupid! The way you’ve explained this is something I’ve never heard before. Particularly about how a new creation no longer sins, which to me means I must’ve done something seriously wrong! Some days Sin feels like my middle name.

    But your message here is making these various things that are a source of doubt in me click into place.

    And us having THREE PARTS?!? Never heard that. I thought that was a figure of speech, meaning “completely.” But you’re saying we have three parts to us as God has three persons, right?

    So here I go again into dumb question mode – what’s the difference between the soul and the spirit? I always took those two words as synonyms. I need some schooling on this, if you would. If you want to expound off-line, so to speak, we can go through email. You keep introducing me to some new perspectives!

  2. Glad it brought clarity to you Jeffrey! Your spirit is simply identical in every way ALL THE TIME to what and who Jesus is like – completely holy, righteous, justified, in perfectly good relationship with the Father, healed, etc etc. =) (1John 4:17) A person’s soul can react carnally or spiritually according to how that Christian is thinking. (Prov 23:7) The more we understand our true spiritual identity according to the gospel and not according to the old Law, then our souls will be transformed in the same fashion, from glory to glory. (Rom 12:2, 1Cor 3:18)

    However, most Christians don’t accept and believe they have a righteous spirit, and therefore their souls think carnally, and consequently they suffer many “death-like symptoms.” (Rom 8:6)

    Your soul is identified by how most people know you – it’s your MIND primarily, in a nutshell. We can elaborate on that and include that your soul is your will, personality, feelings, dreams, imaginations. Most of us know each other in the soul-realm. Such as “she’s always a happy person.” Or, “his attitude (soul) always makes me feel mad (soul).”

    On the other hand, we need the Bible, which is SPIRIT, in order to know who we are in the SPIRIT. Jesus said “My Word is Spirit,” (John 6:63) so that is why we rely on the Word and not on magazines, tv shows, psychology, or even how we act (which is of the soul/flesh) to explain our identity in Him.

    A great resource that teaches this VERY important revelation (who doesn’t want to know WHO THEY ARE, right?!) is found at the Andrew Wommack Ministries website.You can download free audio teachings and videos, and buy his book “Spirit, Soul and Body” – it will greatly help you. =)
    http://www.awmi.net/reading/teaching-articles/spirit-soul-and-body/
    Blessings!
    Amanda

  3. thank you so much! This one of those things that went “snick” into place. Something inside recognized the truth of what you explained. That would be the spirit.

    And Paul wrote about his spirit which knew and desired the right and bemoaned his soul which vacillated, correct?

    Again, many thanks!

  4. Great! Exactly Jeffrey! =) Your spirit is sturdy like a rock, just like Jesus. However it’s in our souls that we sometimes vacillate, due to circumstances etc that challenge our “walk by faith and NOT by sight.”
    Blessings!

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