Rightly Dividing this Popular Phrase
Are God’s people hopelessly sinful? Is there victory over all sin?
Does the Bible state or teach that those who have been born again are “sinners saved by grace”? Is it true humility to go around stating that we are “sinners saved by grace”? We’d better find out because, as you know, each of us is exposed to this statement on a regular basis and should be good Berean believers who examine every saying and the concept behind it, including this one, in light of the Scriptures (Acts 17:10-11).
“As he spake these words, many believed on him…Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin (a sinner). And the servant (of sin) abideth (remains) not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free (from habitual sinning), ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:34-36
According to Christ here, if we have “believed on him” and are continuing in His Word (Jn. 8:30-32), we have and are being made “free” from sin and its control over our lives. We are “free indeed” from the power and penalty of that which separates man and a holy God – sin (Is. 59:2; Rom. 6:23 etc.).
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope (of Christ’s coming again) in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” John 3:1-3
Those who are ready to go, are purifying their hearts, minds, and bodies “even as he (Jesus) is pure.”
You don’t seriously believe that the beloved and Holy LORD Jesus is going to marry someone, anyone who won’t make up their mind to love, to worship, to serve, to obey Him, now do you? Such a concept would be delusional at best.
Yes, we were sinners “in times past” before Christ found us and then we said “Yes” to His plan by repenting, turning to Him from our sins and believing upon Him (Acts 3:19; 16:31; 20:21; Ephesians 2:3, etc.). Now we are called “saints” and “sons.” To say anything else is to disagree with God. The term “saint” or “saints” occurs 99 times in the Bible.
“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;” Philippians 2:15
Just because Jesus paid the debt for our sins in full, does nothing to negate His stated initial and ongoing conditions for remaining in a relationship with Him, The vast majority of evangelical churches, pastors today, have sold a lie to their prey – teaching initial salvation alone with no mention of enduring to the end which Jesusand His holy apostles taught is essential to eternal glory (Matthew 10:22; 24:13; 2 Peter 2:20-22, etc.). Get over yourself sinner. Repent now.
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. If you will remain in Christ, you must remain in Him, set apart to Him.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Not one of us can imagine being in engaged to be married to someone and yet allowing them to consort romantically with someone else, with other “lovers.” We’d rightfully break it off immediately. Such transgressing of what is right warrant severance. In light of this how then would it be difficult for us to understand that God, who is “Holy, holy, holy” and commanded us to “Be ye holy; for I am holy”, would keep the marriage date with anyone who does not have Him as the very first and only love? (Isaiah 6:3; 1 Peter 1:15-16; Revelation 4:8) Those who choose to live in sin after being saved, of their own doing, cancel their glorious wedding appointment with the Great Bridegroom of Heaven (Matthew 22:1-14; 25:1-13; Revelation 19:7-10). God is holy and will not co-exist with sin (Psalms 5:4; Habakkuk 1:13; Romans 6:23; Revelation 4:8; 21:8, etc.).
“How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Romans 6:1-2
Jesus died to make you His own, not to give you a license to live apart from Him, to live in sin. Read 1 John 3 today. KJB
“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” 2 Corinthians 5:15
Sister Karen Cochran notes:
“I hear many Christians today say I am just a sinner saved by grace. This is not biblical. Our identity should be in Christ not in being a sinner. This statement is saying our flesh is more important than our relationship with God and we want to hang onto it. If we are taking our sinful flesh to the cross of Christ, we should be being made into his image, who knew no sin. We should no longer serve sin. Romans 6:6. When we do sin we know the wages of sin is death. Romans 6: 23. It separates us from God. We repent and take it to the cross and ask forgiveness because our relationship with Jesus is more than than our fleshly selves.”
Amen Jesus. After being regenerated by Him, saved into His eternal kingdom, we are now “saints”, not sinners. 96 times “saints” appears in Holy Writ, each time specifically speaking of God’s people. Only 2 kingdoms – saints/sinners, light/darkness, Jesus/satan.
“Called to be Saints”
“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
We are to be “called” by the people of God, “sons” and “saints”, not sinners. This is not an arrogant attempt to exalt our position above that which has been divinely ordained, but a mere adherence and obedience to God’s Word. We are blessed in the grace of God and rescued, snatched up out of the mire and filth of sin and placed upon His rock of refuge (Ps 40). We can do nothing without Him and all things through Him (Jn. 15:5; Phil. 4:13). He stated that we are His “saints” in contrast with those who are not His – sinners. He has even given to us the down payment of our inheritance:
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest (down payment) of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14
Remember the wonderful and Scriptural song we sing:
We’re the people of God
Called by His name
Called from the darkness
One holy race
And delivered from shame
Saints every one
Because of the Blood of Christ Jesus the Son
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” 1 John 3:1
Sorry, I know a lot of people like to use this little saying (“I’m a sinner saved by grace”) which while being true in one aspect, also fosters a form of false humility and forecasts defeat and a life relegated to sinful living, but we must be accurate in our sayings and accurate in our living. This means we must die to self-thinking and be renewed and transformed by the written Counsel of the Lord as we offer our bodies a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2).
“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:” Titus 2:1
“SINNERS VS. SAINTS: The sinner and lukewarm practice and justify sin. The saint is at war with sin, has remorse, and repents. He goes to the throne room of grace for cleansing and grace (divine enablement), from that which defiles one’s garment, often…” Erik van Niekerk
This “sinner saved by grace” concept gives way to sinfulness. This statement and concept are no where to be found in Scripture. Yes, we WERE sinners, yet have been redeemed by the blood of Christ and from the power of the sinful nature and “renewed in the spirit of our minds.” To those redeemed, the Holy Ghost speaks and says:
“And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:23-24
Simply put, we are to cause our minds to conform to what God has done through His Son to redeem us. As a regenerate saint, we do not practice sin in our lives. That doesn’t mean we haven’t stumbled and walked in darkness after being saved, it simply means that if we are continuing in our relationship with the One who bought us back from the sinful life and devil, we do not live habitually in a transgression against Him. We are called to be holy as He is holy. (See John 8:31-36).
“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16
We have not been saved and then granted a license to sin and anyone who is teaching any doctrine such as OSAS (once saved always saved) or any of the five points of Calvinism, is fulfilling Jude’s prophecy and is an “ungodly man” who is “turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness.” (Jude 3-4)
Such as attitude is what apostate Israel lived by:
“And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?” Jeremiah 7:10
To remain a saint, one must continue living his life unto God to the end of it.
“Here is the patience (volitional endurance) of the saints: here are they that KEEP the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12
Galatians 5:24 “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”
You are NOT a “sinner saved by grace” if you have been regenerated. Beloved of God, please rid your mind of this erroneous thinking. There is an “old man” and a “new man” spoken of in Scripture (Col. 3:9-10; Eph. 4:24). We are to “put off” the deeds and desires of the “old man” and “put on” the Christlikeness of the “new man.” The “new man” refers to the truth that God has redeemed us and calls us out from the way the world (the unsaved). We are blessed to live these lives separated to God in all things. We are to worship Him and no other, having no other gods before His majesty. We are to be “separate from sinners” (Heb. 7:26), as Christ was. To be “separate from sinners” refers to separation in the way we live, not necessarily removing ourselves physically from them, although in some cases this is essential.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” 2 Corinthians 6:14-17
Sin is a decision and it’s largely due to what doctrine we obey in our minds (Romans 6:17). Some have been told that they can’t help but sinning every single day. Where does the Bible say such? Why have bought into such a philosophy?
“And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.” 1 John 3:5-6
Note particularly this portion of the above passage:
“… in him is no sin. 6Whosoever abideth (remains in intimate fellowship with) in him sinneth not.” 1 John 3:5-6
Instead of being a “sinner saved by grace”, you are a Son of God. You are one who is in covenant relationship with God, whereas a sinner has no covenant relationship with the Lord. The sinner is one who has not yet received the redemption Jesus died and rose again to give him. Remember that the Word says that “the redeemed” are to “say so.”
“Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;” Psalms 107:2
If I am “redeemed”, I am to speak this out (“say so”), not go around confessing “I am a sinner”! The word “redeemed” means bought back. We are to breath hope into others by telling them we have been bought back and they can be too!
We have been bought back by Christ’s precious blood from a life of sinful separation from a holy God. We have been redeemed from the control of sin over our lives (Rom. 6:14). How are others going to have hope if we are saying that we are still “sinners” who are relegated to a life of sinfulness??? Also, if we are still sinners, then God must permit sinfulness in His kingdom, right? Wrong.
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which NO man shall see the Lord:” Hebrews 12:14
Notice the book ends, the beginning and ending of the monumental cross chapter, Romans 6:
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? … But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:1-2, 22-23
Those who were initially saved and are abiding, remaining in, continuing with Christ, have their “ye have your fruit unto holiness” which also means they have “everlasting life.” Jesus taught us that any person who is born again into Him and yet does not “abide”, continue with Him, on His stated terms, evidenced by good fruit, will be thrown into the fires of eternal damnation. Read John 15:1-6.
God’s Word clearly teaches initial and final salvation (Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Colossians 1:22-23; 2 Timothy 2:12; Hebrews 3:6, 12-15; 10:26-39, etc.).
In Colossians 3:12, those saved are called “the elect of God, holy and beloved.” In 2 Corinthians 5:21, we are called the “the righteousness of God in him (Christ).”
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
YES!, you were born into sin and depraved to the depths of your being, contaminated with sin and iniquity (Rom. 5:12, 18-19, etc.), but you have been bought back (redeemed) by Christ’s perfect blood sacrifice, regenerated, and are a new creature in Him.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;” 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
Concerning His children, the Lord says we are made:
- a new creature
- old things are passed away
- all things are become new
- all things are of God
If we are “redeemed”, what are we “redeemed” from? The power of the sinful inclinations to rule in our lives and therefore the penalty (eternal damnation) that awaits all who die without such (Rom. 6:14; Col. 1:14, 3:1-11, etc.).
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” Colossians 1:14
Here we witness that one who is connected in a covenant relationship with His Creator has “redemption”through the “blood” of the covenant and “the forgiveness of sins.” Tell me, where is the concept of a “sinner saved by grace” here?
We should cease immediately confessing something that is absolutely unbiblical and misleading to our own hearts and others also. Remember, where your words lead, your life will follow (James 3).
“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar (special) people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” 1 Peter 2:9
All comments Welcomed.
God Bless You Richly, You Saint and Son of God,
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