The problem with that belief (in its present tense form) is that it is in error. It is not Biblical. It has become a tradition of men, birthed, most likely, out of a false sense of humility.
And understandably so. We look at God’s holiness and majesty and then look at ourselves and don’t in any way want to presume to be like Him. We, Christians, tend to be afraid of truly embracing the freedom of the Good News for fear of looking haughty or prideful.
So we come crawling on our knees as “sinners,” receive the free gift of salvation that comes through the wonderful grace and sacrifice of Jesus and then go crawling away. Actually, we often just lean up against the rough wood of the cross and stay there in a state of continual repentance. Never looking up into Jesus’ eyes, and seeing reflected there, the wonderful new creation we’ve become. Our new identity as a saint of God.
The Worm Lie
We trip into this error when we don’t truly understand what it means to be clothed in the righteousness of Christ
Satan has sold us a lie that we are unworthy and dirty and worm-like. And with every failure he reminds us of how utterly undeserving we are.
The truth is, even in our sinful state we were dearly loved and cherished. Utterly and completely loved (John 3:16). We saw our unworthiness, He saw His beautiful bride, so damaged and in need of rescuing.
So, the truth is: We were sinners, saved by grace. But now, we are saints, clothed in the righteousness of Christ (our amazing Rescuer). That is good news. There is freedom in that. Joy. Not hang-your-head-I’m-so-unworthy-of-this-gift posture.
A gift is to be celebrated and delighted in. And then taken out for a test drive.
When Jesus healed people and brought them into new understanding they went away dancing and leaping
A New Creation
So why aren’t we dancing and leaping through our life in Christ? Probably because we have believed a lie. And when we realize we’ve believed a lie, all we need to do is repent for believing it and embrace the truth: We are deeply loved and we are a new creation in Christ.
The previous verse says, “From now on, therefore, we are to regard no one according to the flesh.” (2 Cor. 5:16). Meaning, we aren’t to look at their sin and messes, but see them as Jesus does. Clean, transformed, a beautiful new creation.
Here is how the Living Translation words these two verses: “So stop evaluating Christians by what the world thinks about them or by what they seem to be like on the outside. Once I mistakenly thought of Christ that way, merely as a human being like myself. How differently I feel now! When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!”
No More Sin Nature
In Christ we became a new creation. Old things passed away.
What does that mean, you ask? It means our old bent-toward-sin nature died with Jesus and we now have a new one. His nature in us.
In Christ, we are saints and it is no longer our nature to sin. Can we still sin? Of course! We have been given a free will. And often there are habits and bondages to sin that we may need help or deliverance to walk free from. Those bondages are clinging to a part of us that is dead and we need them to die and be buried with our old nature.
So if you have a craving or difficulty you need help with, there are resources available to help you walk in freedom. And that freedom needs to be pursued, because once you are in Christ, the enemy no longer has a right to that part of your life!
There are many healing and deliverance ministries. One such ministry that I whole-heartedly recommend, founded by Mark Virkler, is Communion With God Ministries.
Tell Me How You Feel
Do you view yourself as a sinner or a saint?