(saints & sinners, and sanctification)
saints & sinners
Good morning to you.
What you’re about to read is very simple to understand, so there’s no need for anyone to be confused about this issue.
How many times have you heard the religious phrase, “I’m just a sinner saved by grace?” Or how many times have you sang a hymn which identified God’s children as “sinners?” Well I’m going to show you why that’s unscriptural.
If you’ll consult a KJV bible concordance, you’ll find that the word “saint(s)” is used 101 times, and the word “sinner(s)” is used 69 times. Accordingly, when you read how those words are used in scripture, you clearly see that the world “saint” is used to identify God’s people, while the word “sinner” is used to identify lost people.
There you have it, case closed.
But someone may be thinking right about now, “Wait a minute buddy, not so fast, what about that time when Paul identified himself in 1 Timothy 1.15 as the chief of sinners? Do you see how wrong you are? Christians are “sinners.”
My answer to that is, if someone’s way of understanding scripture is to define a word by it’s single instance where it appears to be in opposition to its 68 other instances, then that verse proves that Christians are sinners. But thankfully we have more verses that go with verse 15 which gives Paul’s statement some context. So let’s look at that context shall we?
Here’s 1 Timothy 1.12-15:
12 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.“
Did you notice how Paul said that he “was before a blasphemer”? And did you notice that Paul was describing how Jesus saves sinful lost people such as he was? (That’s the context of what Paul was communicating).
So if you’ll take that context into consideration, you’ll have resolved that one verse that appears to be in contradiction to the other 68 verses, (which clearly identify lost people as “sinners.”)
Bear in mind please that in our discussion here about “saints’ & “sinners,” we’re NOT talking about someone’s behavior, we’re talking about their identity. (All people sin throughout their entire lifetime, whether they’re a Christian or not).
So please remember what you learned here the next time that you engage people in the religious world. Be politely truthful, and refer to Christians as “saints,” and refer to lost people as “sinners.” Joyfully proclaim that “yes, I was a sinner, but God saved me by grace through faith, and now I’m a saint.”
Sure, there will always be religious pharisees who aren’t ever going to agree with you. But who cares? You follow the bible, (not man’s approval).
Here’s a similar scenario as the one that you just now read about.
Most of the religious world doesn’t have a clue about sanctification any more than they do about the genuine gospel of free grace. So don’t be alarmed when you encounter resistance from religious folk about this subject. The proud religious person isn’t going to agree with your biblical stance on sanctification, but (just as it is with the topic of saints & sinners), that’s just the way it is. You stand in the KJV anyway.
The best way to define any bible word is not to look it up in a dictionary, but to prayerfully see how a word is used in scripture.
“sanctify” (Strong’s Greek word # 37),
“saint” (Strong’s Greek word # 40),
and the word
“holy” (Strong’s Greek word # 37),
all have similar meaning in scripture.
When you read how those words are used in the bible, you see them as representing God’s special property that He sets aside for His use, (as distinguished from His other property that is common). For example, all of humanity is God’s property, but Christians are His special property that He set apart from lost people. Similarly, in the old testament, the land where God was in the tabernacle was holy, as distinguished from identical land that was nearby.
That’s clear enough isn’t it?
Well then, when God sets someone apart it’s always by Him putting them into Christ. This is what “sanctification” of a person is in the new covenant. This isn’t something that man contributes to by his supposed morality; sanctification is entirely the work of God, given in full at the point of new birth.
This is also a good time to mention that corrupt modern bible versions use phraseology like “being” sanctified” in Hebrews 10.14. (But if you don’t use those corrupt bible versions, you won’t be misled by them).
So what does God tell us in Hebrews 10.10-14 about sanctification?
He says this:
10 “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.“
That’s great stuff!
Sure, we Christians play a part in sanctifying our attitudes and actions, but we as God’s people don’t vary in degrees of holiness.
Which means that the person whom God saved just yesterday, is every bit as sanctified and heaven-ready as a mature saint whom God saved 30 years ago. That’s exciting isn’t it !?
It’s also true that we Christians vary in degrees of discernment and maturity, but again, we aren’t getting more holy / more sanctified.
The doctrine of “progressive” sanctification” is rank heresy. It’s nothing more than an unscriptural concoction of man’s pride in self-deception that let’s him think himself to be holier than another of God’s children. God doesn’t (as religion frequently teaches) give His Christians an imaginary dual form of sanctification, (“positional” & “progressive”).
Well I hope that this information has helped someone get off religion’s treadmill of misery. Because there’s probably no false doctrine of religion that traps people more frequently than that instrument of depression & pride known as “progressive” sanctification.”
All glory to the risen Lord Jesus Christ, and no glory to us whatsoever.