We Are Sinners Saved By God's Grace!
by Clint Baker
I have heard people say "I am saved I am not a sinner", How can that be? Are we not sinners saved by God's grace?
We are sinners saved by grace. The epistles of John are letters to ‘little children’ or believers and in 1 John he writes in verse eight that “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” and again in verse 10 “If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar.” If we were not sinners, we would not need confession (1st John 1:9) to renew our fellowship and to free us to walk in God’s forgiveness nor would we need Christ to be our advocate (1st John 2:1-2).
We all sin because we hold our eternal life as a treasure in a body of dirt (2 Corinthians 4:7) and that body is home to our carnality, which rises up against God. Paul has said that we are even chained to a body of decay! Therefore we need to be watchful, prudent and not allow our pride to lead us into a ditch. The wonderful thing about God’s grace is that He gives us what we do not deserve and His mercy is not giving us what we do deserve.
But every last drop of poison is poison; every spark of fire is fire; and the last bit of flesh that remains in the believer is still enmity. When God’s grace changes our nature, it doesn’t change the nature of the flesh. It conquers it, weakens it, mortally wounds it, so that we are no longer Captain Ahabs by nature; yet his defiant malice smolders in our flesh. By the time Paul wrote Romans, he must have been as Christlike as anyone can expect to be on this side of heaven, and he surely spend his days putting his flesh to death. Still he cried out for deliverance from this irreconcilable enemy (Rom. 7:24). Kris Lundgaard
How to overcome the sinful flesh:
1. Be honest about the presence and nature of sin continuing in your life. Paul was. In Colossians 3:5-9 he recognizes that the seeds of sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed, anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language and lying, may remain in true Christians and plague their lives.
2. See the sin which continues to indwell you not in the light of your perspective but in the light of God’s judgment. Any and all sin merits His wrath.
3. Remember who you are as a Christian. You have been crucified, buried and raised with Christ (Col. 3:1-3). Consequently you are no longer under the reign and rule of sin (Rom. 6:14,18). Now you must set your mind on Christ and on His reign in your life, and express your new identity in Christ by a life of holiness.
4. Refuse sin. Do not compromise with it; rather, put it to death (Col. 3:5).
5. Fill your life with Christ-like characteristics. (“Put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”, Col. 3:12). In this way you will leave less and less room for sinful ones (v. 12-17)
(Healthy Christian Growth, by Permission of the Banner of Truth Trust, Carlisle, PA. 1991, p. 20-21.)