The more I learn about who we are in Christ, the more I realize this incredible truth: sin has no power over us. You are no longer a sinner. Do you find that hard to believe? Let me explain.
In Christ, we are dead to sin (Romans 6:2). We are free from sin (Romans 6:18-22). It was dealt with on the cross. When we receive Christ and are baptized into his death, we have died to sin. We are no longer “sinners”. Rather, we are “saints” (called ones).
Think about what John said when he saw Jesus coming to be baptized. He said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Did you see that? What did Jesus take away? “The sin of the world.” Reminds me a bit of the often-quote scripture, John 3:16, “For God so loved the world…” He sent his son to die for the sin of the world.
We must move from a place of a “sinner mentality” to a “saint mentality”. Do you often have thoughts like, “I’m such a sinner”? Or, “I can’t go to God, because I messed up yesterday.”
In Christ, you are not a sinner. You are a saint. And, you can boldly go to the throne of grace in your time of need (Hebrews 4:16). And not only that, you are seated with Christ in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). And, if God cannot sit in the presence of sin, then you must be completely free from sin.
Think about this scripture from John 16:8-11 where Jesus explains why it is good for him to go to heaven and send us the Holy Spirit. He explains what the Holy Spirit’s job is here on earth:
And when He [the Holy Spirit] has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
of sin, because they do not believe in Me;
of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more;
of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
It tells us immediately what the conviction of sin is, “because they do not believe in [Christ]”. Notice it didn’t say, “of sin, because they do not know the difference between right and wrong.” According to this scripture, sin is not believing in Christ.
That’s why the second in that list is “of righteousness, because [Christ] goes to the Father.” If you are in Christ, you are free from sin. Most believers understand that Jesus died for their sins. What most believers don’t understand is that if you have put your faith in Christ, then you are righteous. You have been “saved by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The Holy Spirit’s job is to convict Christians that they are righteous in Christ. And, through that righteousness, we have access to God our Father. We are children of God (John 1:12). We are justified (Romans 5:1). We are friends of Christ (John 15:15). We are saints (Ephesians 1:1).
Can Christians still commit sin? Yes, of course. But according to Romans 7, it’s the sin in my flesh, not who I am in Christ.
“For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.” Romans 7:15-17.
Paul talked about this “body of death”. He said in the next verse (18), “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells.” He understood that in the flesh, there may be sins, but it doesn’t define who we are.
In Christ, we are saints, we are free, and we are seated with him at the right hand of God.
Prayer: Father, help me see that in Christ, I am a saint. I am not a sinner. You have cleansed me from all sin. Help me understand that I am righteous because of what Christ did for me.