Saint or Sinner?

Text: Psalms 1


I.         Would you describe yourself as a saint or a sinner? Or perhaps you see yourself as both.

            A.        John Calvin, and his followers, believe that God selects those who are saved. Once selected, that person cannot be removed from God’s saving hand.

            B.        We realize that this cannot be. There are many warnings in the scriptures about not returning to the sinful life that we left - Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26-27

            C.        We realize that a child of God may at times commit sin of which we must repent - I John 1:8-2:2

            D.        Yet, many Christians take this too far. Many talk about the sins that they commit daily before God.

II.        There are two classes of people discussed in the Scriptures

            A.        There are sinners and there are the righteous - Romans 5:19

                        1.         Psalms 1 - The two are groups, which may be together, but they do not intermingle.

                        2.         Matthew 13:36-43 - The righteous are the wheat, the tares are the wicked. They exist together in this world but will be separated at judgment.

            B.        It was for sinners that God gave the Law - I Timothy 1:8-11

            C.        It was for the sake of sinners that Christ came into the world to save

                        1.         I Timothy 1:15-16 - Paul saw himself as one of the chief sinners, but no more.

                        2.         Romans 5:8 - While we were sinners, Christ died for us.

            D.        It is why we take the Gospel to the lost - II Corinthians 5:10-11; James 5:20

                        1.         The righteous are barely saved, what do you think will happen to the sinners? - I Peter 4:18

                        2.         Sinners can be converted to righteousness - Psalms 51:13

            E.        Those who are saved have been set apart from sin - I John 1:7

III.       The child of God is not to live a life of continual sin

            A.        John speaks of this at length in I John

                        1.         I John 2:28-29 - Those who belong to God practice righteousness. It is a part of their daily lives.

                        2.         I John 3:2-3 - If we hope to live with God, we purify ourselves of all unrighteousness

                        3.         I John 3:4 - In contrast, sinners practice lawlessness. Sin is a part of their daily lives.

                        4.         I John 3:5-10 - The distinction between sinners and the righteous is great.

                        5.         I John 3:21-24 - The righteous work to keep God’s commandments.

                        6.         I John 5:2-3 - Says the same thing. It gives us confidence.

                        7.         I John 5:18-19 - The world lies in the control of Satan, but our master is God.

            B.        These passages do not say that a child of God never sins, but that they do not live a sinful life. For the most part, we do what is right and correct any wrong we may do.

            C.        In contrast, the sinner doesn’t care about God’s laws and does what he desires, often violating the commandments of God.

            D.        Paul makes the same statement - Romans 6:17-18 - We are freed from sin and slaves to righteousness.

            E.        Jesus stated that a good tree does not produce bad fruit - Matthew 7:18

                        1.         This does not mean that a sinner never manages to do something right once in a while.

                        2.         Likewise it doesn’t mean that a saint doesn’t slip once in a while and sins.

                        3.         However, the general trend is to do what is right - Ephesians 2:1-5

                        4.         We become partakers of the divine nature - II Peter 1:2-4

            F.        Christ does not promote sin - Galatians 2:17-18

IV.      All of this is to say that a saint is not a sinner.

            A.        When we refer to ourselves as sinners, we are blurring the distinction that God has made between the two groups.

            B.        As Christians, we have left our sins behind.

            C.        Sure, we may sin once in a while, but as we fight against Satan, as we mold our lives to conform to God’s nature, sin should be less and less frequent.

            D.        We do not live in sin. Sin should not be a part of our daily life. - III John 11