Every Christian is a saint!
Back in the early 90s, I was at a preacher’s conference, you know, the kind where any preacher who wants to get up a preach can. Some preachers were going on about we are just a bunch of sinners that needed Jesus. Then Pastor Michael Wenzel from Faith Baptist Church speak.
He said he would ride with the sheriff and pick up kids who got into trouble. He asked the repeat offenders why they were always in trouble, and they responded because they were punks. He used that to illustrate that what we believe about ourselves significantly impacts how we act. He made this memorable statement; “as hard as it is to get a lost person to see they are a sinner, it is just as hard as it is to get a saved person to see they are a saint.”
That statement has been in my mind for more than thirty years. It is so true, and I would say that preachers are the main reason for it. If you don’t believe me, let me prove it. Guess how many times the apostle Paul used the word sinner or sinners? Seven! Only seven times (Romans 5:7,8,19; Galatians 2:15,17; 1 Timothy 1:9,15).
Paul said he was the chief among sinners, but that is not how he currently viewed who he was. Paul saw himself as more than what he had been.
Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.1 Timothy 1:16
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.Philippians 3:13–14
Paul wanted his disciples to see themselves and more than what they were.
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.1 Corinthians 6:11
You notice Paul said that they were sanctified. You all do know what a sanctified person is called. Paul uses the word saints thirty-eight times! What do you think Paul wants us to focus on? In almost all of his writings, Paul starts out addressing the believers as saints. He sees them as Jesus sees them—saints.
Let me ask you, how many times has your preacher told you you were a saint? How many times has he preached about you being a saint? Do you feel more likely to hear about how we are all sinners?
Anyone who struggles with addiction will always struggle as long as they see themselves as one. A person will never get past their shortcomings as long as the inabilities are their identity. You will only become victorious once you know what you can be and what God wants you to be. You are a saint, and therefore you should act like one, but as long as you think of yourself as just an old sinner, that is all you will be.
Do listen to those who constantly remind you of what you were. You tell that person, “I am no longer a sinner, I am a saint and please address me as one.”
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”Galatians 2:20
Thinking of yourself as a saint is not to think highly of yourself; it is testifying of the grace of God in Jesus Christ that has changed you. Only an unconverted man should be ashamed of such a title.