I have heard it over a thousand times. I have probably said it over a hundred times. “I am just a sinner saved by grace.” It is a true statement. There is the truth of Romans 3:23 that “all sin and fall short of the glory of God.”
The problem that this is not the primary titled given to believers in the New Testament.
Followers of Jesus are called Christians. We wear the name of Christ. Like a new bride taking the name of her husband we have changed our identity to align with Christ. That new name is used three times in the New Testament to describe the Church.
Most frequently in the Bible the believers in Jesus are called saints. By my count there are 45 times the New Testament calls the followers of Jesus saints. Because of the Catholic faith using the term to describe people who lived long ago, we as modern believers do not use the title very much. Biblically it means one who has separated themselves from the world and been set apart for God. That basically means we have rejected the sin of the world and are trying to live our lives for God.
We are not just sinners saved by grace. We are saints set apart for God.
One name is an ugly description of where we were in life. The other is a proclamation of where we are going in the future. One is a statement of our failure. The other a declaration of our victory in Jesus. In one word picture we are grabbed as a valuable item from the trash. In the other word we are a valued item that is placed upon the shelf. One can be used as an excuse to stay dirty. One is motivation to clean yourself up.
Don’t get me wrong. I still believe I am a sinner and I am saved by grace. But that is not all I am. I am a saint set apart for God. I never want to lose sight of my value in God’s eyes or make excuse for my sin. I may not be perfect but in Jesus my failures do not define me.