I’ve heard this term uttered countless times, in countless churches, from countless pastors, ministers, evangelists, as well as their congregations. It wasn’t until later in life that I’ve come to see that statement through a different set of lenses, a renewed filter if you will. Getting this revelation through correct thinking has put me in a place to actually RECEIVE everything God has offered and promised us in His word. It has changed my life.
I want to break down that statement, piece by piece. First, “I’m just an old sinner”—on the surface, it sounds like a accurate statement birthed from a place of humility. It’s as if we are saying “I might as well just admit it when I look in the mirror; That I’m no good, a mess up, a failure, a sinful rebel towards God! I sin, therefore I’m an old sinner!” I’ll hold off my commentary on this until I break down the second part of the statement.
“Saved by Grace”—you’ll notice I capitalized Grace their—I’ll explain that in a moment. This part of the statement is saying, “God saved me—when I accepted Jesus, the blood of Jesus made a way for me to be accepted into the Kingdom. By what Jesus did on the cross, I am now His.” So now that we understand essentially what our focus “saying” is actually—well—SAYING, let’s dive in.
I’ll start with the second half first, “Saved by Grace”—there’s that capital G again, and the reason I choose to emphatically focus on it’s capitalization, is because in this setting—Grace is not simply a topic, idea, or action, it is in fact the filter through which the Bible is to be read; GRACE IS A PERSON! Grace ACTUALLY lived. He actually healed people, actually prayed for people, actually forgave people, actually DIED for them. Grace’s OTHER name of course, is Jesus—the Messiah. We all know tells how God sent Jesus to save us from our sins by living a perfect life and dying on the cross. Too often though—Christian’s understanding of the exchange stops there… This is why so many walk around depressed, sick, in constance financial struggle, always playing the underdog card. I could write several blogs on this(and will be soon) but suffice it to say—Jesus broke the power of all of those things, and part of our Covenant RIGHT is to live free from lack, sickness, worry, fear, etc, and has promised us access to those things in His Word.) Back to our main topic.
We must understand that once Jesus SAVED us—that is from past, present, and future sin; It’s ONCE AND FOR ALL. We don’t have to “keep getting saved”. When we are reborn(accept Jesus) according to 1 Peter 1:23 “we are born again of INCORRUPTIBLE seed”. Incorruptible according to Webster’s-“honorable, virtuous, imperishable, everlasting, perfect, righteous”. So—if you’ve accepted Jesus and the FINISHED work on the cross—you are virtuous, imperishable, righteous! 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin, to BE sin for us, that we might become the RIGHTOUSNESS of God in Him”. Two things there, 1.) We are the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God. 2.) We are IN Him(Jesus). Since Grace says our standing with God does not change based on how right or wrong we get it, we know how He views us never changes from RIGHTEOUS (spotless, blameless, faultless, innocent). So if that’s what God sees when He looks at us—how could he also call us a “Sinner”? And, if we’re IN HIM(Jesus) and seated with Him in Heavenly places(Ephesians 2:6), how could God allow a “sinner” to be in seated with Jesus in HEAVEN? Seems like an impossibility, yes?
Some would say—“But Pastor Donnie—are you saying God doesn’t hold sin against us? Are you saying that He doesn’t even SEE our sin anymore? That’s an awfully bold statement to make!” To which I would say—you’re right—but it’s not I who is making the statement—GOD made that powerful declaration in NUMEROUS places in The Word. Isaiah 43:25 “I blot out and cancel your transgressions, for My own sake, and I will remember your sins no more.” Also in Hebrews 8:9 “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will NEVER AGAIN remember their sins.” So again—don’t take my word for—take God’s! He’s no longer imputing Sin, remembering when we do sin, in fact—He doesn’t even SEE them when He looks at us—He see us THROUGH THE BLOOD! He sees us through the FINISHED WORK OF THE CROSS!
So you see, we can’t be BOTH a sinner AND saved by Grace. It is an impossibility, and in fact—in direct opposition to God’s WORD. In order for us to receive every good and perfect gift that God has offered us as part of His new covenant—we MUST see ourselves as God sees us. We must be speaking the same language that God does, and understand out right-standing with God, that is based in our identity IN CHRIST.
If that’s you today—and you’d say—“You know, I think I’m been condemning myself, viewing myself as “just an old sinner” I believe today God wants you to know that He loves you, He desires fellowship with you, He desires to meet with you Face to Face. God is not holding back blessing, prosperity, peace, healing, relational wholeness, family blessings, etc from us—He is a GOOD Father, but until WE make the choice to view ourselves correctly, and CONFESS our righteousness and rightstanding, it will be an up and down “soap opera” on this side of Heaven, always wondering if God loves us. Wonder no more—take the seat that is already yours—right next to Jesus, at the right hand of God
Donnie Petty is the pastor of The Bridge, the young adult arm of Eagle Mountain International Church, and husband to best-selling recording artist Dara Maclean Petty. Connect with him on Twitter @DonniePetty