Another powerful guest post written by a great mentor and friend of mine, Tyler Doohen. If you are like me then you know how easy it is to focus on the wrongdoings you have done and the labels you once believed to be true about your own self, but this post shines a great light on the truth of the Gospel and what it means for our new-life-label!
Have you ever heard the statement,”I am just a sinner”, before? Have you ever truly stopped to think of the weight that a statement like this carries? This statement, and many others like it, have the potential and power to create in someone a world of false understanding and a wrong personal view of oneself.
Let me explain…
For the Christian or ones who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ there is a major turning point in our life; we call it salvation or conversion. The old has now become new, brand new!
–2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
One of these new things is a new name. We are no longer sinners, but we transition into saints! Saints is the Greek word hagios, and means those who are purified and sanctified by the influences of the Spirit–a saint. This is assumed of all who profess the Christian name!
Don’t agree with me? Let’s let the Apostle Paul speak: Romans 1:7 “to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul understood the importance of a new name, or new label after conversion. In almost all of Paul’s letters we find this address or greeting, “To the saints”. Paul, a great Apostle who is responsible for a large portion of our New Testament, did not address the readers or hearers of his letters merely as “sinners”. Get the point yet?
Let me explain more…
I became a father on November 25th, 2014, when my beautiful and loving wife Kelsey gave birth to our daughter Avy Jean Doohen. Avy was 8lbs 12oz of pure heaven, and from the moment she was born I gave her names like loved and beautiful. Not for one moment did I have a thought like, “You are unworthy Avy”, “You little sinner”. No way. Instead, my heart was so full of love for this little girl who had just been born.
John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, Truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'”
When a person becomes born again, I can see God displaying the same affection and love like I did when I held Avy for the first time, but how much more! Since God is love– nor depth nor height can separate us! Picture with me for a minute: God, beholding His new children–those that are born again–what is He saying to them? “Unworthy”? “Sinner”? “Wretched”? Or is the Father saying “Loved!”, “My Beloved!”, “Redeemed!”, “Forgiven!”, “Beautiful!”
For those of you who have children (natural or spiritual), can you picture someone calling them a name or labeling them something that goes against what heaven says, or that goes against what the Father says?
You see the saying, “just a sinner”, comes from a lack of understanding of the old man turned into a new creation.
–I was a sinner, saved by grace, but now I’m called as a saint who sometimes might sin but no longer carries sinner as my identity.–
Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
In contrast, there IS condemnation in the title or label of “sinner”, but we (those who are born again) are in Christ now!–our Identity is in Him, our everything is in him! I hate sin, the Apostle Paul hated sin, he was frustrated when he did the things he didn’t want to do, but that did not stop Paul from calling God’s children the same as what the Father called them.
Our words have the power to activate a person to life or death. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” What would happen if we started communicating with heaven’s language, with the Father’s dictionary? I believe we would have a revelation of who we really are. Not “just a sinner”, simply meaning, (go ahead, say it), “I am just a sinner and only a sinner”, but now, instead, God’s beloved children! You were made in the likeness and image of God and Christ, you deserve to be treated and talked to as such. Search the scriptures. What does the Father say about you; find that truth and hold on to it!
Stolen dreams and destinies are crying out for the Church to start acting like family, honoring, encouraging, and motivating each other to bring heaven to earth.