Saved Sinners or Our Savior’s Saints

Psalms 1:1-2 ESV

“Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.”

I read this in a tweet on Twitter today, “We are all sinners, just some of us are ‘saved sinners’.” My first response to this was to say this,

“I hear that a lot but I don’t see where the Scriptures refer to the saved as ‘saved sinners.’ They are called saints. A liar is one who practices lies. An adulterer is one who practices adultery. And a sinner is one who makes a practice of sinning,” and thus he/she is not of God. And then I gave these Scripture references (adding more):

[Gal 5:16-21; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27]

Now, I am not saying that I have never said anything similar to this, for when I talk about us needing to walk in righteousness and not in sin, I do talk about how we still have the propensity to sin because we still live in flesh bodies, and so we still might sin sometimes, but that sin is not to be our practice, our habit, our go to, or we will not inherit eternal life.

So, I did a word search for the word “sinner” in the Scriptures, and then I looked to see how it was defined, both in the Old Testament books and in the New Testament books. And what I found is that it refers to one who is accounted guilty, who is missing the mark, a blatant sinner, loss from falling short of what God approves; depraved, detestable; in a state of sin, and under the guilt and power of sin, one in whom sin dwells and reigns.

Even in a secular thesaurus and dictionary a sinner is described as a person who transgresses against divine law by committing an immoral act or acts; a criminal, offender, reprobate, outlaw, evil-doer, wrongdoer, adulterer, delinquent, murderer, thief, scoundrel, unprincipled and a transgressor.

So, I looked at the various New Testament Scriptures that made reference to “sinners.” And what I learned there is that sinners are the condemned, and that sinner is equated with disobedience and is opposite of the righteous which is equated with obedience. Sinners fall short of the glory of God. Sinners betray. Sinners are called to repentance. Sinners are distinguished from the righteous. Sinners are listed with the lawless, the disobedient, the ungodly, the unholy, and murderers, etc.

Now I am certainly not implying here that those who are genuinely saved from their sins will not ever sin again or that they couldn’t, at some point in time, fall back into sin and need to repent and to turn back to faithful obedience to the Lord, but that, generally speaking, “sinners” is a reference to the unsaved, the ungodly, those still living under the control of sin, who are still walking in sin, and should not be a term we use to describe the godly, the holy, the righteous who are walking in obedience to God.

So, why is it important to make this distinction? Because if we refer to ourselves as “saved sinners” in the context that we are all sinners, it gives the message that we can be “saved” and still remain “sinners.” And this is what is largely being taught today, and it is a lie from hell. We are not to be “saved sinners.” We are to be the redeemed who have been bought back for God with the blood of Christ so that we can now honor God with our lives and walk in holiness and righteousness in the power of God’s Spirit.

To some this may seem nitpicky but believe me when I tell you that our mindsets about sin, which are reflected in how we live, will determine for us how we view our salvation from sin and how we live accordingly. And how we live will determine whether or not we are genuinely saved and whether we will spend eternity in hell or in heaven. So, this is a matter of life and death that we have the right mindset about this and that we don’t have this idea that we can be saved and still continue in deliberate and habitual sin.

Psalms 1:3-4 ESV

“He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.”

“He” is in reference to the righteous who walk not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, but whose delight is in the Word of the Lord on which they meditate day and night, but not just meditate, but put into daily practice in their lives, by God’s Spirit. They are steadfast in faith and they yield spiritual fruit in keeping with repentance for God’s eternal kingdom – a fruit which remains and does not wither.

My question was, “How is a ‘saved sinner’ different from a ‘non-saved sinner’?” It isn’t just that Jesus saved us from our sins. The Bible teaches that it has to do with our walks. If we walk in sin we are not saved. If we walk in righteousness, we are saved. It has to do with what we practice. But this is not us working to earn our salvation. This is us walking in the salvation our Lord already supplied by his grace, and in his strength.

We must walk (in conduct, in practice) no longer according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. We must die with Christ to sin and live to Christ and to his righteousness. Our minds must be set on God and on the things of God and not on the flesh and the things of this world, for to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For we are slaves to whom we obey, and if it be sin, it will end in death, not life.

So, if we are to come after Christ, we must deny self, daily die with him to sin and to self, and follow him in obedience to his commands. If we do not obey his commands, we do not know God and we do not have eternal life with God. And the same applies if we do not forsake our lives of living for sin and for the flesh. For we will be judged by our works. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. But if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:11 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Jn 8:31-32; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 11:17-24; 1 Co 15:2; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6, 14-15; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 2 Pet 2:20-22; 1 Jn 2:24-25; Rom 8:24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5]

Psalms 1:5-6 ESV

“Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.”

Again, this speaks of sinners being condemned, and of them being wicked, and of them being those who are going to perish. And this includes many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ, too. For Jesus said,

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one WHO DOES THE WILL of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matt 7:21-23)

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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