Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | June 5, 2006

Sinner-Saint

As we discussed yesterday, the Church is comprised of sinful people who will remain imperfect for their entire lives here on earth.  Although, it is a trustworthy statement that when we become a Christian we will continue to sin, we are still considered saints (one who is holy or set apart).  This may appear to be a contradiction for one person to be defined by two opposing terms.  Nonetheless, it is a reality that the Christian experience has the unique characteristic of creating a person who is at same time sinner and saint.

We are considered saints because we are assigned the righteousness of another, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Our sins are imputed to Him and His righteousness is imputed to us.  Human beings can only gain entrance into heaven through this great transaction.  (Hopefully, this concept is not new to those who have been with us all along).  Thus, we being sinful can now be considered righteous in God’s sight.

Today we consider Question 55 of the Heidelberg Catechism, which discusses the following portion of the Apostles Creed: 

Q. What do you understand by "the communion of saints"?  

A. First, that believers one and all, as members of this community, share in Christ and in all his treasures and gifts. 1 Second, that each member should consider it a duty to use these gifts readily and cheerfully for the service and enrichment of the other members. 2 

1 Romans 8:32:  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?  1 Corinthians 6:17:  But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one Spirit with Him. 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 12-13:  …but to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good…for by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 1 John 1:3: …what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
2 Romans 12:4-8:  For just as we have many members in one body and all members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.  Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly…1 Corinthians 12:20-27:  But now there are many members, but one body…Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.  1 Corinthians 13:1-7: …If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing…Philippians 2:4-8:  …do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  Have this attitude in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus…

The concept of Christians acknowledging their sinfulness despite their faith troubles many people.  If we conceded that we are going to sin doesn’t that just encourage us to sin?  This seems to be very practical, however to proclaim that we can attain a “victorious Christian life” apart from sin is to deny reality.  It is also very practical to accept the reality of the situation and then make the best of it.  This is what we are called to do as Christians.  If we deny reality and seek perfection for our Christian life the inevitable failure may cause some to despair. During the middle ages extreme ascetic practices, including self-flagellation (beating oneself), were pursued by monks who sought solitude from the world as the answer.  Even in these environments man could not escape sin. 

Although, we concede  that we will continue to sin we do not condone sinful behavior.  We are charged as Christians to pursue holiness, righteousness and piety.  These things are to be pursued to the best of our ability.  Over time we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit, who enables us to mature in the faith and overcome many sins.  Full sanctification, however is a status that we will not achieve until after death.  until then we will remain sinners, yet saints through Christ our Savior.  Amen.

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Responses

  1. A challenge to the Christian Churches and Islam

    Propositions to be addressed by the Christian Churches:

    There is no biblical basis for the doctrines of ‘Miraculous Incarnation’ (Virgin Birth), ‘Trinity’, or ‘Transubstantiation’.
    There is no biblical basis for the various teachings about the ‘divinity’ of Jesus of Nazareth.
    There is no biblical basis for the teachings concerning ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’.

    Propositions to be addressed by Islam:
    The ‘virgin birth’ of Jesus through Mary is demonstrably false.
    The doctrine is false therefore it calls into question the Koran’s supposed authorship by the God of ‘truth’.

    All of the above doctrines and teachings will be systematically dismantled and proven false in coming posts on the Race is Run.

  2. Interesting thats a heavy burden that you are going to have to prove. I actually agree with you on one of your propositions, transubstantiation. However, I believe you will be unable to prove your other propositions if you are basing it on the Bible.

    The Trinity is actually coming up in a couple of entries, which necessarily will prove the biblical basis for Jesus' divinity.

    I look forward to seeing how you be able to pull off your bold claim.


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