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
Have you ever heard a Christian refer to himself as "just a sinner saved by grace"? Have you referred to yourself that way? What do sinners do? They sin! If you are no different from a non-Christian, or even if you perceive yourself as no different, what will happen? Your Christian life will be mediocre at best, with little to distinguish you from a non-Christian. Satan will seize that opportunity, pour on the guilt, and convince you that you are doomed to an up-and-down spiritual existence. As a defeated Christian you will confess your sin and strive to do better, but inwardly you will admit that you are just a sinner saved by grace, hanging on until the rapture.
In Scripture, believers are called "brethren," "sons of God," "sons of light," and "saints." You are not a sinner; you are a saint who sins. "For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light" (Ephesians 5:8). According to that passage, we don't have an identity problem; we have a walk problem.
We become saints at the moment of salvation and live as saints in our daily experience as we continue to believe what God has done and as we continue to affirm who we really are in Christ. If you fail to see yourself as a child of God, you will struggle vainly to live like one, and Satan will have little trouble convincing you that you are no different from who you were before Christ and that you have no value to God or anyone else. But appropriating by faith the radical transformation of your core identity from sinner to saint will have a powerful, positive effect on your daily resistance to sin and Satan.
Lord, open my eyes that I may see myself as You see me. Then enable me to walk as a child of light.
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