Saints and Sinners Are Not the Same

     It has been said in churches time and time again. Songsters have repeated the refrain as though there were a tremendous truth behind the words that sound so good but have absolutely no truth behind them. The words suggest that saints and sinners are the same are not only insulting but also demean the entire reason for salvation. Even more, if saints and sinners were the same then there would have been no reason for Christ to die on the cross because His death would have made no impact on the lost.

     Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter by first understanding what a sinner is. You see a sinner is one who practices sin as a lifestyle. A sinner totally disregards the Word of God and displeases God by his very actions. This is to say that a sinner is the antithesis of godliness. Sinners seek self pleasure rather than pleasing God. The sin nature is made clear in II Timothy 3:1-5 with the words, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

     Saints do not fall under this category. Saints love God and live according to His standard. The term “saint” is linked to the Greek hagios presenting the idea of holiness. Holiness is the intentional separation from those things that pull from God. As such saints are not merely good people that do good things rather they are people that seek after God’s very heart with the idea of pleasing Him. They abstain from sin and have lifestyles worthy of righteousness. Saints pray for those that despitefully use them (Matthew 5:44) and keep themselves “unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).

     No, saints and sinners are not the same. Any suggestion to the contrary is merely an excuse for those that love to live in sin. The fact of the matter is that once a person turns his life over to Christ he is no longer the same. He has forsaken a life of sin in exchange for a life of holiness. Moreover Paul makes abundantly clear that saints and sinners are distinct and different in every level. Consider the words of Romans 6:1-3, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?”

     Paul goes on to show the likeness of sin and death in that sin separates man from God while death, or separation, from sin is indeed freedom. As such it safe to say that sin binds while holiness frees. Sinners, therefore, are bound by their own lusts while saints are free to celebrate because of the Pauline advise not to let sin “reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof” ( Romans 6:12). Saints take this very idea to heart and seek to separate themselves from sin. Sin is the enemy of saints who work diligently not to be part of what pulls from godliness. Sinners have no regard for holiness but seek only to please themselves. Saints and sinners truly have nothing in common.

     Saints enjoy salvation provided by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. This salvation is the deliverance of the faithful from the power and influence of sin. Herein is the difference between saints and sinners. Saints walk in the authority of salvation which leads to holiness while sinners walk contrary to anything that comes close to godliness. No, saints and sinners are not the same and any suggestion otherwise pulls from the very idea of salvation.

 

 

Get Right With God

The past couple days of been somewhat somber for me. A family that I mentor and advise spiritually lost the lady of the house. The most immediate impact of her untimely demise is to her husband of thirteen years and four young children from the ages of seven to eleven. While I can delve into the hurt and pain associated with losing a loved one the thing that came immediately to my mind was the old song “Get Right With God.”

Yes, there is mourning taking place. Even I expect to see her sitting in her favourite spot when I enter the family home. It simply does not seem real because she was taken out by a sudden massive heart attack. But I am reminded of the fact that when Christ returns to collect His Church He will come quickly and without warning. He has provided us with warning after warning of His soon and sudden return. Preachers having been warning for years that the return of Christ will be as a thief in the night as the Church is suddenly taken from the present world. Just look at the present situation in the United States alone.

It is accepted by many to tell lies of the lie is harmless. Yet Scripture teaches that all liars will have their place in the lake that burns with fire. Yet even those holding positions in church choose to lie. But lying is part of the problem. Many continually entertain unclean thoughts. The vast array of unclean thoughts will not be addressed here but one can easily surmise that when thoughts are not taken captive according to the Word of God any number of things can happen.  Unclean thoughts are part of the reason that many are living with the idea that altering their minds with marijuana, alcohol and other illicit drugs are OK so long as no one else is being harmed.

And the evil thoughts continue in so many ways such as the increase of immorality on every front. Said differently, this nation has succumbed to the disease of sin. Sin is what pulls away from God and sin will be the cause of eternal damnation. You see in the Book of Numbers God provided His people specific instructions. If they adhered to God’s Word they would find themselves walking in God’s blessings. Yet if they disobeyed Numbers 32:23 clearly indicates that “But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.”

I certainly mourn the untimely death of this forty-six year old lady even while I wonder how many people die without making things right with God. How many die knowing that God is there for them yet they figure that they have the rest of their lives while the numbering of their days is at hand? And then what about those on the fringes of the church walking around with a form of godliness but denying the very power thereof? And then you have those that work as though their very services are the means to get into the Kingdom.

It is high time that this nation return to its roots of trusting in God. We have left our first love and need to fall on our faces in repentance. No, just a verbal acknowledgement of shortcomings but rather actions turning away from those things that turn from the holiness of God. It means that those on the fringes will submit to the Cloud that covers and protects while allowing the Holy Spirit to not only indwell but also to guide and comfort. It is time that we, collectively and individually, get right with God and do it now!

Righteous Indignation

The other day I unapologetically posted the fact that I utilized my right and privilege to vote for freedom. And while I well know that freedom is costly I had no idea that my vote would end up being another vote cast away. My vote for freedom had much to do with freedom to celebrate Christianity without the encroachment of government. Yet the more I consider the outcomes of yesterday’s elections the more angry I become.

Let’s take for instance the idea that the government is now making “religious” institutions provide not only birth control but also provide abortions to any female that so desires. Well, pardon me but it seems to me that if we follow the Word of God we might not need many of these particularly when we consider a great many pregnancies occur outside the confines of marriage. There is no one that will argue that abstinence is one hundred percent effective in preventing pregnancies. Moreover abortions are wrong by reason of the fact that they are the taking of innocent human lives. It is for this reason that my righteous indignation is being stoked.

Even closer to home the State of Maryland is beginning to hold fast to immorality under the guise of being compassionate. My vote for freedom went unheard so the idea of same-sex marriage is now legal.  How can the people of Maryland ignore the clear mandate of the Creator of man and beast who made woman for the man? He did not provide any reasoning for same sex creatures (including mankind) yet man is thumbing his nose at the Most High God. It is for this reason my righteous indignation is becoming all the more emboldened.

The fact of the matter is that I am a preacher (prophet in one sense) that must declare the truths of the Word of God. Even while I fully believe that revival is coming to this land I also know that the enemy is working not only in the background but he is on the front lines doing his all to tear down the Kingdom of God. Well, as long as God gives me breath in my body I will preach the Gospel and if there are consequences so be it. Let God be true and every man be a liar. Yes, my indignation has been stoked but I will use the opportunity to preach and warn about the impending danger if this nation does not return to the principles by which it was founded.