How many of us do what we do because we think that’s just who we are? We lust because we are lustful people. We sin because we are sinners. Or what about the statement, “I’m only human”? When did being human become more of an excuse for the way we live, rather than our reason for living as we ought to?
Sure, there’s the fall. There’s the broken and fragmented human nature. Yet if there is nothing fundamentally different about who we are, at the core of our being, then what on earth did Jesus die for? If we were still just ‘sinners’ none of the great teachings of Jesus matter, because none of it would be possible without the Spirit of Christ residing in us. If we were nothing but ‘sinners’, there would be no hope in this life, and certainly no hope in the next. What we believe about who we fundamentally are, or more importantly who God sees us as, transforms every aspect of how we live. Conversely, we give power to the devil, when we believe lies, and reject God’s truths.
The scriptures are filled with God’s declarations of his unconditional love for us (Psalm 130:7, Romans 8:37-39). God describes us as “wonderfully made” (Psalm 139) as “His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10). As believers, we are “children of God” (John 1:12), that Christ has set us “free” (Galatians 5:1), that there is “no condemnation” (Romans 8:1), “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God” (1 Peter 2:9). Repeatedly the Scriptures refer to all the believers as “Saints” (1 Cor 1:2, 2 Cor 1:1, Phil 1:1).
One of the greatest take-aways I’ve had from the writings of Neil T. Anderson, is that as believers, we are not sinners trying to become Saints, we are Saints becoming like Christ. A child of God engages the battle against sin and temptation from higher ground, through their identity in Christ. They are no longer defined by their mistakes or even their future stumblings, but based on the redemptive work of Christ. They are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
How might saints see sexuality differently?