The biggest lie in the world today is the notion that there is nothing wrong with us, and we’re fine just the way we are. I have been freed of this lie because now I know that there is something wrong with me- and that is sin.
I’m a sinner. I can be selfish, prideful and arrogant at times. I sometimes judge jeepney drivers, explode on the inside (and sometimes on the outside) when my 3-year-old daughter throws a tantrum and get tempted to tell my wife that I can’t afford a new pair of shoes when I can.
This truth is foundational to understanding what it means to be a Christian. This truth points to three realizations:
We are all sinners. (Without Jesus)
It is not being sinless that makes you “more Christian.” I am not a Christian because I do not sin (though God’s enabling grace transforms me by the renewing of my mind) or because I know everything about the Bible (though I read it day and night to understand as much as I can).
The Bible is clear that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. It doesn’t matter how you did it, but you broke God’s heart at some point and probably might continue to do so.
We are all sons and daughters. (Through Jesus)
We are all sinners, yes, but we are all also considered to be sons and daughters. The lovingkindness of our Abba Father calls us back to Him even when we have maligned Him by desecrating His laws. God looks at us and He does not see criminals, but looks at us and sees children.
We are called by God by name.
God does not call us according to our sin, but rather according to our name. This speaks of a God who longs to redeem us not through hate, but through love (sometimes in the form of compassion, other times through loving discipline). Love will always beget love, and will never beget hate. God has always hated sin, but has always loved us and His law.
That’s why Jesus found a way to fulfill both His Law and our freedom by dying on the cross and paying the price for us. God has said it is finished, and that finished work is the reason we are in Christ and are therefore called “Christians.”
Does that mean we should just accept our sinful nature? By all means, we should be liberated from it by the power of God’s in-dwelling Spirit! But we must never forget who we really are without God- sinners, and who we are in the eyes of God- sons and daughters.