Is a Christian a sinner or saint? Or both? Are we saints who occasionally sin? Or sinners who occasionally act saintly?
Let’s find out from Scripture. First we’ll look at verses that describe the sinner. Then we’ll look at verses that describe the saint. Then we’ll look at verses that have a time element to them. Then we’ll look at verses that mention both. Lastly, we’ll look at verses that talk about acts of sin and how to rectify/understand them as Christians.
Sinner occurs 69 times in Scripture; saint 98 times- 36 times in the Old Testament (I won’t list all the verse; just a significant number)
Verses that describe the sinner:
1Sa_15:18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.
Psa_37:28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
Psa_97:10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.
Psa_104:35 Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD.
Isa_1:28 And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed.
Isa_13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
-sinners will be utterly destroyed; the will be consumed out of the earth; they forsake God and will be consumed; and in the Day of the Lord will be eternally destroyed.
-Does God hear your prayers? Then you’re not a sinner since God cannot hear the prayer of sinners.
Heb_7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
-Jesus is separate from sinners- are you separate from Jesus?? Or is Christ in you; are you part of His body; and He’ll never leave you or forsake you?
Do any of these attributes/events/destinations apply to a saint?
**Therefore a saint cannot possess any of these attributes/events/results- only sinners can.
Verses that describe the saint:
Deu_33:3 Yea, he loved the people; all his saints are in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; every one shall receive of thy words.
2Ch_6:41 Now therefore arise, O LORD God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness.
Psa_116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
Rom_1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co_1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
1Co_14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
2Co_1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:
Eph_1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Eph_4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Php_1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
Php_4:21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus.
Col_1:2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1Th_3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
Phm_1:5 Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints
Rev_5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
Rev_19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
Do any of these saintly attributes/events/destinations apply to sinners?
**Therefore a sinner cannot possess any of these attributes/events/results- only saints can.
Verses that have a time element:
Psa_51:13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
Rom_5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
1Jn 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. –this is the saint who does not sin.
-therefore when a sinner is converted he becomes a saint; Christ died for us when we were sinners, after which we become saints.
**Therefore in the lives of people they go from being a sinner to being a saint. There’s a time-line involved that defines what and who a person becomes/is before and after salvation.
Verses that mention both:
1Sa_2:9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.
Psa_1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
-thus the righteous don’t stand in the way of sinners.
Pro_13:6 Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.
-thus God’s attribute of righteousness in the saint keeps him; while the sinner is overthrown by wickedness.
Pro_13:21 Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.
-thus evil pursues sinners; the saint will be repaid.
Ecc_2:26 For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail
-thus God gives wisdom to saints; and travail to sinners.
Ecc_8:12 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:
-thus sinners evil multiples while it will be well with saints.
Mat_9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Mar_2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Luk_5:32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
-thus Jesus only calls sinners (of who everyone is initially) to repentance to be saved; once they’re saved they’re saints and are righteous and no longer need repentance.
Luk_6:33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
-thus saints’ behavior is contrasted with sinners.
Luk_15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
-thus the sinner is contrasted with saints who are now just and need no repentance for they have repented unto salvation.
Joh_9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
-Paul recognized our 2 natures.
1Pe_4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
2Pe_2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
1Jn 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
-this is the sinner who sins -saints are not of the devil…
1Jn 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
…but this is the saint who does not sin. Sinners are not born of God.
**Therefore there’s a difference between the sinner and the saint. There’s contradictory states, identity, judgments, treaments/blessings, and final eternity.
**Therefore a sinner cannot be free from, or have victory over, sin; while the saint is freed from the bondage and wrath of sin.
If you are a sinner you will be consumed out of the earth (meaning hell).
If you’re a sinner then you’re not righteous, just, good, redeemed, or justified in God’s eyes.
If you’re a sinner Paul’s epistles are not written to you since they are addressed to the saints.
Try substituting the word saint for sinner (or vice-versa) in any verse and see if it’s truth- impossible!
You’re either wicked, condemned, have God’s wrath abiding on you, headed for destruction (hell); or you are righteous, redeemed, saved by Jesus from God’s wrath, and headed for heaven! You can’t be both.
If you’re a sinner you’re not a saint.
If you’re a saint you’re not a sinner! So rejoice evermore!!!
1 Th 5:16 Rejoice evermore.
This a little bit more in-depth of how then God commands a saint to respond to temptations and so he understands ‘who’ sins.
Verses that mention acts of sin and how we are to respond/understand them:
Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
-Paul knows that his crucified sin nature sins; not his new creature in Christ new nature.
Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
-Again, Paul knows it’s not his new nature that sins but his old nature.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
-Paul notes his new nature; his re-born, regenerated, saint identity.
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
-Paul contrasts the two natures.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
-Paul concludes that he is wrteched in this state… but! God did not leave us wretched He provided for this at the cross; our answer lies in the previous chapter, Ro 6:1-22:
Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
-Paul knows he is free from sin because his old sin nature was crucified on the cross and his new nature is free from sin.
Rom 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
-God tells us to reckon, or realize/know/apprehend/understand/walk by faith that the old man is dead and has no power, therefore we have victory over all temptation and sin.