Updated: Feb 28, 2020
“I’m just a sinner saved by grace.”
Even if you haven’t grown up in church that phrase likely sounds familiar. We hear this echoed in many familiar hymns. When we sing Amazing Grace, written by John Newton, we begin with these familiar words:
Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
Isaac Watts writes in Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed:
Alas! and did my Savior bleed,
and did my Sovereign die!
Would he devote that sacred head
for sinners such as I?
When we sing Just as I Am, Without One Plea by Charlotte Elliott, do we see ourselves as a sinner or as someone washed clean and made new?
Just as I am, without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me
And that Thou bid'st me come to Thee
O Lamb of God, I come! I come
Yes, Jesus died on the cross because of sin, but it isn’t because you are “just a sinner.” He died on the cross because He knows truly who you are, someone made in God’s image, to love as Jesus loves.
I shared these verses two weeks ago:
21 Since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came through one too. 22 In the same way that everyone dies in Adam, so also everyone will be given life in Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:21-22)
In Christ, we are given new life, made new. Jesus doesn’t give you a command that you can’t live out.
34 “I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. 35 This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.” (John 13:34-35)
Do you think it will be easier to wake up tomorrow and love like Jesus if you are focused on being “just a sinner,” or do you think it will be easier to wake up tomorrow and love like Jesus if you are focused on your new “life in Christ”?
I hope the answer is rather obvious. It is easier to love like Jesus when we focus on being made new in Christ. However, my guess is, when we look in the mirror, we first see the sinner.
The next time you think of yourself as “just a sinner,” take a moment to acknowledge the thought. Don’t become angry with yourself, but instead move to praising God for making you new. Thank God for adopting you into His family, making you His child. Thank God for making you holy and blameless.
PS - We invite you to come join us this Sunday, February 23rd as we welcome Brian Connolly to Mt. Zion (8:45am) and Barnitz (10:30am) worship services! Please click here to learn more about Brian.