I’m a Sinner

I Still Sin

(updated)

It may come as a shock to some of you, but I still sin. Yes, this preacher still makes mistakes. You see, I am no better than anyone else, even though there used to be a time when I thought I was.

Years ago, when I was a really legalistic son-of-a-gun, it wasn’t uncommon for me to look down my nose at others who were “less spiritual.” Oh, I wouldn’t admit I thought I was better than anyone, because I really thought I was humble. It’s just, seriously, I never committed any of those horrible sins like adultery, murder, etc. All my sins were small, like not cleaning my room when asked, or looking too long at pictures in the J.C. Penney catalog.

But things changed. First, I found out that this self-righteous do-gooder could actually screw up – big time. Second, I found out that some of the ones I looked down on before had better excuses for their sin than I did. Third, I grew up. Forth, I found out what grace is all about.

So, I still mess up from time to time. I still sin, and that’s because I still live in unredeemed flesh. However, there are still times when I need to be reminded of how sinful my little sins are, and how great God’s grace is.

What I Deserve

Last week I lusted. Yes, this preacher – a married man and father of three – lusted. It’s not like I do it all the time, but I saw something on television that caused me to look longer than I needed to, to allow some thoughts to come into my mind that had no business there. A moment of weakness. Just being honest.

Later in the day, after a long day on a hot school bus, I took a shower. As I was washing my face, soap got into my eyes and caused them to sting. With a wince I felt a little twinge of guilt as I was reminded of the earlier sin involving my eyes. I said aloud, but to myself, “I guess I deserved that.”

Then, almost immediately, a still, small, Voice whispered into my heart, “No, what you really deserve is Hell.” In other words, it was like God was saying to me, “Anthony, is that how little you think of my Son’s sacrifice for you?” In other words, if all it took was a little soap in the eyes to pay for that mistake, why the cross?

Bam!

Do you realize that even if all you and I had ever done was commit some little, private sin, Jesus would have still had to die on a cross to reconcile us with God? Do you realize even the smallest, most insignificant sin is still sin in God’s eyes? ALL sin separates us from the Father, therefore ALL sin is worthy of Hell.

But praise the Lord for God’s amazing grace! It saved a wretch like me. Through it the righteousness of Christ was imputed to me, and therefore I am now truly clean, holy in the sight of God my Father.

I’m a sinner, but I’m a saved sinner. Thank God!


Do you want to know how you can be a “saved sinner,” too? Click on the Eternal Life tab at the top of the screen. If you’d like to talk with someone about it right now, call 1-888 – Need Him.

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2 Comments

Filed under Christian Maturity, legalism, Love of God, salvation

2 responses to “I’m a Sinner

  1. Chris Jordan

    Thanks so much for this refreshingly honest post Anthony! As Christians – as PASTORS – we still sin. But thank God for His amazing grace, amen? One of my favourite quotes came from Thomas Merton (or was it Morton Kelsey?). He said, “The church is not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners.” (That echoes what Jesus said: “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Matthew 9). May God richly bless you as you serve Him faithfully today.

  2. I think it is important that I include in this comment section a comment that was left on my Facebook page, along with my response. Please read.

    (From: Calvin Hammond) Pastor I need you to hear me on this, you can’t be both, a sinner and save. when you and I was a sinner, we practice sin although we might do some righteous act, sin rein in our mortal body. But now that we are save, sin no longer rein in our mortal body by putting on Christ. Everytime we read the word of God and apply it to our lives, we are being close in righteousness, therefore becoming the righteous of God. The bible says as a man thinketh in his heart so is he. Hot or cold, Choose ye this day who you going to serve, a double minded man is unstable in all his ways, the broad way and the narrow way. These example let you know that Jesus is saying one way or the other. I believe you to be save on your way to BEING MADE FREE FROM ALL SIN BY FAITH IN THE POWER OF GOD HOLY WORD. When Jesus told the woman to go and sin no more, what he was actually saying; go and practice sin no more, because she had a life style of sin. Come man of God.

    (My response) Calvin, now that I am back at a real computer and not an iPhone, I will take the time to respond to your comment. I believe you are not understanding the point of my post. As a matter of fact, I thought there would be someone who would misunderstand, so I guess you are that person.

    First, for me to say that I sin is true. If I say I do not sin, then I am a liar – which is a sin. Because I am still living in this flesh, I am still tempted and at times yield. But even though I still sin, that does not mean that I desire to sin continually…that would be contrary to my new nature.

    Secondly, even though I sin, however regretfully, I have an Advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1). He argues my case, declares my fine paid with His blood, and then I am declared justified, righteous, all because of Jesus. Because of Jesus, I have his righteousness imputed unto me, and it is not because of my goodness.

    What I think you think I am saying is that I sin all I want, break God’s laws all I want, and yet still claim to be a follower of Christ. That is not so! I am a follower of Jesus Christ, saved by the blood of the crucified Lamb, but that does not mean that I never sin. Please read the words of Paul in Romans 7.

    The point of my blog post was to show that all of us are guilty of what we would label as “small” sins. No Christian, no matter how godly, as long as he is still in this flesh, will suffer moments of failure. And what’s more, those little sins, such as a lustful or envious thought, are still sin – sin for which Jesus had to die for on the cross to redeem us and reconcile us with the Father. BUT, praise be to God for his GRACE! Praise God for His LOVE! Because of His love for me; because of His sacrifice; because he has given me a new nature, when I DO sin, I am convicted, broken hearted, and know I have done wrong. I don’t want to sin, though, because of His love for me.

    But please, look at 1 John 1:10 again: “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” To put that verse another way, it could read, “Because his word IS IN US, we admit we have sinned, and make HIS word true.” That is all I am doing.

    I am NOT a sinner in the sense that I am unforgiven and unredeemed, unwashed in the blood of the Lamb. However, I AM a sinner in that I am still subject to the battle between flesh and spirit, and only righteous because of Christ’s righteousness being credited to my by grace through faith.

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