Question 8: Is it biblical to call ourselves sinners after we're saved?

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Question 8:

Is it Biblical to call ourselves sinners after we're saved?

All right, this is question answer time again. Tonight we're going to be on question eight. I am Michael Pearl. I'm at The Door and our listeners have sent in a number of questions, and so I have about seven or eight of them tonight I'm going to try to answer for you.

What does the Bible say?

Now, at my age of 73 years old, I've accumulated a lot of wisdom. So that makes only about 30 or 40 million of us in the country that are wise. And so I'm not particularly more wise than other people. So I rely not upon what I have gleaned from the many, many years, I rely upon what the Bible says, and so that's the way I'm going to answer you, what does the Bible say? Sometimes I don't even agree with the Bible, but I still have to answer it that way.

Say, why don't you? Because I'm human and I'm still learning. So I'm going to see what the Bible says and that's what I'm going to go by.

Here's the first question.


“Is it biblical to refer to ourselves as sinners after we are saved? I'm thinking it isn't since we are dead to sin and are new creatures in Christ, but many Christians regularly say, "I'm just a sinner saved by grace."

Thanks so much, Darlene

Yes, I hear a lot of Christians say that, but what does the Bible say? That's the issue.


1 Timothy 1:15. This is Paul speaking. He said, "It is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief."  So that's present tense. Paul said he was a chief sinner, a saved chief sinner, but a sinner nonetheless.

Romans 5:8, "But God commended his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  So Christ died for us sinners. "But if while we seek to be justified by Christ, where ourselves also are found sinners is therefore Christ the minister of sin, God forbid."  So here is someone being justified by Christ, but it's discovered that they are sinners.

What is a sinner?

What is a sinner? A sinner is someone who sins. Now, let me ask you, you're a Christian, have you sinned at all this week, at any time? This month, this year? What about today? Have you sinned today? A sin of omission as well as commission? If that's true, then I hope you are a sinner saved by grace.

James 4:1-6 "From whence come wars and fightings among you come they not hence even of your own lust, that war in your members."  He's talking to Christians and he said, "You have lust warring in your members, eyes, ears, nose, hand, feet, tongue, sex, organs.” “Ye lust and have not,"  talking to Christians, "You kill and desire to have and cannot obtain. You fight in war. Yet you have not because you ask not."  He's saying to these Christians that they are not getting their prayers answered because they're not asking correctly. "Ye ask and receive not because you ask a miss that you may consume it upon your lust."  So these Christians not only were doing all these sins, they were praying selfish prayers and not getting any answers. "You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that friendship of the world is enmity with God whosoever therefore shall be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do you think what the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us, lusteth to envy. But...” all that being true, “he givith more grace."

So God increases the grace on these Christians who are having these carnal fleshly experiences.

James 4:6-11"Wherefore, you sayeth God resisted the proud, but givith grace to the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God."  He says to these sinning Christians. "Resist the devil. He'll flee from you. Draw now to God, he'll draw now you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners."  

That answers the question, didn't it?  "And purify your heart, you double minded. Be afflicted and mourn and weep, let your laughter be turned to mourning your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, he shall lift you up. Speak not evil one of another brethren."  So clearly he's speaking to the brethren. Brethren being the Christian congregation. "Speak not evil one of another brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, judgeth the law. But if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge."

And then James 5:19, "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth."  So who's he talking to? Christians or non-Christians? "Brethren,”  that is someone who's in the truth, walking in truth, living in truth and erring from it “and one convert him."  In other words, a fellow Christian is not walking in truth, he's erred. And so a fellow Christian converts him back to the way. "Let him know that he which converteth the sinner,"  so the erring Christian is called a sinner, "From the err of his way shall save a soul from death and shall hide a multitude of sins."

So the answer to your question, scripturally, which is it's biblical to refer to ourselves as sinners after we're saved, I think it isn't since we're dead to sin, or new creatures, new creations in Christ, actually we're not new creations. The Bible says creatures not creations. God didn't recreate us. But many Christians regularly say, "I'm just a sinner saved by grace." So is it right to say that?

 Paul said it. And if it's true, if you are a sinner saved by grace. So I would say to you, I'm a sinner and I'm overcoming it in Jesus Christ. I'm living victorious. I'm not sinning today, but I am a sinner saved by grace.

What does the Bible Say About Christian Sinners?

Now on the other hand, here's what the Bible says about Christian sinners.

1 John 5:2, "By this we know that we love the children of God when we love God and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world, and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith, who is he that overcometh the world but he that believes that Jesus is the son of God."

Do Christians still Sin?

So God saves us so we'll stop sinning, so we'll love him and walk in righteousness. That's the goal. That's the purpose. But it's not instantaneous and automatic the moment you get born again, it is a process that takes a lifetime.

Now, if a person is walking in sin and unrepentant, it's an indication that he doesn't know Christ. But about every sin there is, some Christian has committed it one time or another and then repented and walked in righteousness afterwards.

Let not sin reign in your Body

Roman 6:12 says, "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body that you should obey it in the lust thereof."  Now Paul would not command us to let it not reign if it were possible to let it reign. If it were a automatic fix, there'd be no reason to invoke our will, our choice, and tell us to let it not take place.

Roman 6:12  "Let not sin, therefore reign your mortal body that you should obey it in the lust there of neither yield you, your members." Eyes, ears, nose, hand, feet, tongue, sex organs. Those little extensions on the body are members.

"Yield not your members as instruments of unrighteousness under sin, but yield yourselves under God as those that are alive from the dead and your members as instruments of righteousness under God."  So the commandment is that we shouldn't sin, we shouldn't yield our members to the lust. "For s in shall not have dominion over you for you're not under the law, but under grace."  So there is this assurance. There's no assurance that we will never sin, but there is assurance that sin will not have dominion over us.

 In other words, it might knock us down, it might grab us, it might put its slimy hands around our throat. It might temporarily blind us, but it won't keep us down. It won't keep us in darkness. It won't make us abide in evil. We will rebound by the spirit of God and overcome it.


Now, I understand that she asked this question because she had seen my studies from Romans chapter six, seven, and eight, where the Bible clearly teaches that we are dead to sin and alive unto God. But if you go back and listen to my studies carefully, you'll understand that it's in Christ that we're dead to sin as we abide in him and walk in him we experience that reality and the reason the Bible has that five, six and seven and eight, six, seven, and eight particular is so that we as Christians will not yield our bodies as instruments of unrighteous unto sin, but yield yourselves under God as those that are alive from the dead. So we still have a responsibility to reckon ourselves to be dead indeed under sin, but alive under God.

 That's the end of question number eight.

Bible teaching with Michael Pearl.
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