Every so often, an author puts words to an inarticulate groan in my soul. This article does just that. As one who has a high view of Scripture, I have been bothered by an overabundant use of the word “sinner” in the circles that I run in. This is one of those life-changing articles for me!
Dr. Michael Kruger argues that calling ourselves “sinners’ does not actually help us fight sin better. Three of the key paragraphs.
And when our true identities are understood rightly, it actually affects the way we view (and respond to) our sins. We might think that the best way to appreciate the depth of our sin is to think of ourselves primarily in the category of “sinners.” But, this can actually have the opposite effect. If we think of ourselves only as “sinners” then our sins are seen as something rather ordinary and inevitable. They are just the result of who we are. Sure, we wish we didn’t sin. But, that’s just what “sinners” do.
If we instead view ourselves as “saints,” then we will begin to see our sin in a whole new light. If we really are “holy ones” then whatever sins we commit are a deeper, more profound, and more serious departure from God’s calling than we ever realized. Our sin, in a sense, is even more heinous because it is being done by those who now have new natures and a new identity.
And it is this “cognitive dissonance” between our identities as saints and our sinful actions that leads us to repentance. We repent because these sins are not ordinary and expected. They are fundamentally contrary to who God has made us to be. It is this tension between our identities and our actions that is lost when we cease to think of ourselves as saints.
Read the whole thing. I think it will affect how your view yourself and others.