When I hear a believer say, “I’m just a sinner,” I feel like responding, “That’s what you used to be.” A lot of folks cling to a view of themselves as a patched-up, slightly-better-than-before version of their old self. The Word of God contradicts that opinion: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor. 5:17). In fact, according to Scripture, we’re dramatically different once we are complete in the Lord.
The question is, Will Christians trust in what they feel, or will they believe what God says about them? His Word calls us saints (Rom. 1:7), disciples (John 13:34-35), and fellow heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17). If your opinion is that you are “just a sinner,” then you cannot fully experience and enjoy your identity as a follower of God.
Believing what the Lord says about our new self is a choice. Satan certainly schemes to convince believers that Scripture doesn’t apply to them. He knows that people held captive by spiritual poverty back away from opportunities to share the gospel and serve God’s kingdom. It’s much easier to spiritually bankrupt someone who already thinks of himself as “just a sinner” than it is to conquer a disciple who knows he is a child of the loving heavenly Father.
Our true identity is defined not by our past actions but by the Savior’s. Jesus purchased our lives with His blood and brought us into relationship with the Father, who adopted us as His beloved children. We have every reason to hold our heads high, stand firm, and courageously proclaim the gospel.