Which are you: a Christian or a Sinner?

It really bothers me when people who profess Christ as their savior identify themselves as sinners. You are either a sinner or a Christian you cannot be both.

First, when people in the Bible started serving God, He changed their name. Abram became Abraham, Sarai became Sarah, etc. In the New Testament, Saul became Paul when he became a follower of Christ. Likewise, when we become followers of Christ, God changes our name from Sinner to Christian.

Being a Christian does not mean you are perfect but it does mean that you are a follower of Christ. Christians still sin but a sinner is not who they want to identify with. When Christians call themselves a sinner they are choosing to follow the ‘old nature’, In other words, they are choosing to continue sinning rather than following Christ.

In the rapture discussed in 1 Thessalonians 4&5 it talks about Christ meeting the believers in the air. At that point, the soul and spirit of the Christian are united with their glorified body. Since the sinners will not be getting glorified body, they will remain on earth until after the Great Tribulation.

Jesus also referred to people as the ‘light of the world’ or ‘darkness. Christians are to be like Christ. We are to be the light of the world.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-17(NIV)

Please note what Jesus said. We are to let our light shine so people could ‘see our good deeds’ He did not say that our light was to shine so people could see our ‘bad deeds’. Why do we want to be called sinners and brag about our sin?

Second, people tend to move in the direction in which they are looking.

For instance, when a person is driving down the road and they see something off to the side of the road that distracts them, they will tend to turn toward where they are looking. If believers call themselves sinners, they are prone to turn toward sin.

Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” 2 Timothy 2:19(NIV)

The example that God gave us in the Old Testament regarding the salvation of the Children of Israel is found in Ezekiel 20:6-8

On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands. And I said to them, “Each of you, get rid of the vile images you have set your eyes on, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”

“‘But they rebelled against me and would not listen to me; they did not get rid of the vile images they had set their eyes on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in Egypt.

If we define ourselves as ‘sinners’ we have set our eyes on sin and not on God. You must be either a Christian – looking toward Christ, or a sinner – looking back at your past. Or you can look at it this way: You are either light or darkness but you cannot be both.

When Joshua was leading the Children of Israel in the Promised Land, there was a point at which Joshua asked them if they were going to serve the Lord.

“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:14-15(NIV)

My question to you is this, “who do you choose to follow?” Are you going to follow Christ and be called a Christian or are you going to choose your old nature and be called a sinner?

NOTE: All scripture used in this blog was downloaded from biblegateway.com