Saints and Sinners in God's Eyes

The question is, for those that are in Christ, are we saints or sinners according to the bible?

I once had an email conversation with a person that had his identity confused with that of being a sinner. The devil would like nothing better than to get a saint's identity to that of being a sinner. It makes a person weak and places the focus on themselves instead of on Jesus.

Saints and Sinners

Let's take a look at what the bible (the Word of God) says about saints. A sinner in God's eyes is everyone that has not received Christ; they are unbelievers and are dead. A saint is someone who has received Christ and has been made alive in Christ Jesus. All saints do commit sins, but God never-ever calls a saint a sinner. How could he call his own body a sinner, if he took away all our sins when he took the punishment for sins on the cross? Sinners and Saints both sin. Sinners are not saints. Saints are not sinners (as an identity). Saints do sin (individual sins of all types) but God does not see a saint as a sinner. Once a person is a saint, they can never become a sinner (an unbeliever of Jesus) again.

If a person is in Christ, God sees the righteousness of God. A believer's identity for themselves should be that of Christ. Look at all the references to saints and sinners in the bible below. After the cross, the delineation between "Saints and Sinners" is crystal clear.

Saints are not a separate Catholic canonization and beatification club set aside for holy people, evidenced by a miracle producing event in their lives, so the saints can somehow magically intercede for us before God. But Catholic sainthood is a topic for another day. Some will say that we are arguing over saint and sinner word semantics. It is extremely important to have a proper understanding of the words used when reading the bible, because having a wrong understanding of such an important word as "Saint" or "Sinner" will indeed chart a wrong course in your life. If we are arguing about semantics, then so be it. But, I will tell you this, that my identity is not a sinner. Don't let Satan get your identity off as being a sinner. If you are in Christ, you are a Saint, you are not a sinner. Yes I sin, you sin, we all sin. Wow, what else is new? But, rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Rest in his total forgiveness, not as a license to sin, but one of freedom in Christ. If a person is in Christ, he/she will be lead by the Spirit of God, not to sin, but to do the right thing. "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means!"

References to Christ dealt with sins once for all:
  1. 2 Corinthians 5:19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (in Context) 2 Corinthians 5 (Whole Chapter)
  2. Ephesians 2:1 [ Made Alive in Christ ] As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, Ephesians 2:1-3 (in Context) Ephesians 2 (Whole Chapter)
  3. Colossians 2:13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, Colossians 2:12-14 (in Context) Colossians 2 (Whole Chapter)
  4. Hebrews 9:15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. Hebrews 9:14-16 (in Context) Hebrews 9 (Whole Chapter)
  5. Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. Hebrews 9:27-28 (in Context) Hebrews 9 (Whole Chapter)
  6. 1 Peter 3:18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, 1 Peter 3:17-19 (in Context) 1 Peter 3 (Whole Chapter)
See all references to Saints below:
  1. Acts 9:13 "Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. Acts 9:12-14 (in Context) Acts 9 (Whole Chapter)
  2. Acts 9:32 [ Aeneas and Dorcas ] As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the saints in Lydda. Acts 9:31-33 (in Context) Acts 9 (Whole Chapter)
  3. Acts 26:10 And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the saints in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. Acts 26:9-11 (in Context) Acts 26 (Whole Chapter)
  4. Romans 1:7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 1:6-8 (in Context) Romans 1 (Whole Chapter)
  5. Romans 8:27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. Romans 8:26-28 (in Context) Romans 8 (Whole Chapter)
  6. Romans 15:25 Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the saints there. Romans 15:24-26 (in Context) Romans 15 (Whole Chapter)
  7. Romans 15:26 For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. Romans 15:25-27 (in Context) Romans 15 (Whole Chapter)
  8. Romans 15:31 Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there, Romans 15:30-32 (in Context) Romans 15 (Whole Chapter)
  9. Romans 16:2 I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me. Romans 16:1-3 (in Context) Romans 16 (Whole Chapter)
  10. Romans 16:15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the saints with them. Romans 16:14-16 (in Context) Romans 16 (Whole Chapter)
  11. 1 Corinthians 6:1 [ Lawsuits Among Believers ] If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? 1 Corinthians 6:1-3 (in Context) 1 Corinthians 6 (Whole Chapter)
  12. 1 Corinthians 6:2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 1 Corinthians 6:1-3 (in Context) 1 Corinthians 6 (Whole Chapter)
  13. 1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints, 1 Corinthians 14:32-34 (in Context) 1 Corinthians 14 (Whole Chapter)
  14. 1 Corinthians 16:15 You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints. I urge you, brothers, 1 Corinthians 16:14-16 (in Context) 1 Corinthians 16 (Whole Chapter)
  15. 2 Corinthians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throughout Achaia: 2 Corinthians 1:1-3 (in Context) 2 Corinthians 1 (Whole Chapter)
  16. 2 Corinthians 8:4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 2 Corinthians 8:3-5 (in Context) 2 Corinthians 8 (Whole Chapter)
  17. 2 Corinthians 9:1 There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the saints. 2 Corinthians 9:1-3 (in Context) 2 Corinthians 9 (Whole Chapter)
  18. 2 Corinthians 13:13 All the saints send their greetings. 2 Corinthians 13:12-14 (in Context) 2 Corinthians 13 (Whole Chapter)
  19. Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: Ephesians 1:1-3 (in Context) Ephesians 1 (Whole Chapter)
  20. Ephesians 1:15 [ Thanksgiving and Prayer ] For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, Ephesians 1:14-16 (in Context) Ephesians 1 (Whole Chapter)
  21. Ephesians 1:18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, Ephesians 1:17-19 (in Context) Ephesians 1 (Whole Chapter)
  22. Ephesians 3:18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, Ephesians 3:17-19 (in Context) Ephesians 3 (Whole Chapter)
  23. Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians 6:17-19 (in Context) Ephesians 6 (Whole Chapter)
  24. Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: Philippians 1:1-3 (in Context) Philippians 1 (Whole Chapter)
  25. Philippians 4:21 [ Final Greetings ] Greet all the saints in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send greetings. Philippians 4:20-22 (in Context) Philippians 4 (Whole Chapter)
  26. Philippians 4:22 All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar's household. Philippians 4:21-23 (in Context) Philippians 4 (Whole Chapter)
  27. Colossians 1:4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saintsColossians 1:3-5 (in Context) Colossians 1 (Whole Chapter)
  28. Colossians 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. Colossians 1:11-13 (in Context) Colossians 1 (Whole Chapter)
  29. Colossians 1:26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. Colossians 1:25-27 (in Context) Colossians 1 (Whole Chapter)
  30. 1 Timothy 5:10 and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds. 1 Timothy 5:9-11 (in Context) 1 Timothy 5 (Whole Chapter)
  31. Philemon 1:5 because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. Philemon 1:4-6 (in Context) Philemon 1 (Whole Chapter)
  32. Philemon 1:7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. Philemon 1:6-8 (in Context) Philemon 1 (Whole Chapter)
  33. Jude 1:3 [ The sin and doom of Godless men ] Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. Jude 1:2-4 (in Context) Jude 1 (Whole Chapter)
  34. Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. Revelation 5:7-9 (in Context) Revelation 5 (Whole Chapter)
  35. Revelation 8:3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. Revelation 8:2-4 (in Context) Revelation 8 (Whole Chapter)
  36. Revelation 8:4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand. Revelation 8:3-5 (in Context) Revelation 8 (Whole Chapter)
  37. Revelation 11:18 The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great— and for destroying those who destroy the earth." Revelation 11:17-19 (in Context) Revelation 11 (Whole Chapter)
  38. Revelation 13:7 He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. Revelation 13:6-8 (in Context) Revelation 13 (Whole Chapter)
  39. Revelation 13:10 If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints. Revelation 13:9-11 (in Context) Revelation 13 (Whole Chapter)
  40. Revelation 14:12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. Revelation 14:11-13 (in Context) Revelation 14 (Whole Chapter)
  41. Revelation 16:6 for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve." Revelation 16:5-7 (in Context) Revelation 16 (Whole Chapter)
  42. Revelation 17:6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. Revelation 17:5-7 (in Context) Revelation 17 (Whole Chapter)
  43. Revelation 18:20 Rejoice over her, O heaven! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged her for the way she treated you.' " Revelation 18:19-21 (in Context) Revelation 18 (Whole Chapter)
  44. Revelation 18:24 In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth." Revelation 18:23-24 (in Context) Revelation 18 (Whole Chapter)
  45. Revelation 19:8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Revelation 19:7-9 (in Context) Revelation 19 (Whole Chapter)

Some will say that didn't Paul look at himself as a sinner? In actuality, Paul looked at himself as a sinner in the past. If you read 1 Timothy 1:15 in context, you will see that Paul talks about himself as being the chief of sinners. But if you look closely at these passages, you can see that he was talking about himself as he was once a blasphemer and a persecutor, and a violent man. Paul goes back and forth from the past to the present to the past again. In fact, this is a typical Hebrew writing style of that day, of the writer placing themselves in the past as though it were the present when writing things about the past.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Tim 1:12-17

Take a look at the following referenced information that puts Hebrew writing styles in historical timeline perspective:

Young’s Literal Translation

I. That the Hebrews were in the habit of using the past tense to express the certainty of an action taking place, even though the action might not really be performed for some time. And

II. That the Hebrews, in referring to events which might be either past or future, were accustomed to act on the principle of transferring themselves mentally to the period and place of the events themselves, and were not content with coldly viewing them as those of a bygone or still coming time; hence the very frequent use of the present tense.

God does not see Paul today as a sinner, but instead sees him as a saint.

Furthermore, God does not see believers in Christ as sinners but instead sees them as saints.

Sure, saints sin, but sinners are never saints, nor are saints ever sinners in God's eyes. See all the references to Saints above.

Take a look at the following reference document:

Short sermons on important subjects
By Jonathan Edmondson, 1857


He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness : for by strength shall no man prevail. 1 Samuel ii, 9.

The words of our text are a part of Hannah's elegant song, when God had given her a son, who was to be a great Prophet in Israel. Penninah, her adversary, had triumphed over her; but now she triumphs with holy joy in the Lord her God. Thus the saints shall triumph when time is swallowed up in eternity; but sinners shall be silent in darkness: for by strength shall no man prevail. We shall find it profitable to consider, in the first place, the conduct of the Lord to his saints; secondly. his conduct towards sinners; and, thirdly, the general inference, that by strength shall no man prevail.

I. The Conduct Of The Lord Towards His Saints.
But who are saints? The word saint, wherever it occurs in Scripture, signifies a holy one. It is sometimes applied to good men on earth; and sometimes to glorified human spirits in heaven. But as the word saint is opposed to the word sinner, we infer that saints are not sinners, and that sinners are not saints. The one may have his infirmities, and the other may make a high profession; but they are, and ever will be, widely different characters. Read more.

Place your identity on Christ and his righteousness, not your own. It is extremely important that we see ourselves as God sees us. That is living in total forgiveness.

The judgment of sin occurred once for all. If there were any more judgment for sin required by God, Jesus would have to die on the cross again and again, (see the book of Hebrews which talks specifically about this) and as the Catholics try to say is occurring in the "Mass".

God's judgment of sin is eternal through Christ's payment, but it occurred one time and will not occur again. When Jesus comes back he is not going to deal with sins again. See Christ dealt with sins above once for all.

The judgment of sins by God in Jesus Christ covers eternity.

Please read the Welcome message.


Post a Comment

Everyone is welcome to leave their comments and sincere questions; however, there are some ground rules. The comments area of this website is not for any argumentative banter between individuals, groups or people. If you do not agree with something being said here, you are not likely to change the minds of others with just a snippet of information posted as your comment. Nor is your mind likely to be changed with a short snippet back to you. Everyone born of Jesus Christ, has their mind being renewed by Christ Jesus. (Romans 12:2 and 1 Corinthians 2:16) You are however, free to send an email using the contact form with your thoughts. Note: All communications remain confidential.

Bob George Ministries

Click here for more Bob George Ministries biblical teaching publications, books, CD and DVDs and Bible studies available for purchase online.