Most of my life I was taught that a “sinner” was someone who “sinned”, that is committed acts which were against God’s law or were evil. But through the scripture I came to God’s understanding of what a “sinner” is and what is the opposite of sinner.
In this article I shall share with you what the scripture says and what it clearly defines as a “sinner” and how you can be freed from such a designation.
Where did sin come from?
The original “sinner” was not a man. He was an angel. At one time he was the top angel in charge of praise and worship. His name was Lucifer. There came a time when Lucifer thought of himself more than he should and thought to dethrone the God of all creation. He handily defeated and cast down from his lofty position. Now, you understand that angels do not have the same privileges as God’s highest creation, mankind, because they were created as servants.
Psalm 103:20 (KJV)
Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto
the voice of his word.
Angels were created to serve God’s purpose. They were not given the choice of obeying or not. When Lucifer rebelled there could be no forgiveness. He never had the choice, whereas, man was given a choice. He could obey God and not eat of a certain tree and live, or he could disobey and choose death. God desired that the man love Him as much as He loved the man. Because God gave man the ability and right to choose He also loved him so much that when man chose to rebel and therefore brought the curse, God still loved him and provided a way that His highest creation could return to fellowship with Him. But just as man had chosen to not love God and rebel, he would have to love God and choose God’s way of restoration. God’s way of restoration was that He, through His only-begotten Son, would pay the price for Adam’s rebellion.
So, Lucifer became Satan and he seduced the woman and the man to sin. So what was their sin. The act was the eating of the fruit of the forbidden tree. Now they had eaten of many fruits from many trees, so why was this called sin? If we were to follow the logic of most “theologians”, then eating fruit from a tree would be sinning. After all that is what Adam and Eve did. I think you understand what I am getting at. It is not necessarily the “act” that determines sin but the motive.
Did you know that God made a covenant with man in the beginning? Here it is in Genesis 1.
Genesis 1:26-28 (KJV)
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and
let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air,
and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that
creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God
created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male
and female created he them.
28 AndGod blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and
replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea,
and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the
God had the right to lease the Earth to man. 1 Corinthians 10 says so.
1 Corinthians 10:26 (KJV)
For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.
So God made a covenant with Adam and his descendants that they would rule over the earth and have dominion over it and the only stipulation was that they could not eat of only one tree in the Garden of Eden. When they took of the fruit and ate of the forbidden tree they broke the covenant. They no longer had “right standing” with God in the covenant which He had established.
Now, the stipulation of the covenant that they should not eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree was not so that God could show His right to tell them what to do, but was a way of Adam and Eve to show how much they trusted and loved their Creator. When they chose to eat of that forbidden tree they were saying that they did not trust and revere God but rather trusted in their own intellect and senses and thereby exalting themselves above God’s revelation to them. When confronted with their rebellion they knew that they had broken the covenant and made excuse after excuse. God in His great mercy provided a covering for their nakedness. Death entered the creation. It first came as God made skins for the covering of their nakedness. Innocent animals died so that their skins might be used as a covering of Adam and Eve’s nakedness. This was a foreshadowing that an innocent One would one day die to pay the price for the sins of all who would receive Him.
I have asked many people what the term “righteous” means. The answers vary from “holy” to “being good” to “religious” and on and on. This is the definition of Biblical “righteousness”: it is “right standing in a covenant relationship.” That “right standing” means that all the conditions of the covenant are met from that party’s stand point. It is similar to, but much stronger than, a contract. A simple example would be: I agree to pay you $100 to mow my lawn five times this summer. I give you the $100 dollars. As long as you show up on a basis by which you will mow my lawn five times this summer, you remain in good standing in our contract, or covenant.
It was very evident that Adam broke the covenant with God when he did the thing which he was not supposed to do according to the covenant. He no longer had right standing in that covenant. Therefore all that was in the covenant was now null and void. He no longer had dominion over the earth. Now, the one who was supposed to have rulership and direction over the Earth had lost his right to exercise that authority and had yielded it to “the god of this world”, satan. For that reason a curse was pronounced on the Earth.
What determines a “sinner”? One of the favorite verses of all Christians is found in Romans 3:23. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” That verse is true, but is often misused. It is inserted as a clarifying point to establish that not only those who have the law but that all men whether under the law or apart from the law are concluded as having sinned. So what is sin?
Romans 3:20-26 (KJV)
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be
justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
21 But now the righteousness of God
without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his
grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a
propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the
remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his
righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth
Here we see that sin is not necessarily an action but is the “state” of one who is not in “right standing in a covenant relationship” (righteous).
Let me share a few more scriptures which back this.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (KJV)
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin;
that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
1 John 3:4-10 (KJV)
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is
the transgression of the law.
5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that
doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the
devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was
manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for
his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is
not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
Notice again that sin is contrasted to righteousness, not necessarily actions.
1 Peter 1:22-23 (KJV)
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through
the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one
another with a pure heart fervently:
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible,
by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
The old adage that “We are all sinners”, “I am just a sinner saved by grace,” and “We sin every day”, are lies which do not line up with the scriptures. If I say I sin everyday then I contradict the word of God which says “that if I abide in Him I do not sin.” If I say I am a sinner I admit that I do not have right standing with God which 2 Corinthians 5:21 says I do have. There is no such thing as a “sinner saved by grace”. You are either a “sinner”(covenant breaker) or you are “saved by grace”. The fact that we are all born “sinners” does not mean that we “all stay sinners(not right standing)”.
If we are sinners how can we honor the scripture in Hebrews 4.
Hebrews 4:16 (KJV)
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and
find grace to help in time of need.
This scripture paints a picture of a young innocent child who comes running happily into his father’s lap. You cannot do that if you do not have right standing.
But, you may ask, “Don’t we mess up sometimes and sin?”
Let me ask you. Do you have children? I had two sons. If one of them had an accident, does that mean he is no longer my son? When they were young neither one of them could talk as well as I or walk or run as well as I. Did that mean that they were not my sons? I never once declared them “not my sons” because they could not do the things that I could. But as I loved them and nurtured them they came to the point that they did all the normal things that I did and many of the better. They did not arrive there by constantly deriding themselves for not measuring up. But they got there because they had parents who loved them.
We have a loving Heavenly Father Who loves us far more than any earthly parent. He has declared us “Righteous” if we are in Christ Jesus.
Acts 10:15 (KJV)
15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What
God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
God has declared that in Chist Jesus you are “Righteous”. Do not let any person call you a “sinner” anymore.