SAINT OR SINNER? ?
We know from reading (2 Cor 5:17) that anyone who is "in Christ" is a new creation, and we know from (John 3:3) that this happens when a person is "born again" by the Spirit of God. By this act on our part of confessing our sinful condition and receiving Jesus Christ as our personal Savior from sin, we become "saints". Paul wrote several letters to groups of believers gathered together to form churches. He always extended his greeting to the "saints", or holy people, who resided in that city. In other words the believers, or followers of Jesus, were called saints. Because over the years the church has set certain people apart, and called then saints, usually long after they are dead, we have been confused about the true meaning of this term. We often hear well meaning believers refer to themselves as just a "sinner saved by grace", but this is not correct. If they are indeed saved, they are no longer a sinner, but a saint. Their true identity has been changed from sinner to saint, and their position before God can never be reversed. If and when a believer sins after being saved, they don't revert back to a sinner, they are merely a saint who has sinned. God has made provision for restoring such a one back into fellowship with Him. (1 John 1:9)
In the natural world around us we see beautiful butterflies, who were once ugly worms before they were supernaturally changed. Now a butterfly can land in a mud puddle and get wet and dirty, but they never revert back to a worm because of this mistake. As soon as they dry off they can fly again as usual. Neither does a saint revert back to a sinner because they fall into some form of sinful behavior after they are saved. By following the provision of God in His Word, they can be cleansed and restored. There has been much confusion in the church over this issue of a Christian sinning. Some say they are lost again, while others have maintained that they are eternally secure. I believe if we separate membership in God's family, from our position in His Kingdom, we have the answer to this debate. In other words our sinful behavior does not affect our position in the family of God, but it may affect our place in His kingdom. In (1 Peter 1:3-4) we read about a "precious inheritance" which is being reserved in heaven for us! I believe this is our part in the Kingdom of God. A careful reading of (1 Cor 6:9-11), (Gal 5:19-21), and (Eph 5:3-5) will clearly show that this type of sinful behavior listed in these passages will affect a believer's place in the Eternal Kingdom. We enter God's family by means of the new birth, which is a gift of God's grace, but we are transferred into the Kingdom,(Col 1:13). If we are transferred in, we can be legislated out if necessary! Check these scriptures out for yourself, and see what you think!