Good question. Let’s break it down:
- Do I sin? Yes.
- Do I, as a Christian, find my identity in my sin? No.
I think a lot of Christians take the whole, “I’m a sinner, saved by grace,” line a little too far by constantly reassuring themselves that it’s okay that they messed up, after all what can they expect of themselves – they’re still sinners.
I choose to see myself as God sees me… His adopted son, righteous, holy, justified, forgiven.
I am not my sin. Sin doesn’t have me. I do slip and do things I know I shouldn’t do, often things I don’t even want to do (as well as not doing things I know I should). Why is that? Because I’m still human. Sure, my spirit has been redeemed, but my soul (mind, will, emotions) is a mess that’s being renewed, reformed, recreated into the image of God. This is not an overnight process, but it will come to completion (Phil 1:6).
I have been saved by grace, through faith, not my own good deeds (Eph 2:8-9) – I am a saint (Eph 3:16-19) that sins (1 John 1:8), not a sinner (1 John 3:9). If I have truly been forgiven of every sin – past, present, and future – how can I be considered a sinner?
Am I just splitting hairs here? I don’t think so. I think we (in general), as Christians, are often going through identity crisis. We tend to identify with our fallen nature rather than our spiritual rebirth. The bible says “… as [Jesus] is so also are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17 ESV) That is where we need to get our identity from, not our past or our shortcomings, but from Jesus.