I have been thinking about what I would write for a spiritual status update just like you might do a status update on facebook. Lily Allen sings in The Fear “Now I’m not a saint, but I’m not a sinner” – that is an interesting theological statement! I have spent many years reflecting on the identity of humanity – am I a saint, a sinner or both or neither?!
My take from surveying the whole of Scripture and my evangelical heritage is that before I was a follower of Jesus I was a sinner. That is not to say that God didn’t love me. When I chose to follow God (or God chose me, oh I feel another blog coming on) and as the baptism service says I “turned to Christ”, that’s when my spiritual status changed. That’s when I stopped being a sinner and became a saint. It was not about suddenly becoming a better person or God loving me more – God loved me just the same and I didn’t become a perfect human being overnight.
Calling myself a saint is not a statement of big headedness, just spiritual fact as I understand it. God changed my position, not me. It cannot be changed back (sorry I feel yet another blog coming on). You cannot be both, you are one or the other. Don’t get me wrong, I am not in a position to speak on behalf of anyone else. That’s not my job, I can’t make that kind of call and I am certainly not intending to be judgemental or label other people.
My status got updated, now I am no longer a sinner, I am a saint who sins.
Lily Allen and Greg Kurstin The Fear 2008