What kind of sinner are you?

Posted: October 25, 2016 in Uncategorized

There’s and old saying that Christians are all just “Sinners saved by Grace”. This statement is a bit of a misnomer because you can’t be saved by grace and a sinner at the same time. Truthfully, you are either one or the other. But we don’t have to over spiritualize the concept because we understand what “sinners saved by grace” is trying to refer to. It means we all, no matter how saved we are, still deal with a sin nature. True, Christ defeated sin, death, hell, and the grave; but we still must navigate life with a sin consciousness. One that desires to rise again just like our Lord and Savior has done. So with that concept in mind; when your sin nature receives CPR and rises with full force; what kind of sinner are you?
For the purpose of this lesson I will break the sinner down into 6 separate and distinct categories. Using the power of alliteration each category will start with the same letter so they are easy to grasp and remember. Let us begin.

#1 The Momentary Sinner 

This is the sinner who gets caught up in the moment. It wasn’t premeditated. It wasn’t preplanned. It’s momentary lapses in judgement. In this case often it’s when emotions get high. We must really pay attention to our emotions. When emotions run hot our capacity to sin runs high as well. For instance you may start the day well intentioned, but rush hour traffic brings an irritation and an agitation that you had not anticipated. Next thing you know your anger is high, judgement is low, and sin is ready to take advantage. That’s why the scripture warns us in “Rom 7” that sin is advantageous and also warns us in “Eph 4” to be angry, but sin not. Sin likes to attach itself to the heels of anger. So whenever you are angry be careful because in that moment you may be more prone to sin than you realize. This is not just true of anger. It’s true of many emotions. Many a sin was birthed in loneliness, confusion, anger, grief, disagreement, passion and so forth. Allow me to liken it to a car overheating. If pressure levels and fluid levels are not correct and if temperatures are too high, the car will overheat. It will make noise, it will smoke, it will refuse to run until everything cools back down. The fix is actually an easy one. Keep the car with proper fluids. Keep it cooled. Manage it ahead of time and you’ll be fine. Same thing with us. When our emotions run at a balanced level on a constant basis we can avoid becoming the momentary sinner more often than not. If you find yourself at the mercy of momentary sin often, course correction is easy. It may be as simple as getting more rest on a day-to-day basis. One of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control; so trust God, lean on Christ, allow the Holy Spirit to be the gauge for all your levels, and the momentary sin will lose its momentum in your life.

#2 The Myopic Sinner

Anyone who is myopic is nearsighted or shortsighted. The myopic sinner lacks discernment. They can’t seem to see down the road. This is the sinner that falls for the same trap over and over before they realize it. This is the dear sister who keeps dating the same type of guy only to realize at the end of the relationship that this guy is the same as all the others. This type of sinner may have something they carry with them from their childhood that predisposes them to certain choices and paths. The problem is they can’t see it for themselves. They are too nearsighted. They often settle for right now pleasure at the expense of tomorrow’s destiny. Scripture reminds us in 2nd Corinthians 5:7 that “We walk by faith and not by sight” Esau was myopic, he was so focused on his present hunger that he could not imagine the possibilities of the blessing his birthright carried. So he sold his birthright for what amounted to a bowl of stew (Gen 25:29-34).  When you are the myopic sinner you trip at the unnecessary. Satan doesn’t have to do much planning for you. Your lack of vision does it for him. Remember where there is no vision the people perish (Prov 29:18).  One version says they actually cast of restraints. Meaning they won’t restrain themselves today because they fail to see the benefit that tomorrow holds. Jesus spent much of his ministry healing blinded eyes, so there is hope for the myopic sinner. Tell Jesus that yes He’s touched you. Yes you’re saved, but you still see men as trees and you need another touch so that you can see with the eyes of faith and make better choices today (Mark 8:22-25).  You can go from being myopic to declaring my optics are focused on you Jesus the author and finisher of my faith (Heb 12:1). 

#3 The Marginal Sinner

This is the person that justifies personal based on how big of a sin it is to them. They classify sin and if they deem a wrongdoing as marginal; they will indulge because after all it’s not that big of a deal. This is the person that believes in little white lies. They believe the lie that I’m not hurting anyone so it’s not an issue.  They fail to grasp the concept alluded to in Song of Solomon about the “little foxes that destroy the vine”. Airplanes have crashed over something marginal. Super Bowls have been won by a marginal inch here and an inch there. Huge buildings have lasted 100’s of years because the builders paid attention to the marginal details. In Genesis Lot viewed the strife between his camp and Abrahams camp as marginal. He viewed his greed in taking what he deemed the best land from Abraham as marginal. Yet we are well aware that the place he settled in eventually became Sodom and Gomorrah; and he barely escaped losing his wife in the process. Satan loves when we define our participation in sin as marginal. He loves when we are ignorant of his devices. The sin you marginalize today will have you compromising something tomorrow. The more you compromise the more you’ll get outside of the margins God prescribed for your life. You’ll find yourself living on the edge, walking a thin line only because you saw your particular sin as marginal. Come back from the margins and get back to the center of God’s will where spiritual safety is.

#4 The Masterful Sinner 

This sinner just simply doesn’t care. He is masterful at sin, or so he thinks. He thinks he’s getting away with things but instead of being masterful he’s being mastered by sin. Sin is a hard task master. Once it has you fully in its grips you are its slave. This is precisely why it should never be marginalized. The masterful sinner is the Christian that makes you wonder if they ever truly accepted Christ to begin with. The apostle Paul refers to them as people who have “their conscious seared with a hot iron” (1st Tim 4:2). They are reprobate. They brag about partaking in evil. They show no remorse. They are false teachers. They are greedy for gain. They are comfortable with Mammon being their God. They are home wreckers. They are church splitters. They have a form of Godliness, but they deny the power. They are deceitful. They are laden with pride. Etc. From such turn away. These are the kind we are warned not to fellowship with. These are the kind that will pull you down before you can ever bring them up. Paul said these types should be “turned over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh” that maybe their spirit could make it in, in the end (1st Cor 5:5).  In other words let God and Satan deal with this kind. I know these are harsh words, but let’s face it this type of person won’t be reading this blog. This kind of teaching doesn’t appeal to them. This is written for you, it’s a warning of how bad it could get. This is your GPS saying make the first U-turn possible. Make up in your mind you only have one Master and it’s the Lord God almighty. Scripture boldly declares “Sin shall not have dominion over you because you are not under the law, you are under Grace” (Rom 6:14). The only way you can become the masterful sinner is when you choose to and if you choose to ignore all the warning signs along the way. Let’s not let this one ever be named amongst us.

#5 The Militaristic Sinner

This is the Christian who actually realizes they are in a war and everyday is a potential battle. They recognize that they are not wrestling against flesh and blood but there is a hierarchy of demons that they may face at any given moment (Eph 6:12). They believe in Christ’s finished work at Calvary yet they are eager to “earnestly contend for the faith” (Jude 1:3).  This sinner doesn’t sin easily or flippantly. They battle temptation. They confess the word. They attend church. They confess to accountability partners. They repent quickly. They truly put up a battle. Even in this honorable way they sometimes lose the battle, but they are guaranteed not to lose the war. They’ve read the back of the Bible and they know they win. Sometimes this sinner faces addiction. They are truthful. They call it what it is. They say I’m addicted to something but I’m fighting back. They are not too spiritual for 12 step programs. They are not too deep to seek clinical and professional counseling. They become what I call battle tested. Every church needs some militaristic sinners because their test eventually becomes their testimonies and their messes turn into messages. Their past failures guard them against self-righteousness and they tend to offer more grace than others. Jesus once noted that “those who have been forgiven much, love much” (Luke 7:47).  The powerful thing about being in the military is you are never expected to war alone and you are backed by a Govt. or a Kingdom. You are trained before you are sent out. You are prepared and equipped. Likewise, the militaristic sinner knows eventually they will outlast, overcome, and overthrow the sin. The militaristic sinner remains hopeful because they are backed by a Kingdom that is run by the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Consequently, they will not only fight for themselves, they will fight for others. They will fight for families, neighborhoods, communities, cities, and nations. There is no quit in them. Once they’ve put their hand to the plow they won’t look back. They know a righteous person may fall 7 times but they’ll get up 8. Their lack of perfection and propensity to fail never weakens their fight.

#6 The Marvelous Sinner

Now I know this one sounds awkward, but I wanted to stay within the framework of our previous alliterations. I am actually using a play on words from 1st Peter 2:9b where it states “…hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” This is the person with the highest level of spiritual maturity. This person shifts from fighting sin so much into more resting in the fact that they are already in the marvelous light. The more you realize that you were called, past tense, out of darkness the less of a hold darkness can have on you.  Sin was birthed out of Darkness, but Light dispels darkness every time. You are in the marvelous light and the marvelous light is in you. You serve the marvelous One, and you are marvelously saved.  The marvelous sinner is the one that sees himself as marvelously saved, not just in the process of time but right now present tense.  Fighting sin like the militaristic sinner is honorable, however there is a more mature approach.  The marvelous sinner understands this passage of scripture “Where sin abounds Grace much more abounds” (Rom 5:20) One version pens it this way “Where sin increased, Grace increased all the more” No matter  how big the sin, God’s Grace has marvelously conquered it.  More time is then spent on viewing life through the prism of this Amazing Grace. It’s even hard for this person to refer to themselves as a sinner.  They don’t identify with sinful Adam, they identify with the last Adam.  They aren’t arrogant, they know they will still encounter sin; it’s just that from the outset they already see themselves on the other side of the sin victorious through Christ. When they look in the mirror instead of seeing mistake prone, flaw prone, failure prone, and sin prone; they see themselves as the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Every achievement, every blessing, every triumph, and every prayer answered only humbles them. They look back over their life and can sum it up in one sweeping statement “This is the Lord’s doing and it’s Marvelous in our eyes.” (Psalm 118:23)

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