I read a quote attributed to Chad Johnson (former NFL All-Pro player): “I’m no saint. I’m no angel. I never proclaimed to be.” Now in fairness I have no idea what the context was of his quote, and it is not my intent to challenge Chad Johnson for saying this. I do, however, want to address Christians who say such things. Obviously, we aren’t angels, but are we saints?
I find that Christians who state proudly that they aren’t saints, actually do so either because they want to justify ongoing sin in their life, or because they feel they are being humble if they make this claim. Regarding the former, we make a mockery of the cross if we accept Christ into our hearts, he who died for our sins, only to continue in willful sin in a particular area of our lives. Of course, we will continue to sin, but it is quite another thing to continue to live in sin in particular areas of our life. “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?” (Romans 6:1)
In regard to those who say: “I’m no saint” out of a desire to be, or to sound humble, this is likewise an insult to what Christ did on the cross. As Christians, our goal should not be to sound humble to the world, but rather to be humble in Christ’s eyes. Those two things can, and usually are, very different. Our truth must always stem back to the Bible and the truths that are proclaimed there. If you are a follower of Christ who has acknowledged your sin and invited Jesus Christ into your life to cleanse you from all unrighteousness, then you need to know where you stand.
The word “saint” comes from the Greek word hagios and it means to be “consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious”. If you read the following scriptures (Acts 9:13, 32; Acts 26:10; Philippians 4:21; Ephesians 4:12, 5:3), you will see that the term “saint” is referring to all of us as Christians here on earth. We are all holy and consecrated to God, not because of anything we do, but because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross for us. It is true that we can often be a dim reflection of Christ, and we need to be continually sanctified to become more like Him, but we are consecrated when we accept Him into our lives. “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” (Hebrews 10:14).
If you wish to be truly humble, then acknowledge before the world that it is only by the grace of God that you are who you are – a saint. If the world is lifting you up because of your accomplishments, be quick to admit that all you have is from God. Boast because of what God has done for you, and what he has turned you into – a saint. That is true humility.
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12: 9-10)