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Wordwise Insight, Issue #126
February 14, 2015


BIBLE INSIGHTS (and Reader Q & A): Is it biblical for a Christian to call himself a sinner?

WORDWISE HYMNS: My Blog called Wordwise Hymns for you to check out!

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Bible Covenants

What are the major covenants of Scripture?)

QUESTION: Why do so many Christians, including preachers, refer to themselves as” “Just a sinner saved by grace”? Isn't that biblically incorrect? [The correspondent added, in a later e-mail, "I can find no place in the New Testament that calls, or refers to, Christians as 'sinners'"]

ANSWER: Interesting question. Let's begin with the claim that no Christian in the Bible refers to himself as a sinner.

Paul says, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief [the foremost]" (I Tim. 1:15). Notice, it is not "I was" the foremost of sinners, but "I am." Until we get to Glory we'll have that sinful nature still. And Albert Barnes wrote, "The most eminent Christian has the deepest sense of the depravity of his own heart." Poet and hymn writer Lucy Ann Bennett (1850-1927) puts it this way:

O teach me what it meaneth, for I am full of sin, And grace alone can reach me, and love alone can win. O teach me, for I need Thee, I have no hope beside-- The chief of all the sinners for whom the Saviour died!

Paul also calls himself as "less than the least of all the saints [again using a present tense]" (Eph. 3:8). And, in his testimony, he also reflects a great deal on what he once was (Acts 26:10-11), even describing himself as a "blasphemer" (I Tim. 1:13). No, we are not to dwell on the past. But a frank testimony of where we've come from can sometimes help to emphasize how far the Lord has brought us, to His greater glory.

It is not inconsistent for a Christian to embrace his exalted standing in Christ, and still recognize his proneness to go astray, apart from consistent dependence on God. It is to believers Paul writes, exhorting them to ...

(To read the remainder of this article, click on Just a Sinner.)


Come and Pay Us a Visit!

I have developed a blog that is called Wordwise Hymns. As the title suggests, it is about hymns, and church music in general.

But as many of you will know, a blog is especially designed to facilitate a conversation on its particular subject. Readers can easily post comments about what they see, and I'm able to reply. I hope you will take part in the discussion!

Through 2010, almanac entries dealt with what happened in hymn history on each day of the year. Beginning in 2011, I hope to analyze hymns from a biblical standpoint, linking to the material that has come before.

My hope is that the blog will add to the value of the website and this newsletter, and promote some profitable exchanges on the subject of sacred music.

What happened on this day in hymnology? To find out, click Wordwise Hymns.

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