I have a link to this article under the grace tab above, but here it is again:
But here is another article with a different perspective:
Hmm…which is it? The titles themselves reveal different approaches to the issue of how Christians should view themselves! While there is certainly truth in the second article, I line up more with the emphasis of the first one. I think this is another example of the various “tensions” we observe in the Scripture. I view myself as simultaneously saint AND sinner. This is an eschatological tension as we live in the “already, but not yet.” Yes, we are new creations in Christ but our salvation is not complete yet. We are still in progress, and vestiges of our old deceitful heart remain. We are awaiting the return of Christ when our faith will be brought to completion and all things will be made new.
In modern day evangelicalism, I tend to see way too much of a “power of positive thinking” mindset when it comes to how Christians should view themselves. The “already” part of the eschatological tension is emphasized to the neglect of the “not yet.” I have serious concerns with walking around thinking of yourself as a saintly new creation…without also having it balanced with humility and caution. “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”
Well, just some food for thought. I’ve actually already blogged on this topic quite a bit – see my category called “God-centered vs. man-centered theology.” That category title may be too polarizing, but it gets to the heart of my concerns. I find that overemphasizing our saintly status can lead to an unhealthy focus on self rather than a focus on our Savior. And we are more likely to stumble and fall into sin when our attention is diverted from Christ. We need God-confidence, not self-confidence. I appreciate how “The Message” (a modern paraphrase of the Bible) words I Corinthians 10:11-12:
“These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.”