In recent weeks I’ve come across real gems in a few books I’ve read. Today I’m sharing a new one. Before leaving for Israel, a new friend urged me to pick up the book “Mega Shift” by James Rutz. This is one of those hard-to-put-down works for so many reasons. In fact, I’ve added it with an Amazon link to my Recommended Reading list to the right of this post. One issue Rutz addresses is an issue near and dear to my heart: our identity. Are we saints or sinners? This excerpt comes from Chapter 3, “The New Saints”:
Your New Identity
Noted author Neil Anderson told me last year that he had done some counting in his Bible. He found 330 places where unsaved people are called sinners.
He found 240 places where saved people are called saints.
But he found exactly zero places where saved people are called sinners.
Now, that stands in wild contrast to the 16-centuries-long effort to make all Christians think they’re still sinners. How many condemnatory sermons have you suffered through? Two hundred too many?
We do sin, it’s true, and we need to confess, repent, and make amends whenever we do. But “Sinners’ is not our main identity anymore, and you need to reverse your self-image and free yourself from this crippling distortion.
The apostle Paul had no problem with this. Did he ever address a letter to the “sinners” in Rome or Ephesus or Phlippi? If the Bible calls you a saint, why would you demean yourself by denying it? The Lord Jesus paid a steep price to make you a saint, so smile and accept it and get on with a higher life.
This is not just semantics. It’s a practical matter. Ask yourself this: Just how many shining deeds should we ever expect from dirty, low-down, no-good sinners? See the problem? The SINNER label becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you’ve made a genuine, 100% commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ, you’re just as much a saint as Peter or Paul.
Awhile back I went to a novelty shop and blew five bucks on a silvery magic wand set with big jewels. (Go for quality, I always say.) So now in my seminars I walk down the aisle and canonize folks, touching them on the head and saying, “I pronounce thee, Saint Kevin; I pronounce thee, Saint Heather,” etc. Instant sainthood! My ritual may not be as impressive as the full-on Vatican treatment, but it has the advantages of no dying and no waiting.
As you can see, I’m willing to go to extremes and parody myself if it will get people to lift their faces out of the mud, throw their shoulders back, and walk confidently with the Father.
My aim is simple. I want to put a new song in your heart and show you how to enjoy being a true son or daughter of the living Lord. You don’t have to be a worker of miracles, but you do have to know who you are.