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My name is Father Mark. I can always tell the Catholic visitors. I was raised Irish Catholic, long line of Irish Catholic. I went to Catholic school for a few years. I was an altar boy assisting the priest with the mass every week, and we talked a lot about saints. Actually in our home, we had pictures of various saints. And so for me, I thought saints were like superheroes. Like, Superman could fly, and Aquaman could breathe underwater, Chastity Man could keep his hands to himself.

These are like superheroes.

How many of you now are going to make people at work start referring to you by that? And the sainthood in Catholicism, it started off, interestingly, where people who loved Jesus would get martyred, and then they would be honored. Some guys in hats had a meeting, it was all very official, and somebody wrote it down, okay? And Father James Martin, he lays out a ten-step process to become a Catholic saint.

Number three: a local devotion grows up around your memory. So, you die, and then people make a memorial, and they talk about you, and think about you, and honor you, and maybe start to venerate you.

Union of Sinners and Saints | UTR Agency

Number four: your life is investigated. So, guys in hats show up with clipboards. What did they do? What did they not do? What kind of person truly were they? So, somebody puts all of this in a folder. Number five: it goes to the local bishop. The local bishop investigates the case for sainthood. And then it goes all the way to the Vatican.

Guys with bigger hats. Number six: then people start praying for a postmortem miracle, that you would heal somebody or do something miraculous from heaven, that you would show up on earth through the answering of a prayer. So, somebody gets healed in your name or some miracle happens in your honor. Number seven: then the Vatican investigates the miracle. So, the guys with the big, big hats and the clipboards show up. Now, if it all is confirmed, then the eighth step is they declare you blessed. But a committee comes together in the Catholic process and declares you blessed.

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So, then people start praying for another miracle. Then you can be venerated, then schools can be named after you, and churches can be named after you. You may get one of those! And so whatever your name is, it becomes the name of a school or a church.

The Gay Marriage Debate: A Christian Sinner's Insight

Very rural. So you could have, like, the Tickle Tabernacle. You could have Popcorn Parish. You could have Jim Bob Junior High. You made it! One thing, what is it? In Christ Jesus. Are you in Christ Jesus? The more I focus on my sin, the more pleased God is with me. See, some of you think that the best sermons are the ones where I beat you up.

You think that the best Bible studies are where others beat you up.

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Jesus already took the beating. In fact, it would be wrong of you to do so. See, over three hundred times, the Bible speaks of people as sinners. As I told you, more than six hundred times it speaks of the wrath of God, and the wrath of God is for sinners. However, when it comes to the Christian, when it comes to the believer, when it comes to the one who is positionally in Christ, only maybe three times does the Bible refer to us, insofar as our identity goes, as sinner.

And those three occasions are debated, highly debated, and it is entirely possible that those three occasions are referring not even to a Christian but to a non-Christian. My point: the Bible does not primarily speak of you, if you are a Christian, with an identity as sinner. The Bible sees those who are not in Christ positionally as sinner, and for those who are in Christ positionally as saint, because when you meet Jesus, everything changes. You receive a new nature. All things have become new. See, once we believe what God has said, we start to feel as God feels toward us.

Sin may explain some of your activity, but does not define your entire identity in Christ. You will sin some of the time, but you are a saint all of the time in Christ. Sin is some of what you do, but not the totality of who you are in Christ. There is a difference between being sin and having sin in Christ. Because you have a new identity as a saint, you can have a new victory over sin in Christ.

As a sinner, you have a dark past, but as a saint, you have a bright future in Christ.

Some of you are stuck because your primary identity is in your sin and not in your Savior. Some of you have wrongly thought that if you will obsess over your sin more, God will be more pleased with you. No difference in who you are, no change in your nature, no alternation in your identity whatsoever, that the Christian and the non-Christian are the same, and the only difference is one is forgiven, the other is not, but neither are changed. Give your sin to Jesus, receive a new identity in Christ, and start to live a new life in Christ, and then enjoy a new eternity with Christ.

Christian Sexuality- Sinner or Saint?

This also changes the way we interact with one another. If you are dealing with a brother and sister in Christ, you need to remind them of who they are. See, the Bible says in Hebrews 4 that he was tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. Well, how did the Lord Jesus resist all sin and temptation?

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How did he say no every time?