Jerry Bridges opens his book, Respectable Sins, with a reaffirmation and reminder that all who are in Christ are declared Saints. While some may find this status difficult to believe, Bridges explains:
“We don’t become saints by our actions. We are made saints by the immediate supernatural action of the Holy Spirit alone who works this change deep within our inner being so that we do, in fact, become new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5.17). This change of state is described prophetically in Ezekiel 36.26: “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone [a dead, unresponsive heart] from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh [a living responsive heart].”
Bridges goes on to write:
“It would be nice if we could end the story here, because [this] might suggest a saint is someone who no longer sins. Alas, we all know this is not true. Rather, if we are honest with ourselves, we know that nearly every waking hour, we sin in thought, word, and deed. Even our best deeds are stained with impure (mixed) motives and imperfect performance…”
As Bridges points out, most of us never think of ourselves as saints and few of us think about the responsibility to live as saints. And while we can easily identify sin in the actions and conduct of segments of our society, in most churches we fail to address how gossip, worry, etc. are also sins that tarnish and erode.