I remember you saying once in your column that the Bible says all Christians are saints in God's eyes. But how can that be, since we obviously aren't perfect? I know God has forgiven me, but I think it would be presumptuous of me to call myself a saint.
Do you know what word is used more than any other in the Bible to refer to Jesus’ followers? In the Gospels — while Jesus was still present with them — it is the word “disciple” (which means learner or follower). But elsewhere the most common word used to describe those who were following Jesus is “saint” (which means someone who is holy and pure).
And this is what happens to us when we repent of our sins and give our lives to Jesus — we become holy and pure in God’s eyes. All our sins have been taken away — and the reason is because they were all placed on Christ, and He took upon Himself the penalty we deserved for our sins. The Bible says that Christ “gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age” (Galatians 1:4).
At the same time — as you say — we obviously aren’t perfect, and we still sin. And when we do, our fellowship with God is broken; we no longer enjoy the closeness of His presence. But our relationship has not changed; we are still members of God’s family, holy and pure in His sight.
God’s plan is that we would become more and more like Christ, until the day He takes us to heaven. Is this your goal? You can’t reach it on your own, but with God’s help you can become what you already are in His eyes: holy and pure — a saint.