The State of the Sinner
Before saying more about the Christian life, let us look at the state of the sinner. As we all know well, there are different states or conditions in which people can be. Some of these states are very exalted and blessed, while others are low and deplorable. All sinners, from the chief to the least, are in a sinful state. Some have descended lower than others into the depths of sin, and are in a more deplorable condition, yet all who sin are in a sinful state.
All sinners are estranged from God. Even if no more were said, this should be sufficient to make all feel the deplorable situation of someone in sin: a stranger to God. When the judgment day is set and all mankind is gathered before a just God, He is going to say these soul-despairing words to all in sin, “I never knew you: depart from me.” (Matthew 7:23) To be an unknown stranger to God in the great judgment day will be a fearful thing.
Now let us notice the difference between those in a sinful state and those in a state of righteousness. The former are strangers to God; the latter are strangers to the world. To the sinner God says, “I do not know you.” To the Christian the world says, “I do not know you.” I would rather be unknown by the world than to be unknown by the Lord.
The inspired writer says to those who were once in sin, “Ye were without Christ,” (Ephesians 2:12) that is, separate from Him. We note again the distinction between the sinner and the Christian. The one is separate from Christ, the other is separate from the world. This distinction, between those who are ready for heaven and those who are not, is so clear that none need be deceived.
The unregenerate are described as “being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel.” Christians are the spiritual Israel of today (Romans 2:28-29; Galatians 6:16). The unrighteous have no part in the blessed privileges and glorious prospects of the righteous. Furthermore, the sinful man is a foreigner to the promises of God. The promises in the Bible are from a kind Heavenly Father to His children, not to sinners. The sinner has “no hope.” A promise and hope is available if they are willing to repent and turn from their state of sinning, but in a sinful state there is no hope.
Sinners are “without God in the world.” Literally godless. Oh, what depth of wretchedness to be in such a state! It is not surprising to hear the ungodly saying, “I wish I never had been born.” I, too, would rather never have been born than to be “without God in the world.” There is a wide difference between the sinner and the Christian. The sinner is darkness, while the Christian is light. Every sinful life makes this world darker. Every righteous life makes the world brighter. Which life are you living?