Saying grace

The Religious News Service reports on a study about how many Americans have a prayer of thanksgiving before meals:

These days, 44 percent of Americans report saying grace or a similar blessing almost every day before eating; 46 percent almost never say it, leaving just a statistical sliver in between, Putnam and Campbell report in their recently published book, “American Grace: How Religion Unites and Divides Us.”

“We are hard-pressed to think of many other behaviors that are so common among one half the population and rare among the other half—maybe carrying a purse,” Putnam and Campbell write.

Yet unlike wearing a purse, grace is often a private act: a quiet prayer around a kitchen table, a quick thanks in a crowded restaurant, or a bowed head before a bowl of soup.

“Saying grace is a very personalized form of religious expression,” Campbell said in an interview. “It’s something you do in your home, with your family.”

The privacy of saying grace—it’s not often shouted from rooftops—makes it a better measure of religious commitment than asking people if they go to church, Campbell said. Giving thanks for food isn’t generally said or done to impress the neighbors.

But the private prayer has strong connections to public positions, especially political ones, according to Putnam and Campbell. “Indeed, few things about a person correspond as tightly to partisanship as grace saying,” the scholars write in “American Grace.”

The more often you say grace, the more likely you are to identify with the Republican Party, Putnam and Campbell report. By turns, of course, the less you say grace, the more likely you are to identify with Democrats, the scholars said.

But there is one big exception to the prayer-politics connection. Eighty-five percent of African Americans report saying grace daily, a far higher rate than even Mormons, evangelicals, and mainline Protestants, the runners-up in grace-saying. The rate for evangelicals, for instance, is 58 percent. Yet, blacks remain stalwarts in the Democratic Party.

via Comment on “How, or if, you give thanks speaks volumes”.

Only 58% of evangelicals pray before they eat?  So 42% do not?  That sounds odd.  I wonder in what sense the non-prayers are evangelical.  I also don’t understand the correlation between Republicanism and saying grace.  Aren’t Republicans supposed to be the big money materialists?  Have Democrats really become that secularist?  It doesn’t surprise me that African Americans pray so much. But why do you think all of this is?

By the way, some time ago I sort of complained about the ubiquitous Lutheran table prayer, “Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest. . . .”  I’m over that.  Now I think it’s a good prayer, and we’ve started to use it.  It’s especially fitting for Advent!

Saying thanks before meals is a good way to cultivate the consciousness of vocation.  In thanking God, as the source of our daily bread, we recognize that He works through the farmers, the bakers, the hands that prepared the meal, and everyone else involved in the vast network of mutual interdependence that is vocation.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • SKPeterson

    Your reference to the common table prayer brings back memories of when my parents introduced an new alternative. It took a while, but now we use it in my own family as an occasional substitute. It’s almost as short and to the point:

    We thank thee Lord for happy thoughts
    For rain and sunny weather
    We thank thee Lord for this thy food
    And that we are together.

    Simple and straightforward.

  • SKPeterson

    Your reference to the common table prayer brings back memories of when my parents introduced an new alternative. It took a while, but now we use it in my own family as an occasional substitute. It’s almost as short and to the point:

    We thank thee Lord for happy thoughts
    For rain and sunny weather
    We thank thee Lord for this thy food
    And that we are together.

    Simple and straightforward.

  • Booklover

    Saying thanks before meals is also a good way to cultivate the consciousness of gratitude. When one is grateful before the meal, it sets the tone for the meal, and it sets a proper attitude toward the giver of the meal, and the Giver of all things.

    If gratitude is, as GK Chesterton said, “happiness doubled by wonder,” then when a family says grace before a meal, how could they be depressed or grumpy while partaking of it?

  • Booklover

    Saying thanks before meals is also a good way to cultivate the consciousness of gratitude. When one is grateful before the meal, it sets the tone for the meal, and it sets a proper attitude toward the giver of the meal, and the Giver of all things.

    If gratitude is, as GK Chesterton said, “happiness doubled by wonder,” then when a family says grace before a meal, how could they be depressed or grumpy while partaking of it?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    how many actually sit down to eat at a table anymore? My wife and I barely find time for that anymore! Though I start my work day with prayer, or nothing gets done, it is really that simple.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    how many actually sit down to eat at a table anymore? My wife and I barely find time for that anymore! Though I start my work day with prayer, or nothing gets done, it is really that simple.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Veith said, “Only 58% of evangelicals pray before they eat? So 42% do not? That sounds odd. I wonder in what sense the non-prayers are evangelical.”

    That strikes me as a bit harsh. In order to be an Evangelical (or even merely evangelical?), you must pray before you eat? Or is the idea merely that Evangelicals ought to? What other prayers are make-or-break for Evangelicals? Morning prayer? Before bed?

    I agree that praying before meals is a good practice, one that gives us time to remember all the blessings we have from God, of which the food in front of us is often but one among many. And I appreciate the practice in our family, without which we might not stop to think as often about the many things God has done for us.

    But it’s also easy to turn it into a legalistic practice, isn’t it? One in which something horrible has happened if we don’t say a prayer before we eat, perhaps prompting people to say a hasty prayer mid-meal once they have discovered they are lacking, and God have mercy on the half-burger they ate before praying!

    And once the practice turns into something you “have to” do, I’m not sure how useful it is. After all, how thankful are you, really, if you’re saying a prayer as a sort of sacrifice?

    Hopefully, no one struggles with such issues, but questioning someone’s evangelical bona fides on the basis of their mealtime prayer habits made me think of it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Veith said, “Only 58% of evangelicals pray before they eat? So 42% do not? That sounds odd. I wonder in what sense the non-prayers are evangelical.”

    That strikes me as a bit harsh. In order to be an Evangelical (or even merely evangelical?), you must pray before you eat? Or is the idea merely that Evangelicals ought to? What other prayers are make-or-break for Evangelicals? Morning prayer? Before bed?

    I agree that praying before meals is a good practice, one that gives us time to remember all the blessings we have from God, of which the food in front of us is often but one among many. And I appreciate the practice in our family, without which we might not stop to think as often about the many things God has done for us.

    But it’s also easy to turn it into a legalistic practice, isn’t it? One in which something horrible has happened if we don’t say a prayer before we eat, perhaps prompting people to say a hasty prayer mid-meal once they have discovered they are lacking, and God have mercy on the half-burger they ate before praying!

    And once the practice turns into something you “have to” do, I’m not sure how useful it is. After all, how thankful are you, really, if you’re saying a prayer as a sort of sacrifice?

    Hopefully, no one struggles with such issues, but questioning someone’s evangelical bona fides on the basis of their mealtime prayer habits made me think of it.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    tODD,
    The legalistic concern is always one that needs to be addressed. Should never be a we have to, but a we get too. Even so all prayers of the Christian even the ones with perhaps a legalistic motivation are beneficial, as the sinful motivation is forgiven in Christ also, and the Holy Spirit translates our prayers before the face of God in groans we cannot understand. Romans 8.
    But I find it ironic when you question prayer as being beneficial when it is a “sot of sacrifice.” It is a sacrifice! That is the point. We are the priesthood of all believers, and our offerings as priests are precisely the prayers we make. This is how the confession characterize our lives as priests in any case, and they make a sound Biblical argument if I recall. And that mostly from a sound exegesis of Romans 12.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    tODD,
    The legalistic concern is always one that needs to be addressed. Should never be a we have to, but a we get too. Even so all prayers of the Christian even the ones with perhaps a legalistic motivation are beneficial, as the sinful motivation is forgiven in Christ also, and the Holy Spirit translates our prayers before the face of God in groans we cannot understand. Romans 8.
    But I find it ironic when you question prayer as being beneficial when it is a “sot of sacrifice.” It is a sacrifice! That is the point. We are the priesthood of all believers, and our offerings as priests are precisely the prayers we make. This is how the confession characterize our lives as priests in any case, and they make a sound Biblical argument if I recall. And that mostly from a sound exegesis of Romans 12.

  • Grace

    My family has always prayed, thanking God for our food, before every meal. Grateful that the LORD provides for us.

    I pray before I get out of bed in the morning, and throughout the day, as I hear of needs or those God puts on my heart.

    It is a pleasure to thank God for His blessings -

  • Grace

    My family has always prayed, thanking God for our food, before every meal. Grateful that the LORD provides for us.

    I pray before I get out of bed in the morning, and throughout the day, as I hear of needs or those God puts on my heart.

    It is a pleasure to thank God for His blessings -

  • DonS

    I’m a bit surprised, as well, by the relatively low number of self-identified evangelicals who do not claim to say grace at least once a day. If nothing else, it speaks to their honesty over an issue that often does seem to be taken, as tODD suggests, as evidence of one’s Christian bona fides. Of course, I would rather see someone have a genuine relationship with the Lord, spending regular time studying God’s Word and in prayer with Him, who never says grace, than one who only recites a rote prayer of thanks before meals.

    It goes without saying, of course, that one’s Christianity should not be judged based on observations or admissions regarding the saying of grace. Legalism has no place in Christian faith, nor would such observations take into account those who pray surreptitiously, so as to avoid the “showy” prayers of the Pharisees.

  • DonS

    I’m a bit surprised, as well, by the relatively low number of self-identified evangelicals who do not claim to say grace at least once a day. If nothing else, it speaks to their honesty over an issue that often does seem to be taken, as tODD suggests, as evidence of one’s Christian bona fides. Of course, I would rather see someone have a genuine relationship with the Lord, spending regular time studying God’s Word and in prayer with Him, who never says grace, than one who only recites a rote prayer of thanks before meals.

    It goes without saying, of course, that one’s Christianity should not be judged based on observations or admissions regarding the saying of grace. Legalism has no place in Christian faith, nor would such observations take into account those who pray surreptitiously, so as to avoid the “showy” prayers of the Pharisees.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Bror @ 5

    Agree!

    We are commanded to pray! Working on the discipline of a prayer life is something that is a great thing to do to kill our Old Adam.

    It is true Todd that the Old Adam is deeply religious and will tend to turn prayer into the sacrifice of Cain rather than that of Abel. A transaction. A manipulation.

    That is why the Lutheran practice is a good one to wrap prayer around the Word of God. The Holy Gospel is what feeds and nourishes our New Man.

    Some weeks earlier you mused as to what part of your life is new man and what part is old adam.

    Todd: Assume that 100% is old adam.

    Luther: Life is mortification.

    So especially prayer, whatever happens around you at church, and especially those things Old Adam sees as “sacred” vs “profane” are about mortification and sweat effort and practice.

    This is exactly where Old Adam wants to make sacrifice. He wants to make it about our own spiritual navel gazing rather than about service to others around us.

    We fight him by doing love. We make all our efforts about serving our neighbor rather than some pious exercise in pleasing God. We become religious about NOT being spiritual. Service to others is practical, boring, mundane and about becoming less than. It is about attention to little things and details. Nothing heroic. Faith-ful-ness. Old Adam ego hates these things.

    And as priest, we are to pray for those who cannot yet pray in Jesus Holy Name. We are commanded to do this. It is necessary. Our neighbor needs this so very badly.

    And so your new man cheers on the killing Work of the Holy Spirit on that Old Adam as that same Holy Spirit at the same time, gives you that faith and hope from hearing the Gospel of your Christ, that you , as justified New Man live in and so do not despair at that 100% old adam that alone you can see.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Bror @ 5

    Agree!

    We are commanded to pray! Working on the discipline of a prayer life is something that is a great thing to do to kill our Old Adam.

    It is true Todd that the Old Adam is deeply religious and will tend to turn prayer into the sacrifice of Cain rather than that of Abel. A transaction. A manipulation.

    That is why the Lutheran practice is a good one to wrap prayer around the Word of God. The Holy Gospel is what feeds and nourishes our New Man.

    Some weeks earlier you mused as to what part of your life is new man and what part is old adam.

    Todd: Assume that 100% is old adam.

    Luther: Life is mortification.

    So especially prayer, whatever happens around you at church, and especially those things Old Adam sees as “sacred” vs “profane” are about mortification and sweat effort and practice.

    This is exactly where Old Adam wants to make sacrifice. He wants to make it about our own spiritual navel gazing rather than about service to others around us.

    We fight him by doing love. We make all our efforts about serving our neighbor rather than some pious exercise in pleasing God. We become religious about NOT being spiritual. Service to others is practical, boring, mundane and about becoming less than. It is about attention to little things and details. Nothing heroic. Faith-ful-ness. Old Adam ego hates these things.

    And as priest, we are to pray for those who cannot yet pray in Jesus Holy Name. We are commanded to do this. It is necessary. Our neighbor needs this so very badly.

    And so your new man cheers on the killing Work of the Holy Spirit on that Old Adam as that same Holy Spirit at the same time, gives you that faith and hope from hearing the Gospel of your Christ, that you , as justified New Man live in and so do not despair at that 100% old adam that alone you can see.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    tODD, I just mean that “evangelicals” tend to be on the pious side, and saying grace before meals is associated with Christian piety. Self-identified evangelicals are, almost by definition, “religious,” and I found it odd that such a big percentage omits this common religious gesture. I also find it odd because I don’t know any evangelicals who don’t say grace, and yet 42% of the category don’t. I certainly am not questioning their evangelical bona fides or applying a legalistic standard.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    tODD, I just mean that “evangelicals” tend to be on the pious side, and saying grace before meals is associated with Christian piety. Self-identified evangelicals are, almost by definition, “religious,” and I found it odd that such a big percentage omits this common religious gesture. I also find it odd because I don’t know any evangelicals who don’t say grace, and yet 42% of the category don’t. I certainly am not questioning their evangelical bona fides or applying a legalistic standard.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Of Course tODD might also assume that 100% of it is New man in Christ also. Ah, the mystery of the gospel. The mystery of being saint and sinner simultaneously.
    But being disciplined about prayer is a wondrous thing. Luther blamed the reformation on prayer, you know. God answers it.
    I always like that part too about the prayers of a righteous man being heard. Well they are. The prayers of the saints are heard because they are the body of Christ, the only righteous man that ever lived!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Of Course tODD might also assume that 100% of it is New man in Christ also. Ah, the mystery of the gospel. The mystery of being saint and sinner simultaneously.
    But being disciplined about prayer is a wondrous thing. Luther blamed the reformation on prayer, you know. God answers it.
    I always like that part too about the prayers of a righteous man being heard. Well they are. The prayers of the saints are heard because they are the body of Christ, the only righteous man that ever lived!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    bror @ 10

    effort=Old Adam.

    Here is the deal. Our new man cooperates with the Holy Spirit at disciplining and subduing the old adam. So we New Men apply the law to our old adam and makes him sweat, to run the race and subdue the flesh with the mortification that the law provides.

    We do this with our baptismal eyes on the prize refreshed by the Gospel and not having to really do anything at all. We don´t break a sweat. We are freed as new man from the sweat effort that the law demands of our conscience. We died to our conscience as new men.

    And so, basking in that freedom, we can cheer on the flogging of that Old Adam by conscience, and have him serve our neighbor till it literally kills him.

    What we see and can do in our bodies , what requires effort and choice and struggle, is 100% old adam. It is 100% law. It is earthly kingdom stuff that will perish. It is flesh and body. And it is necessary for our neighbor. (FC art VI)

    In heaven there will be no law nor even Gospel for these are things of our earthly existence.

    What we know in invisible faith with the Mind of Christ is 100% holy spirit. And what it is we know that is 100% new man is alone, christ, alone by invisible faith. alone.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    bror @ 10

    effort=Old Adam.

    Here is the deal. Our new man cooperates with the Holy Spirit at disciplining and subduing the old adam. So we New Men apply the law to our old adam and makes him sweat, to run the race and subdue the flesh with the mortification that the law provides.

    We do this with our baptismal eyes on the prize refreshed by the Gospel and not having to really do anything at all. We don´t break a sweat. We are freed as new man from the sweat effort that the law demands of our conscience. We died to our conscience as new men.

    And so, basking in that freedom, we can cheer on the flogging of that Old Adam by conscience, and have him serve our neighbor till it literally kills him.

    What we see and can do in our bodies , what requires effort and choice and struggle, is 100% old adam. It is 100% law. It is earthly kingdom stuff that will perish. It is flesh and body. And it is necessary for our neighbor. (FC art VI)

    In heaven there will be no law nor even Gospel for these are things of our earthly existence.

    What we know in invisible faith with the Mind of Christ is 100% holy spirit. And what it is we know that is 100% new man is alone, christ, alone by invisible faith. alone.

  • Grace

    Prayer to God Almighty is a private matter between those who pray, and the LORD. For myself and my family, we have prayed before each and every meal since I can remember. My father would pray, and sometimes ask my mother to pray and ask the blessing – and yet other times it was myself or my siblings – I am the eldest.

    Praying to God is a blessing, there is nothing like thanking Him for what He has given us, or begging Him for another’s illness to be cured, or the pain to be relieved – or whatever condition they are in, or ours …. it is to who we turn, either in distress or thanksgiving, our hearts full of pleadings, or thanksgiving.

    After my mother went to be with the LORD eight years ago, I was the grateful recipient of my fathers New Testament with Psalms …. he took it everywhere, especially to hospitals, etc. In this wonderful Bible was a letter I written to God.. in it I asked God to help mother and father, many misspelled words, but with a child’s heart to God. That’s how I was raised, I cannot remember a time when we didn’t pray.

    One time I was walking past my parents bedroom, (I was about 5) ….. my mother was upon her knees praying … that memory, her constant love of the Savior will never leave me. Another time, my mother was taking my sister and I back east to visit her family, we all knelt, my father, mother, my sister and myself, Papa asking for a safe journey on the train, I will never forget that, nor saying goodbye to my dad as we left the train station in Los Angeles. (I was glad to get back home)

    One of the great memories I have is my mothers prayers to God. When she was in hospital, we talked every single night. Mother would start to speak, and then we would pray, …. then she would trail off with prayer. Let me tell you, she was before the throne, she went before Him with all her pleadings, all her thanksgiving. Just thinking back on her prayers are a blessing to me tonight.

  • Grace

    Prayer to God Almighty is a private matter between those who pray, and the LORD. For myself and my family, we have prayed before each and every meal since I can remember. My father would pray, and sometimes ask my mother to pray and ask the blessing – and yet other times it was myself or my siblings – I am the eldest.

    Praying to God is a blessing, there is nothing like thanking Him for what He has given us, or begging Him for another’s illness to be cured, or the pain to be relieved – or whatever condition they are in, or ours …. it is to who we turn, either in distress or thanksgiving, our hearts full of pleadings, or thanksgiving.

    After my mother went to be with the LORD eight years ago, I was the grateful recipient of my fathers New Testament with Psalms …. he took it everywhere, especially to hospitals, etc. In this wonderful Bible was a letter I written to God.. in it I asked God to help mother and father, many misspelled words, but with a child’s heart to God. That’s how I was raised, I cannot remember a time when we didn’t pray.

    One time I was walking past my parents bedroom, (I was about 5) ….. my mother was upon her knees praying … that memory, her constant love of the Savior will never leave me. Another time, my mother was taking my sister and I back east to visit her family, we all knelt, my father, mother, my sister and myself, Papa asking for a safe journey on the train, I will never forget that, nor saying goodbye to my dad as we left the train station in Los Angeles. (I was glad to get back home)

    One of the great memories I have is my mothers prayers to God. When she was in hospital, we talked every single night. Mother would start to speak, and then we would pray, …. then she would trail off with prayer. Let me tell you, she was before the throne, she went before Him with all her pleadings, all her thanksgiving. Just thinking back on her prayers are a blessing to me tonight.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    fw,
    I get that. But then if the new man is flogging the old adam…. See, all I’m trying to say is that trying to dissect ones own life and separate the person into categories of this is Old Adam, this is New Man, is about as futile an effort as it is to try separate the divine from the human in Christ. Sure there are things that you can confidently say are results of this or that attribute and this or that nature of the Godman, but separating the two completely poses a whole new problem. And we are %100 saint in Christ.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    fw,
    I get that. But then if the new man is flogging the old adam…. See, all I’m trying to say is that trying to dissect ones own life and separate the person into categories of this is Old Adam, this is New Man, is about as futile an effort as it is to try separate the divine from the human in Christ. Sure there are things that you can confidently say are results of this or that attribute and this or that nature of the Godman, but separating the two completely poses a whole new problem. And we are %100 saint in Christ.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Bror @ 13

    Of all the pastors I know, you do, indeed, get it. I give thanks to God for the gift that you are.

    Article VI seems to be the “go to” place in the confessions.

    That article indeed seems to ask us to do a law gospel distinction on our own selves as believers. The Law/Gospel distinction is new man=gospel and Old Adam = Law.

    Furher the point is made that there is NO difference at all between the works of the law and the fruit of the spirit in and of themselves. So we are told that there is no distinction to be made there at all.

    New Man´s actions are described as no work at all. As “light from sun…spontaneous…automatic”. Effort-less. Without work that says.

    Further we are told that New Man died to the law, is no longer under the law, and our conscience is free from all that. And this is, 100%, who we now are.

    Whenever we think of work, effort, law, or something we can do in our bodies then, we are told that this is only about Old Adam and the Law. Who we were. But who still clings to us.

    Indeed , in the Luther sermon that this article refers to as it´s basis , Luther tells us that we should think of the part of us that is Old Adam , earthly righteousness, or man righteousness is EVERYTHING that we can do in our bodies and that is visible and tangible.

    What alone is left then that is new man is alone, invisible faith, alone in Christ. Luther states that this Righteousness is meaningless on earth except to God and a troubled conscience.

    So yeah, I think it is good to assume that 100% of what we can see ourselves doing in our bodies is Old Adam driven by the Law. That is unless I am reading our Confessions in the wrong way. I would be very welcome of correction on this.

    And so we acquire that earthly righeousness in the same non spiritual ways that pagans acquired that righteousness. we practice being righteous and doing righteous things until it becomes who we “are”. It becomes a habit that is.

    Now you are so right. We are 100% saint. God deals with us as believers 100% according to us as new man, who simply cannot sin, and then he covers the old adam part of us, that can only sin, and and covers it with the righteousness of Christ much like being covered with a canopy as vast as the stary sky at night.

    At the same time the Holy Spirit is busy killing the Old Adam and lifting the new man up daily.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Bror @ 13

    Of all the pastors I know, you do, indeed, get it. I give thanks to God for the gift that you are.

    Article VI seems to be the “go to” place in the confessions.

    That article indeed seems to ask us to do a law gospel distinction on our own selves as believers. The Law/Gospel distinction is new man=gospel and Old Adam = Law.

    Furher the point is made that there is NO difference at all between the works of the law and the fruit of the spirit in and of themselves. So we are told that there is no distinction to be made there at all.

    New Man´s actions are described as no work at all. As “light from sun…spontaneous…automatic”. Effort-less. Without work that says.

    Further we are told that New Man died to the law, is no longer under the law, and our conscience is free from all that. And this is, 100%, who we now are.

    Whenever we think of work, effort, law, or something we can do in our bodies then, we are told that this is only about Old Adam and the Law. Who we were. But who still clings to us.

    Indeed , in the Luther sermon that this article refers to as it´s basis , Luther tells us that we should think of the part of us that is Old Adam , earthly righteousness, or man righteousness is EVERYTHING that we can do in our bodies and that is visible and tangible.

    What alone is left then that is new man is alone, invisible faith, alone in Christ. Luther states that this Righteousness is meaningless on earth except to God and a troubled conscience.

    So yeah, I think it is good to assume that 100% of what we can see ourselves doing in our bodies is Old Adam driven by the Law. That is unless I am reading our Confessions in the wrong way. I would be very welcome of correction on this.

    And so we acquire that earthly righeousness in the same non spiritual ways that pagans acquired that righteousness. we practice being righteous and doing righteous things until it becomes who we “are”. It becomes a habit that is.

    Now you are so right. We are 100% saint. God deals with us as believers 100% according to us as new man, who simply cannot sin, and then he covers the old adam part of us, that can only sin, and and covers it with the righteousness of Christ much like being covered with a canopy as vast as the stary sky at night.

    At the same time the Holy Spirit is busy killing the Old Adam and lifting the new man up daily.


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