He Sees Our Sins

Why This popular saying isn't Scriptural

"When God looks at you, He only sees Jesus. He doesn't see your sins or imperfections."  ~ popular saying among Christians

I cringe a bit when I hear this statement. It's not found in Scripture.

When we become Christians, we're forgiven of every sin because of Christ's death, but God still sees our sins and weaknesses as well as our strengths. He sees us as we are so He can convict us of sin and teach us how to walk in faith.

Salvation doesn't make us perfect and it doesn't make us a Jesus impersonator. 

It allows Jesus to begin changing us from the inside out....because we need to be changed.

If someone tells us we're great just the way we are, we have no reason to change.

God never does this. Because He loves us, He has huge expectations for our transformation (Matthew 10:38; Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 2:12-13; Ephesians 5).

In fact, God disciplines us because He loves us and uses hardships to help us grow in righteousness (Hebrews 12).

That's the kind of God we have and the kind we need!
To read more about this misunderstanding and which Scripture is sometimes used to support it, check out this 1-minute devotion: When God Looks at Us.

See also: Does God "forget" our Sins?

Why This popular saying isn't Scriptural


  1. I believe it is in the Bible:

    2 Cor 5:21:
    "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

    Galatians 2:21:
    "I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"

    Though I do understand kind of what you're saying- i.e., our righteousness in Christ should never be used as an excuse to sin or to continue in sin. But for someone who struggles with sin issues in their life, these scriptures are lifesavers...of course God sees my sin, but as a believer in Christ, he doesn't count it against me. I'm forgiven eternally. That's what salvation is all about. Thank you, Jesus.

    1. Hi arcadiatrails,
      The first Scripture you quote is often used to support the false claim that when God looks at us He only sees Jesus not our sins.

      But that verse says nothing about what God sees and what God doesn’t see.

      It’s clearly speaking about Jesus dying for our sins so that through His righteousness we could be forgiven and saved.

      If God were unable to see our sins, He would no longer be omniscient. He would not need to convict us of sin, warn us, instruct us, command us, discipline us, grieve over us, or help us.

      And hundreds of New Testament Scriptures tell us He does all of those things.

      And Galatians 2:21 is also about salvation. It says we cannot gain salvation by living according to the law.

      So both of those Scriptures are not relevant to this devotion because this devotion addresses a false statement that affects our view of the Christian life, not our view of salvation.

      And that is a major problem in modern Christianity – confusing no works salvation with a no works Christian walk. Scripture says we aren’t saved by good works but we’re saved to do good works which He prepared in advance for us (Ephesians 2:10).

      When Jesus said, “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them" (John 14:21), He was identifying who is saved and who is not. He was saying that those who genuinely love Him also long to obey Him. It’s not something we do perfectly, but it’s something we take seriously (Philippians 2:12-13).

      Claiming God no longer sees our sins once we’re saved is not Scriptural and it often leads to permissive attitudes toward sin.

  2. Let's put it in this perspective, you might be still struggling against addiction, bad habits and so on, that is your STATE. But your IDENTITY before GOD is already in CHRIST. any supporting verses are already provided there i see :)

    1. Hi Ivan,
      I think that the perspective we should have is the perspective of Scripture.

      Modern Christian culture has a "cheap grace" perspective, downplaying sin as if being saved made us less accountable because we're forgiven.

      You've obviously had someone teach you something about "state" and "identity" but I'm not aware of any Scripture that supports that teaching.

      Maybe you are saying that we are saved but still sinners, and that's true.

      But Scripture never downplays the serious nature of sin. In fact, it makes it very clear that once we genuinely give our lives to Christ, we have more responsibility to turn from our sins than when we were unsaved because we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit.

      This devotion points out the error in saying something not found in Scripture - a statement that downplays personal sin and denies the omniscience of God. Genuine believers make this statement, some naively and some because they believe in cheap grace, but either way, it's the wrong perspective.


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