In some of my previous posts on purity (here, here and here), I’ve talked about who we are in Christ. In my own personal life, this was one of the deepest truths I learned, and one of the biggest misconstrued and misunderstood ideas of the Christian walk. I want to correct some wrong ideas and reveal the freedom God gives to us through our faith in His Son.
- I’m just a sinner saved by grace
- I’m the dregs of the earth, the scum of all things
These are some things I’ve heard believers say over the years and I want to say, this is NO LONGER true!
Please know, I am NOT saying that I am deserving of God’s grace and mercy. I am not. Who can compare to the King of the Universe, the Great Creator? Certainly not me. But it is very important to understand this –
I am not who I used to be!
My identity is no longer in being a sinner. That girl died, that sinner was placed in the grave. I was given a new life with a new spirit and a new identity! I am not who I was any longer. She died and the new life that I have been given now is hidden with Christ.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature;
the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Cor 5:17
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above,
where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Col 3:1-4
Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Rom 6:11
To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone,
and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’ Rev 2:17b
When God did new things in people’s lives, He often gave them a new name. He was establishing a new identity for them, a new purpose, a new destiny. He has done the same thing with us at salvation.
- New Identity
- we were born again (1 Pet 1:23)
- we were raised up to newness of life (Rom 6:4),
- New Purpose:
- we were given a heart of flesh to replace a heart of stone (Ez 36:26)
- we ambassadors to a different homeland (2 Cor 5:20)
- New Destiny:
- we are co-heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17)
- we will reign with our King forever (1 Cor 6:2-3, Rev 2:26)
I want to make it perfectly clear that who we were, that sinner, that wretched one destined for destruction NO LONGER EXISTS, if we belong to Jesus! We have been made new, given a new life with a new spirit and an inborn desire to follow the Lord in obedience. But does that mean that I no longer sin? Absolutely not. I only wish that it did! We still live in a fallen world and we still are dwelling within this weak flesh and, I’m afraid, we still sin.
But if I still sin, shouldn’t I still consider myself a sinner?
No, because who we are and what we do are not the same thing.
When our children were little and misbehaved we were very careful to say, “Bad job” or “That was bad.” We never said, “Bad girl” or Bad boy.” We wanted to build into our children FROM THE START that they were not what they did, that their actions did not define them. Before we were saved we had no choice but to sin. Even the seemingly good things we did were as filthy rags to God. But even then, it was not their actions that defined them. It was their separation from God that defined them as a sinner, not the sins they committed.
How much more for a child of God to be defined by who we are to God.
Are you understanding this point?
We are defined by our relationship to God.
- if we are separate from God in rebellion and rejection and unbelief, that defines us
- if we have surrendered in salvation and faith, that defines us
If God defines us as children of God, as new creatures, as holy and beloved, we need to walk in that reality. We need to lift our eyes off from the muck and mire from whence we came and hold our heads high as the children of the King. We need to live as if this were all true, because it is. Again, none of this is due to my effort or greatness. All of this is due to the grace and power of God, through the shed blood of Jesus. Every ounce of our new identity is all because of the Lord.
But it is all true, nonetheless!
Today, live in that new life, live in that new freedom, live in that full deliverance and joy!