What does God say about you? If you’re a believer in Jesus Christ, you’ve received an amazing new identity.You’re a new person! The moment you were saved you became a radically different person from the one you were before you were saved! In his writings, the Apostle Paul details the wonderful new identity all believers have in Christ.
Our new identity in Christ is designed by God to empower us, lead us, encourage us, and motivate us to lead fruitful and victorious Christian lives. Therefore, it is vital that we know what the Word of God tells us about who we really are in Christ.
Here are the amazing truths about our identity in Christ that we focus on and teach at Grace Life Church in greater Chicago:
1. Totally Forgiven!
In Christ you are totally forgiven of ALL your sins (Eph. 1:7, 4:32; Col. 1:13-14, 2:13, 3:13; Heb. 9:26-28, 10:13-14). As believers, all of our sins–past, present, and future sins–have been forgiven through Christ’s death at the cross. We don’t need to ask him to forgive us over and over again. Tragically, some Christians continually ask God to forgive them for the sins they commit when he’s already done that for them at the cross. Be assured that God completely dealt with the sin issue once and for all. All of believers’ sins have been totally forgiven and our fellowship with God is secure because we are in Christ. God now wants us to get on with letting Christ live His life in us and through us.
2. Perfectly Righteous!
In Christ you have the perfect righteousness of the Son of God (Rom. 3:21-24). All of our good works will not make us any more righteous than we became at the moment we were saved, when God gave us the perfect righteousness of his Son. We were declared totally righteous by God, the act of God the Bible calls “our justification” (Rom. 4:25).
Because we are in Christ, God sees us as just as perfectly righteous as his Son! We need to accept and embrace what God says is true about our perfect standing before Him and not base our standing on how we may feel from moment to moment and day to day.
3. Child of God!
In Christ you are a child of God (John 1:12-13). This is the wonderful reality of our intimate relationship with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Unfortunately, some Christians want to keep distant form God because of bad teaching or a refusal to believe this truth. The great news is that God wants us to grow close to him in a warm and loving personal relationship (Rom 8:15-16).
As God’s children we can approach him freely and confidently. “In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” (Eph. 3:12)
God wants you to rest in and enjoy a close personal relationship with him. He wants you to know that you can turn to him and talk to Him anytime. He’s with you all the time as he’s loving you perfectly all the time. In addition, you are unconditionally accepted by God (Rom. 15:7). Many believers struggle with this truth. It’s difficult to believe, isn’t it? Despite your faults and failures, God still accepts you.
4. Blessed and Complete!
You have every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:3). You don’t have to pray for more spiritual blessings! The truth is that believers already possess every spiritual blessing in Christ, and we received them all at the moment we were saved.
You are complete in Christ (Col. 2:9-10). When God says that you’re complete in His Son, then you are complete! God has given us everything we need in order to enjoy a close and growing relationship with Him. At the moment of salvation, we received everything we need in order to live a victorious Christian life.
Jesus Christ has set you free (John 8:36). He has freed believers from sin and the law (Gal. 5:1). In our freedom we are now free to live as the Holy Spirit guides and leads us.
The Bible teaches that as a child of God you are not to live your Christian life by following the Mosaic Law, which God gave to the nation Israel, or any other works-based systems devised by men. Living that way does not produce victory over sin. It only produces confusion, frustration, bondage, and defeat as a believer eventually realizes, often painfully, that that way doesn’t work.
God’s Word is clear: “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” (Rom. 6:14)
Tragically, legalism has been a primary problem in Christ’s church ever since it started nearly 2000 years ago. Legalism mixes law and grace (or all law and no grace!), resulting in all kinds of errors and false teaching. It was the main problem the Apostle Paul vigorously confronted throughout his ministry. Today countless believers live under the heavy yoke of legalism. They’re missing out on the life of peace and joy that Jesus Christ has already given them. We thank God that he has given us the Bible, our sole source book of truth, to bring correction and teach us His way for us to live as his children.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Gal. 5:1)
6. Eternally Secure!
You are eternally secure in Christ. Believers cannot lose salvation (Rom. 8:31-39). All of our sins were forgiven and we were declared righteous at the moment we were saved. Jesus dealt with the sin issue once and for all at the cross when He paid the penalty for our sins. Because He paid the penalty, we don’t have to.
Furthermore, we’ve been sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13-14). Once we’ve been born again of the Spirit we can’t become unborn! The Bible says that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:39). We are eternally secure in his perfect love!
You see, Jesus Christ has done it all for us! That’s the beauty of grace. It makes it all about him, not about us. He now invites us to rest in him (Matt. 11:28-30) and the work he’s done for us. We honor him and obey him when we rest in him. As we trust in Christ living in us and rest in him, we give him the freedom to work in us and through us, producing good works that flow out of the “fruit of the spirit” (Gal. 5:22-23). These are real good works that have eternal value in God’s sight (1 Cor. 3:11-14).