Monday, February 19, 2024

In Him

There is an issue that has damaged many people's lives in today's societies that deals with identity, it's called "identity thief." Identity thief is defined as "the fraudulent acquisition and use of a person's private identifying information, usually for financial gain." There is also another issue that deals with ones identity found within the world of psychology, called "identity crisis." This has been defined as "the failure to achieve ego identity during adolescence; a period of uncertainty and confusion in which a person's sense of identity becomes insecure." Both of these identity issues are the result of a satanically influenced, fallen world.

In the Garden of Eden, God made man in His own image and likeness. (Genesis 1:26) However, when Adam sinned against God, he actually lost his identity. He had now taken on the identity of his new father, Satan. Jesus clear reveals this in one of His confrontations with the religious leaders during His ministry on earth as the Son of Man, "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it." (John 8:44) Adam as the representative of all humanity has caused the entire human race to take on this fallen satanic nature, identity. Jesus warns us today, "The thief (Satan) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy..." (John 10:10) From the fall, man is now faced with a stolen identity which has led him into an identity crisis. Although man lost his identity, God has made a way for him to once again be identified with his Creator, God Himself, through faith in Jesus Christ.      

What fallen man does not comprehend and many believers have not found, is that the spirit is who we really are. The body is not the real person, it is merely the vehicle in which the spirit lives. The soul (mind, will and emotions) is also not the real person but simply the part of mankind that uses the five senses to accrue information to operate in the natural realm. Simply remove one of the five senses, and the mind loses its ability to learn and grow. If all five senses are removed, the mind is rendered completely useless. The Apostle Paul tells us, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God..." (2 Corinthians 5:17-18) The Apostle Peter tells us, "...that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature..." (2 Peter 1:4) Man could not be a partaker of God's divine nature (God is Spirit, John 4:24), if man were not recreated. 

As a sinner, man is called "the old man" (Ephesians 4:22), who cannot approach God (Ephesians 2:12-13) except through Christ. However, when one comes to Christ, he/she receives a new identity. He become a new man. (Ephesians 4:24) God has recreated him. The old man has stopped being, and the new man has taken its place. The o1d man was born of the spiritually dead satanic nature. The new man is born of the very nature of God the Father. The believer no longer needs to identify with the old nature, because God has recreated a new one. The identity crisis is over. The stolen identity has been restored. Man in Christ is returned to his true identity, a partaker of the divine nature.

Think about this; the old creation had no standing with God. The new creation in Christ, can now stand in the Father's presence as though sin had never been. As Paul reveals, the new creation man has become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17) This is why it is so imperative to develop the recreated human spirit, through the Word of God, (Romans 10:17), so the believer can know his identity in Christ. Paul tells us, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20) Notice, "it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me." Paul no longer identifies himself with his old sinful nature, but identifies himself with his new recreated nature, that of Jesus Christ. 

Way to often from pulpits, believers hear how they are nothing more than sinners. This is the cause of many believers having an identity crisis. As we see in the scriptures above, the recreated person in Christ is just that, in Christ, not in the devil. "God has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love." (Colossians 1:13) "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." (Colossians 3:3) How can a person be delivered from darkness and be hidden in Christ if he or she were a sinner? "To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him." (Psalm 92:15 - also see John 7:18) It is unrighteousness (sin) that keeps people from God. If believers were still sinners, then they would not be permitted in the presence of God. However, the writer of Hebrews says, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)        

The fact is, Christ became as we were, so that we might become as He is. He died so that we could live. (John 10:10) He was made sin, to make us righteous. (2 Corinthians 5:21) He became weak, to make us strong. (Philippians 4:13) He suffered shame, to give us glory. (John 17:17) He was condemned, so we could be justified. (Romans 5:1) He was made sick, so we could have health and healing. (1 Peter 2:24) He was forsaken by the Father and went to Hades, in order to take us to heaven. (Acts 2:27) In Christ the believer finds his/her new and true identity. So let us no longer be rob of who we truly are and know " He is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17) PTL!!!     

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