Your identity is in Christ

Updated: Aug 16

Our natural identities change when we get married to become a husband and a wife and that is a big change for the good but how much more are our identities changed in Christ?



Prayer (from Ephesians 1) Father of glory, we come to you in the name of Jesus Christ, give us this day the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, 18 that the eyes of our understanding be enlightened; that we may know what is the hope of Your calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of your power toward us who believe, according to the working of Your mighty power 20 which You worked in Christ when you raised Him from the dead and seated Him at Your right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. Amen


There is a story about a young Christian who bumped into an experienced Christian whilst out for a walk one day. The older man asked the younger man, how are you? The younger man replied that under the circumstances, I am a bit depressed. The older man was shocked and said to the younger man, well if you are born again you should not be under the circumstances but, in Christ you ought to be on top of them. It was as though the younger man’s identity as a born-again believer had been taken from him.


Identity Theft

Where do you take your sense of identity from today? Many Christians today gain their identity more from their family background, work or human relationships than from their biblical identity in Christ. Are you one of them? Or perhaps you started out taking your identity from the bible, but someone diverted you? Identity theft not only can happen at the level of the individual believer but to whole churches. A church that God has called to be holy and pure , a beacon to the lost, can also have its identity stolen, becoming involved in hyper-grace, wrong theology, including the wrong prosperity message (i.e. the best definition of prosperity it for God to meet any given need at any given time- or what about John Wesley who gave to the poor everything he earned over the £30 he heeded per year to keep his family), morally permissive, willing to bend the scriptures to accommodate people. If the salt has lost its savour, then it is no use to the lost.

In modern society, it is becoming increasingly common for thieves to steal someone’s identity so that they can plunder their bank accounts, credit cards etc. There is no doubt about it that this is a wicked crime in taking what belongs to an honest citizen and giving to a thief. Yet we don’t seem to realize that this very problem is rampant in the church of Jesus Christ, where Satan is robbing many true believers of their birth right and our true riches in Christ.


Identity Crisis

Many believers today seem to be experiencing an identity crisis. What I mean by this is that the life they are leading does not match up the life of the believer that is found in scripture. The identity crisis leads to them being defeated, dejected, downtrodden and beaten up by life whereas the scriptures tell us we should be living in victory and that we are more than conquerors, we are the head and not the tail, we are the winners and not losers etc. We are being conditioned to believe we are less than God says we are, conditioned to believe we have nothing to offer in the Kingdom, conditioned to only see the natural instead of the supernatural. Satan seeks to steel our identity in Christ.

We are no longer under the circumstances, but we are overcomers through Jesus Christ.


The magnificent victory of Jesus Christ


God expects us to live victoriously in and through Jesus Christ. Jesus victory was achieved via the cross and resurrection but especially in his ascension to the Father’s right hand. In this way Jesus who was 100% man and 100% God, took his humanity on to the level that increased our ranking to above the angels and fallen angels.[2]

John 20:16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”


Ephesians 1:19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Ephesians 4 8 This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.” 9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)

When Jesus Christ won the victory over sin and death at the cross and then ascended into heaven and sat at the right hand of the Father he gave us victory in every area of life; we are completely identified with Jesus Christ. The picture here is like a victorious general returning to room, with his legions, and fierce captives, in Jesus case he defeated the fallen angels.


Old creation vs New creation


God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

I

Born again believers


Old Creation Order New Creation Order


Angels (Elect and fallen) Angels (Elect and fallen)


OT believers Unbelievers


OT unbelievers Animals


Animals


Hebrews 2:5 It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6 But there is a place where someone has testified:

“What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him? 7 You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honour 8 and put everything under their feet.”

Victory through Jesus Christ the glorified man

1 Corinthians 15:20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.


Victory with the devil under our feet

Psalm 110 1The Lord says to my lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

Victory over demons

Colossians 115 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

Do you remember your first encounter with the demonic? As a young Christian I recall that a man at a worship service began to manifest demons. The senior pastor, pastor and an elder invited me to join them to minister to this man in a cloakroom. There was something in the man’s eyes that moved independently of his pupils I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. The man locked eyes with each of the ministers trying to psyche them, but he was the one who had to break his gaze. Then he came to me the least experienced Christian, when he locked eyes on me, I felt the power of the Holy Spirit flood through me and I knew for sure that ‘’Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world’’! Needless to say, the demonized man broke off his gaze.

Victory over sin and the ability to pull down strongholds

2 Corinthians 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Our mighty weapons through God are used in the context of our righteous living (armour of God)and include the Word of God (that Rhema living word), prayer, the name of Jesus Christ, and the Blood of Jesus Christ.

Victory over our circumstances

1 John 5 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Pray for God’s will, his good, and pleasing and perfect will in your life not what is gratifying to your fleshly desires.

New Birth right

Jesus marvellous victory purchased us our new birth right. What does the bible say about new believers?

2 Corinthians 5 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! Another translation puts it like this 2 Corinthians 5:17 that person is a new creation.

So many things happen to us when we are born-again, and we become a new creation. According to my favorite bible teacher (the late Roger Price [3]) there are at least 37 wonderful things that happen at the point of the new birth). Our victories are all in Christ; here are a few examples from the 37;

All Christians have reconciled to God Rom 5:10 Eph 2:14-17

All Christians have been brought near to God Lk 10:20 Eph 2:13+19

The sins of all Christians have been judged in Christ Rom 4:25 Eph 1:7

All Christians have been forgiven their trespasses Eph 1:7 Col 1:14

All Christians have been justified (declared righteous) Rom 3:24 1 Cor 6:11

All Christians have been redeemed Rom 3:24 Col 1:14


All Christians have a new status; citizens of heaven Phil 3:20 seated in heavenly places Eph 2:6 higher rank than angels Eph 1:20-21 Heb 1:14 Rom 16:19-20.


If you want a copy of the 37 things that happen at the new birth please let me know.

In Christ new birth realities

Ephesians 1 11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

Romans 14:7 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit


Does your day to day life reflect this, living in right standing with God , experiencing heart peace and joy in the Holy Spirit? Are you sleeping well and know that whatever is going on in your life, it is going to be OK, because you are in Christ?

There is an example in scripture of born-again Christians who had forgotten their born-again identities and were acting like spiritual babies.


1 Corinthians 3:1 Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?


God wants us to be mature believers who know who we are in Christ, not babies always squabbling.

To maintain our true identities in Christ we must take control of our thinking…

Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed[4] by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

The world wants to squeeze us into its mould and form worldly identities in us. But God has given us new identities and wants us to fully embrace them and we find them in the bible. Do you think people will notice your new identity in Christ? How are you doing with your identity in Christ today do you recognize the desired changes?


Leaving the old identity and the old life behind


I remember well the joy of my own experience of being born again, the burden of my sin lifting off my shoulders, being cleansed in my heart, it felt like a sauna in that every pore of my heart was cleansed. Being delivered from swearing and bad language. My new life in Christ had begun. The selfishness, pride, greed and pleasing only myself had to come off under the water of baptism. Yet we need to keep the old man of the flesh crucified. He would like to get down of that cross, but we don’t need to let him.

John 3:7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So, it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” 9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.


Nicodemus was around 60-70 years old and probably had a lifetime of personal failures and character flaws behind him. Yet here was Jesus offering him a fresh start free from the old life of bondage. The picture here to a Jew like Nicodemus , is that of the Exodus, where the wind dried up the Red Sea allowing the Israelites to pass over on dry ground. The main point is that we need to leave the old life of bondage behind in Egypt and the old life of being under the circumstances. Being born again is the only way we can turn back the clock of our lives.


Summary


When we are born again, we are brought into all the victories of Jesus Christ

All our blessings and spiritual riches are In Christ

In Him we have a higher ranking than the angels

In Him we are more than conquerors

In Him we ought to be living in victory

In Him we ought to be behaving like overcomers

In Him we do not have to be under the circumstances


Final Thoughts

But you say sometimes God does require his people to go through suffering, and yes that is true sometimes. But the question is ‘What kind of suffering does God require us to go through?’

Perhaps the humbling of our pride or reputation, or putting under our fleshly desires?

But does God require us to go through depression or live in constant defeat or fear, downtrodden, always be the tail and not the head? The answer is an emphatic No!


Prayer and ministry

Brothers and Sisters, it is now time to reclaim your true identity in Christ. Let’s do it.


Words of knowledge


False identity vs True Identity in Christ


Defeated Victorious

Depressed/Downtrodden Uplifted

Cursed/hate your life Blessed/love your life

Lonely Part of his family

Sleepless Resting in Him

Empty Full

Worried/anxious Faith filled

Poor/lack Rich/plenty

Hopeless or a Loser Hopeful or a Winner

Oppressed/addicted Set free

Panic attacks/under unhealthy pressure Peace of mind

Those wanting a new identity in Christ please come forward for prayer

Amen

Printable copy and much more at

https://www.psalmonesermons.com/post/our-identity-is-in-christ

[1] From Ephesians 1:18 [2] Roger Price, Special Topic Series no. 11: The Glorified Man [mp3]. See Additional resources menu on last dropdown menu. [3] Roger Price, Basic Bible Study no. 102: 37 Things which accompany salvation [mp3]. [4] Greek: metamorphoo (metamorphosis) same word as used in Jesus’ transfiguration, coal to diamond, caterpillar to butterfly etc.

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