In the previous blog post we discussed our Identity in Christ and how this standing or position with God can never be taken away from us. We are sons and daughters of the Most High God chosen, adopted, redeemed, forgiven, grace-lavished, and unconditionally loved and accepted. We are (not you will be made) pure, blameless and forgiven. We have received the hope of spending eternity with God.
We also discussed how our identity or STANDING with God, does not describe the STATE of our current Christian walk.
We are told in scripture “to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph 4:22-24)
Our STATE has to do with our daily walk: the way the believer lives and conducts herself. Our state will depend upon many factors: whether we trust the Lord or not, whether we abide in Christ or not, whether we obey the Word of God or not, whether we are surrendered to the work of God in our hearts, or not, whether we live in dependence on Him or not, etc.
It is clear in Ephesians 4:22-24 above that we are to be “made new in the attitude of our minds, putting on a new self.”
Our state can change. It can improve or deteriorate depending on our walk with God, but our position with God (our new identity in Christ) never changes.
Remember the following:
- We as believers are constantly about the business of growing into our new person. We are told to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling because it is God who works in you to will and act according to His good purpose.” (Phil 2:12-13)
Gal 5:7, “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying?”
Thessalonians 4:1 “As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.”
- Our state will fall short of perfection as we are by nature all sinners, but in our standing before Christ, we are righteous.
James 3:2 “…we all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.”
1 John 1: 8 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”
- My state is not the same as my fellow believers, but all believers have a new identity in Christ.
Some of us choose not to grow up in our faith and stay on baby milk, still others grow up in their faith and learn to enjoy good “steak” from the word of God. They have made sure to train themselves in the Word of God (Heb 5:14), to distinguish between good and evil.
When we do this, we begin to lose our understanding of WHO we are in Christ, our identity in Christ. When we struggle to abide, to surrender, to submit, to depend on Christ, it does not change how Christ sees us, our STANDING before Him will never change.
It means that we can come into His presence at any time and find acceptance, love and encouragement for our lives. In Him, we have everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). Time for us to start living a life worthy of the calling we have received (Col 1:10) and start getting rid of that old self and embracing what God says about us.
Thank You Lord that I am made new in You. I know that the Holy Spirit is working in me to bring about the new person in me. Help me to recognize what belongs to the old man and to throw it off. Help me to spend time in the Word so that it can change my thought patterns and create in me a new mind, a new person, with new attitudes and decisions that will demonstrate itself in the new life I live in You. I know Lord, that I don’t get it right, but it does not change who I am in YOU. I do however want to change Lord, help me to change so that I may live a life worthy of You.