When we come to know Jesus in a personal relationship, not much may happen to us in the physical realm, other than perhaps an emotional response, or physical experience. In the spiritual realm however, i.e. it is a different story. Romans 6: 6 – 11, explains some of it (my emphasis):
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.”
For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, and he lives to God.”
In fact, the changes we experience as we accept Christ are so radical, we are considered “New” 2 Cor 5: 17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away behold the new has come.”
The ‘new creation’ is the Greek word ‘kainos’, which means something just made which is unlike anything else; which is unique in existence. We are not cleaned out or covered over, we are as new as the world on the first day of creation. This newness manifests itself in our spiritual condition, our spiritual relationships and our hearts. Spiritually in Christ we are alive for the first time, immediately the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us (John 14:17). The bible describes that we are grafted into and connected to the vine (Jesus Christ), abiding in relationship with Him. We were cut out from the world and grafted into the vine. We are now joined with the Spirit of God.
Take a moment to meditate on that!
In Christ we have been made righteous. We are now in right standing with God as a result of Jesus’ work on the cross, it’s purely by Grace (the favor of God) and NOTHING can take that away from you. Our right standing with God is our position. We can now rightfully take our positions as a son or daughter of the Most High God.
When payment is made for something you get a receipt as proof of that payment. It does not make the payment more valuable; but it does allow us to use the receipt to claim our identity in Christ. Here’s the proof (our receipt so to speak), it is clearly written in the Words of God in scripture, though Paul.
In Ephesians 1: 3 -14, Paul addresses the church in Ephesus, explaining the position of identity (or standing) we hold in Christ: “we have been blessed with every (not just one or two , but every ) spiritual blessing , and have been 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.
It’s not WHAT I DO or WHAT I DID but WHO I belong to. It has nothing to do with me and everything to do with the ONE who paid a price for me and I have this declaration, as a receipt, to prove it.
When we are in Christ, Scripture is very clear about WHO we are, these aspects of our identity can never be altered by WHAT WE DO.
A quick look in the mirror at your heart will tell you that you are not yet (in your observation), what scripture describes you as, especially that pure, blameless part. Ephesians 4:22-24 tells us that there has to be a change in us, a process from the old person to the new person.
“ You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, 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.
The bible seems to differentiate between who we are in Christ and our becoming. It describes our standing or position with Christ. We are righteous in standing, but it does not describe our current state. When we speak of a believer’s STATE, we are referring to the actual spiritual condition or state that she is in at any given point of time. We are new creatures in Christ [this is our POSITION], but do we LIVE as new creatures [this has to do with our STATE]?
Consider the example of the PRINCE AND THE PAUPER. The prince lived like a pauper (a very poor person). As to his standing: he was a prince, the son of the king. As to his state: he was a pauper. He was a prince but he did not live like one. He did not live princely!
The same is true for our lives. We are sons and daughters of God, forever righteous in God the Father’s eyes because of the blood of Jesus that covers us. We inherit all the promises of God and eternal life as a result of this standing (identity) we have in Christ. This standing or identity can never be altered or taken away from us. Our state however, can change.
Next time I will talk more about our state.
Father God, thank you that You sent Jesus to the cross to die for my sins so that I may enter into a relationship with the Most High God as His child. Thank you, Jesus, for paying the price for my sins so that I am declared righteous and in right standing with God. Thank you Spirit for living inside of me, a seal on my heart that I belong to the King and may enter eternity. I know Lord that I am to put off my old self in my mental, physical and emotional life, so that I may embrace and come in line with the new person I am in my spirit. Thank you, Lord, that I may know that Your work in me is not finished yet and that you will complete it in eternity.