Our Identity in Christ

As Christians who are we? Have you ever wondered that?


So we are Christians what challenges does that present? I see those who are Christians riding around in big fancy cars owning estates and living a life of luxury. I also see those who are Christians living very modestly or even struggling so what does it mean to be a Christian?


Well we won’t get our answer from just looking at the world. So we need to see what the word of God has to say about it. We know from Romans 10:9,10 that to become a Christian we must:

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.


The last word in verse 9 is the Greek word sozo it comes from contraction for obsolete saoz, it means safe.


It means to be saved another way to say it might be made whole. Once we get saved we have been made whole. The unsaved or natural man has something lacking or missing. When God designed us he designed us to have a spiritual element that the natural man lacks.


The word sozo  is used one hundred and ten times I want to take a look at a couple places it is used.

Ephesians 2 there are two occurrences.


Ephesians 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)


Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Then it adds)


9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.


When the word says something twice it means one of two things it is showing a contrast or it is establishing something.

Genesis 41:32 And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.


Alright we are saved so what does that mean? Lets take a look at our identification with Christ.


Let’s start in Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned


14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.


15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.


The word but can also be translated never the less. The word offence is translated sin in the King James version and simply means to miss the mark.


16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.


17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)


18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.


We can identify with Jesus we no longer need to identify with the first Adam 1 Corinthians 15:45


(Aramaic Bible in Plain English)
Thus also it is written: “Adam the first man was a living soul; the last Adam - The Life Giver Spirit


The word Soul is psuchē in the Greek and nephesh in the Hebrew. The word psuchē means to have life it is used of man and animals and has nothing to do with spirit which is also true of the word nephesh it simply means to have life and this has been misunderstood by many and has lead to confusion and false theology. Below are the 2 verses 1 Corinthians 15:45 and Genesis 2:7


1CO15_45.png
and


GEN2_7.png


So lets move along here a bit.


Romans 6 New International Version (NIV)
6:1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
So those who claim that living in grace will lead to people committing more sin could be right but those who would use grace as excuse to sin would find some other rational to commit the sin if grace wasn’t available. I try to live in grace because I love God for all he did for me in Jesus Christ, because I love him I do my best to follow what he told us to do in the epistles not because of God is going to zap me with a cattle prod if I don’t but as with my earthly father I love and want to please him.
We are dead to sin so let us act like it.
3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
That is the goal here we are to live a new life made available through Christ and to have the new nature not the one we got from Adam.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 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— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
It just said we have been set free from sin. We died with Christ so as Christ was raised from the dead so can we be raised from the dead. If we are dead then we have been set free from sin. As it says in Romans 12: 1, 2 we should no longer live by the scheme of this world but we are to change our thinking to  be changed and live in the new nature.
Now the question arises what if we fail? What do we do if we fall short of how the word says we should live?
In 1 John it talks about how the blood of Jesus Christ purifies us from unrighteousness and how if we fall short or miss the mark one, of the definitions of sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us.
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
This is our example of how we are to live.We need to live our life unto God and not unto ourselves.
The word if can also be translated since. It is the word ei normally translated if  in some cases, ei “express a condition of fact regarded as true or settled; since, because.” It can be translated since Friberg’s Lexicon states.
The New Living translation translates this verse:
And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him.
It is a truth that we died with Christ and were raised together with him.
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
At this point it is your choice how you will live.
13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
There it is again we have been saved and are under grace.
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now


claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.


19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This why we still die as the lord tarries. It is not always our sins that brings about death we are born with sin nature and simply because we get the new identity in christ does not mean we lose that original nature we live in a war zone where the two natures war with each other for dominance in our life and we make the final call as to who wins.
1 Peter 3:14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
We need to have that answer ready so when people see us they notice the difference and some will ask what it is about us that separates us from those around us. We need to tell them about our wonderful Lord and what he did for us.
16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive,[d] he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
So there is no promise of a hassle free life if we live in grace.  Look at the book of Galatians.
Galatians 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
Paul sounds serious here he is judging those who teach another gospel. Those who claim true Christians don’t judge others should read the book of Galatians. The whole notion that we are not to judge is just poppycock.
Look at verse 11.
11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might
preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being.
Paul had a bit to over come if you read this section you see the first thing Paul did was went off so he could get his head together with God he did not go consult with any man he went to Arabia so he could get his head together.
I’m skipping down to Galatians  2:15
Paul is reproving Peter and to do that he has to judge Peter’s action.
15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
17 “But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn’t that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker.
19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!
Being justified by the works of the law take us back to the sin nature we got from Adam. If we try that route we make Christ's death meaningless.
Galatians 3:1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.
The word bewitched is the word baskainō  bas-kah'-ee-no; akin to G5335; to malign, i.e. (by extension) to fascinate (by false representations):—bewitch.


940 baskaínō (from baskanos, "to cast an evil spell, wishing injury upon someone; to bewitch") – properly, to exercise evil power over someone, like putting them under a spell; (used only in Gal 3:1); (figuratively) captivate ("be spellbinding"), appealing to someone's vanity and selfishness; "to blight by the evil eye, bewitch" (Abbott-Smith).
[In classical Greek, Aristotle used 940 (baskaínō) for "bewitching through the use of an evil power." That is, putting someone under a spell so they no longer could think (act) according to reason. 940 (baskaínō) is also associated withenvy (so Josephus V:425; Demosthenes 20,24; Theocr. 5,13, ala Abbott-Smith).]
I would suggest you read all of Galatians it is about flesh vs spirit those attempting to live by the old nature the one we got from Adam and how the Galatians started off on the right track and then got side tracked by those attempting to bring them back under the law.
Back to Galatians 3:2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4 Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.
10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
It is by the promise of the spirit we should live. That is now our nature it is our identity

I'd like to close with Galatians 5

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Liberty and bondage are both mentioned here bondage comes from the same word as slavery, liberty I heard defined as a disciplined freedom.

Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
Circumcision in this book always means acts of the law
For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
With all God and Christ did to make grace available we should not ignore it.
For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
It's based on our faith
Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.
I wouldn't want to be teaching salvation by works.
11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.
12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
Okay guys ponder that one for a moment. That word in the Greek means to be emasculated. You could also just use the KJV which is cut off.
13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. I think I will be in galatians this week working this stuff. Identify with the spirit and not the works of the flesh.

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