Who am I? Who are you? To these questions we all are able to give at least one, but usually more than one, answer. Depending upon the context of the situation in which we find ourselves and the stage of life at which we have arrived, we might identify ourselves by our profession, our family association, our political affiliation, our relationship with our favorite athletic team, or many other aspects of life. All of these answers reflect the state of our self-perception, or how we see ourselves.
Everyone identifies with someone or something. Throughout our lives, there are people that inspire us, that we want to be like or model ourselves after. We may identify with a parent, a teacher, a business mentor, a celebrity in some field, or even a group of people, such as an athletic team or a political party.
When people identify with either an individual or an organization, they often look for a way to demonstrate their unity, whether it is a oneness in philosophy, goals, or life-style. This may take the form of wearing clothes with a team logo or a favorite athlete’s name or number, choosing a hairstyle, adopting a manner of speech, or showing other outward manifestations of personal affiliation. How we perceive, or identify, ourselves affects our behavior, our interactions with others, and therefore the results we achieve in life.
The most vital aspect of how we see ourselves is our spiritual identity. What does the Word say about who we are to identify with and how do we practically apply that truth? How do we demonstrate our true spiritual identity? This is what we want to understand.
In His Word, God provides us with answers to who we are spiritually. The Scripture says that those who have confessed Jesus as lord and believed that God raised him from the dead are saved. They are born again of God’s spirit and are now God’s children by spiritual seed.
Being children of God elevates us to a position of power with full assurance. We have been given authority, rights, and privileges to exercise. As we identify with our exalted position in Christ, we will view life’s situations from this new perspective and walk with increased enthusiasm, power, and dominion.
As God’s children we are identified with His Son, Jesus Christ. We are seated together with him.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us [made us alive] together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together [with him] in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
We want to understand our identification with Jesus Christ, our elevated status as sons of God, and how to demonstrate our true spiritual identity. When we live in the full realities of Jesus Christ’s accomplishments for us, we can be triumphant in any situation we face.
Our Identification with Jesus Christ
We were not always able to identify with Jesus Christ. Before we were saved by grace, we were—past tense—identified as “children of wrath.”
Ephesians 2:2 and 3:
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
In time past we walked in condemnation and darkness, and we were subject to the systems of the world. But thank God that He delivered us—legally we were redeemed by the work of His Son, Jesus Christ. Where once we were children of wrath, now we are God’s children. Where once we were sinners, now we are righteous and have been made free.
Romans 5:18 and 19:
Therefore as by the offence of one [Adam] judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [Jesus Christ] the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Our identification with Christ is on perfectly legal grounds. He was our payment. He gave his life in our stead. The Word declares that spiritually we died with him, were buried with him, and were raised with him. With the spirit of God dwelling in us, we have been made complete and we can walk in newness of life.
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
And ye are complete in him [Christ], which [who] is the head of all principality and power:
In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
And you, being dead in [to] your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened [made alive] together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses.
These great truths are stated as past-tense accomplishments. Our debt of sin has been paid for in full. We are now free from the power of darkness. By our identification with Jesus Christ, God sees us as already seated with Christ in glory….
This is an excerpt from the May/June 2007 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2007 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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