Grace Life Church
Proclaiming Jesus Christ and the Gospel of God's Grace
YOUR WONDERFUL IDENTITY IN CHRIST!
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
2 Cor. 5:17
If you're a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you've received an amazing new identity! You're a new person! The moment you were saved you became a radically different person from the one you were before you were saved! In his writings, the Apostle Paul goes into great detail about the wonderful new identity all believers have in Christ. This is sometimes referred to as Pauline identification truth -- and it's truly incredible truth that all believers need to know, rejoice in, and embrace!
All that we are and possess because we're in the Lord Jesus Christ are the result of God's amazing grace to us. We didn't earn any of it -- it's all part of the salvation gift God gave to us when we were saved. Our new identity in Christ is designed by God to empower us, lead us, encourage us, and motivate us to lead fruitful and victorious Christian lives. Therefore, it is vital that we know what the word of God tells us about who we really are in Christ.
Here are the amazing truths about our identity in Christ:
In Christ we are totally forgiven of ALL our sins (Eph. 1:7, 4:32; Col. 1:13-14, 2:13, 3:13; Heb. 9:26-28, 10:13-14). Many believers haven't been taught this important truth, but it's true! As believers, ALL of our sins - past, present, and future sins - have been forgiven through Christ's death at the cross. We don't need to ask Him to forgive us over and over again. Tragically, many Christians have this kind of relationship with God. They're constantly asking Him to forgive them for the sins they commit (keeping short accounts with God) when He's already done that for them at the cross! Tragically, often because of bad teaching on this important subject, particularly on 1 John 1:9, many Christians have this kind of relationship with God. Be assured that God completely dealt with the sin issue once and for all at the cross! All of our sins have been totally forgiven and our fellowship with God is secure because we are in Christ! God now wants us to get on with letting Christ live His life in us and through us.
In Christ we have the perfect righteousness of the Son of God (Rom. 3:21-24). We can't be made more righteous than we already are! All of our good works will not make us any more righteous than we became at the moment we were saved, when God gave us the perfect righteousness of His Son. We were declared totally righteous by God, the act of God the Bible calls "our justification" (Rom. 4:25).
Many believers haven't been taught this important truth, but it's true! As believers, ALL of our sins -- past, present, and future sins - have been forgiven through Christ's death at the cross. We don't need to ask Him to forgive us over and over again. Tragically, many Christians have this kind of relationship with God. They're constantly asking Him to forgive them for the sins they commit (keeping short accounts with God) when He's already done that for them at the cross! Our sins have been totally forgiven and our fellowship with God is secure because we are in Christ! God now wants us to get on with letting Christ live His life in us and through us. Because we are in Christ, God sees us as just as perfectly righteous as His Son! We need to accept and embrace what God says is true about our perfect standing before Him and not base our standing on how we may feel from moment to moment and day to day.
Christ lives in us (Gal. 2:20; Col. 1:27). Christ lives in every believer! This is truly wonderful and amazing! Unfortunately, many Christians don't know this important truth. Christ is your life (Col. 3:3-4)! As you rest in God living in you, you'll increasingly experience the life of Christ in you and living out through you. This is the work and power of the Holy Spirit in you that God promises to do in all believers (Phil. 1:6). Growing in your appreciation of the amazing spiritual reality that Christ lives in you and is your very life frees you to experience a growing personal and intimate relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ gave his life for us, so He could give His life to us, in order to live His life through us.
"To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Col. 1:27)
"For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." (Col. 3:3-4)
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Gal. 2:20)
God has given you His life! Once dead in your sins, God has made you alive with Christ (Eph. 2:5)! What more do you really need if you have Jesus Christ, the Son of God, living in you and through you?
In Christ we are children of God (John 1:12-13). This is the wonderful reality of our intimate relationship with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Unfortunately, because of bad teaching or a refusal to believe this truth, many Christians fear God and want to keep distant from Him. The great news for all of us is that God wants us to grow close to Him in a warm and loving personal relationship (Rom 8:15-16).
In Christ we are unconditionally accepted by God (Rom. 15:7). Many believers struggle with this. They find it very difficult to believe that with all of their faults, failures, and sins, God still accepts them. But He does! We are completely accepted by Him in Christ.
In Christ we have total access to God. As God's children we can approach Him freely and confidently:
"In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence." (Eph. 3:12)
In the Body of Christ we all have equal access to God. You don't need a bishop, priest, pastor, elder, etc. in order to have special access to Him. Since Christ is our great High Priest and we are in Him, we have all the access to God we need -- and even more!
God wants you to rest in and enjoy a close personal relationship with Him. He wants you to know that you can turn to Him and talk to Him anytime (prayer). He's with you all the time as He's loving you perfectly all the time.
We have every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:3). We don't have to pray for more spiritual blessings! The truth is that we already possess every spiritual blessing in Christ and we received them all at the moment we were saved. In fact, God even sees us as united with His Son in heaven! The riches of God's grace to us are truly incredible!
We are complete in Christ (Col. 2:9-10). When God says that you're complete in His Son, then you are complete! God has given us everything we need in order to enjoy a close and growing relationship with Him. At the moment you and I were saved, we received everything we need in order to live a victorious Christian life!
Jesus Christ has set us free (John 8:36). He has freed us from sin and the law (Gal: 5:1). In our freedom we are now free to live as the Holy Spirit guides and leads us.
The Bible teaches that as a child of God you are not to live your Christian life by following the Mosaic Law, which God gave to the nation Israel, or any other works-based systems devised by men. Living that way does not produce victory over sin. It only produces confusion, frustration, bondage, and defeat as a believer eventually realizes, often painfully, that that way doesn't work.
Tragically, various forms of law living is what is taught in many churches today, leading many believers to live superficial Christian lives and miss out on the wonderful freedom that they have in Christ. However, God's Word is very clear on this matter:
"For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace." (Rom. 6:14)
"But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code." (Rom. 7:6)
"Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law." (Gal. 3:23-25)
"Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, or New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ." (Col. 2:16-17)
"The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God." (Heb. 7:18-19)
Can the word of God be any clearer? All throughout the New Testament after the beginning of the church, it's obvious that God does not want believers to live under any law systems in order to be accepted or blessed. Yet tragically, legalism has been the primary problem in Christ's church ever since it started nearly 2000 years ago! Many believers believe there is only one way to live a godly life -- to carefully follow a list of laws or rules. For many Christians this involves getting involved in various programs or systems that are promoted by their church.
Legalism's mode of operation of mixing law and grace (or all law and no grace!), which are absolutely opposed to each other and can't be mixed (Rom. 11:6), has resulted in all kinds of errors and false teaching during the church age. It was the main problem the Apostle Paul vigorously confronted throughout his ministry. Countless believers today live in bondage and fear under the heavy yoke of legalism. They're missing out on the life of peace and joy that Jesus Christ has already given them. We thank God that He has given us the Bible, our sole source book of truth, to bring correction and teach us His way for us to live as His children.
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Gal. 5:1)
We are eternally secure in Christ. We cannot lose our salvation (Rom. 8:31-39). All of our sins were forgiven and we were declared righteous at the moment we were saved. Jesus dealt with the sin issue once and for all at the cross when He paid the penalty for our sins. Because He paid the penalty, we don't have to.
Furthermore, we've been sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13-14). Those who believe that a person can lose his or her salvation do not really understand God's grace and power, and the secure identity all believers have in Christ. Once we've been born again of the Spirit we can't become unborn! The Bible says that nothing "will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:39). We are eternally secure in His perfect love!
You see, Jesus Christ has done it all for us! That's the beauty of grace. It makes it all about Him, not about us. He now invites us to rest in Him (Matt. 11:28-30) and the work He's done for us. We honor Him and obey Him when we rest in Him. As we trust in Christ living in us and rest in Him, we give Him the freedom to work in us and through us, producing good works that flow out of the "fruit of the spirit" (Gal. 5:22-23). These are real good works that have eternal value in God's sight (1 Cor. 3:11-14).
Are you sick and tired of the religion treadmill? Then get off it now and rest in God's amazing grace to you found exclusively in His Son, Jesus Christ! The grace life is the victorious Christian life that is lived and transformed the only way that works - under God's amazing grace (Rom. 6:14)! It's an exciting life that is experienced and enjoyed by resting in a wonderful and fulfilling relationship -- a close and growing personal relationship with our great Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
Having served as a pastor/elder at several churches, I'm convinced that the proclamation of Jesus Christ and the gospel of God's grace is needed in our community of DeKalb and Sycamore. Tragically, many Christians know very little about the incredible blessings they received by God's grace the moment they were saved. They don't know about their wonderful position in Christ and all that's theirs because they're in Him! If they did, I'm convinced the church would be a far more dynamic force in the world today than it is.
If pastors and teachers spent as much time preaching and teaching on the incredible riches of God's grace as they do on evangelism, giving, service, and religious programs that often promote and emphasize what man can do for God, the church would be more strongly built up in Christ (Col. 2:6-7). Good works that have eternal value would naturally flow out of grateful and joyful hearts that have been moved by God's love and grace (2 Cor. 5:14; 1 Thes. 1:3).
As we confidently rest in the truths from God's Word about who we are in Christ and all that we've received because we are in Christ, our focus is where it should be -- on Jesus Christ! That's what's so wonderful about God's grace -- it makes it all about Him! This is the key to living a victorious Christian life.
As we keep our eyes on Christ (Heb. 12:2) and grow in our knowledge of all that He's done for us, we are able to "live a godly life in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim 3:12), "filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:11). This is life at its very best! This is the abundant grace life God wants all of us to enjoy!
I have the great joy and privilege to be able to proclaim Jesus Christ and the glorious gospel of God's grace! I want to help people live and experience the grace life (Gal. 2:20). This is a life of freedom and victory that is found in Christ alone that God wants all of His children to enjoy. It's a life of peace and joy even in the midst of life's difficult circumstances. It's a life that is increasingly transformed to be more and more like Christ (Phil. 1:6). It's not a life of self-effort, struggling, striving, and rule keeping in order to get closer to God, be accepted by Him, or be blessed by Him.
Do you want to grow in your understanding from God's word of the amazing freedom and standing you have in Christ? The articles and information at this website, based on the sound doctrine found in God's word, are here to help you live the abundant grace life that is found in Jesus Christ.
We thank God for His amazing love and grace!
Stephen J. Moll