Duane Vander Klok
Who are you?
At first, that may seem like a simple question, but how do you answer it? You could pull out your ID card to show a picture of yourself along with your name, address, eye color, maybe even your height and weight. But are those the things that really define and identify you?
If you are a Christian, it is even more important to know the answer to these questions: “Who does God say I am, and does my view of who I am agree with His?”
All Things Are New
The Bible has a lot to say about who you are. In fact, 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that who you are changes when you become a Christian. The Apostle Paul wrote: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Being “in Christ” is not a matter of effort or maturity, and it is not about trying harder to become who God says you are. Whether you have been in Christ for 50 years or 50 minutes, the Bible says old things have passed away and all things have become new.
Whoever you are – male or female, young or old – when you make Jesus Lord of your life, you become that new creature. Physically you look the same, but on the inside you change completely. One translation says you are “a new species of being that never existed before!”
You see, when Jesus went to the cross, He took you with Him. That’s why you can say, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
God intends for faith to make a difference in your daily life. In Philemon 1:6, Paul prays: “that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.” Since he is praying for believers that our faith “may become effective,” it must also be possible for our faith to be ineffective.
Unfortunately, a lot of Christians look at their lives and think, “I guess I’ll go to heaven when I die, but other than that, I don’t know if faith has changed my life at all.” That’s not the way it is supposed to be. Faith can and should make a difference in your life here and now.
Paul explained that your faith becomes effective – or produces results – when you acknowledge every good thing that is in you because you are in Christ. To acknowledge means to recognize the truth of something and to consciously think about it. So, he’s saying that when you accept and give place to all the good things that are in you because of what Jesus did, your faith will be effective!
Identified with Christ
The Amplified Bible translates Philemon 1:6 this way: “[And I pray] that the participation in and sharing of your faith may produce and promote full recognition and appreciation and understanding and precise knowledge of every good [thing] that is ours in [our identification with] Christ Jesus [and unto His glory].” Most of us understand that Jesus was our substitute, but the Bible takes it a full step further to identification. According to 1 Corinthians chapter 15, we were identified by two men. The first was Adam, the one who was married to Eve and lived in the Garden of Eden. Unfortunately, he got us into a lot of trouble.
If you are like me you have probably been frustrated at one time or another by the thought; “Why did God allow one man to represent all of us? Why couldn’t we each just be responsible for ourselves?” It is easy to imagine that we would have made a better choice than Adam did, but God says “all have sinned and fallen short” (Romans 3:23). That means sooner or later every one of us would have chosen sin.
God knew what He was doing by allowing us to be identified by the sin of one person. He was making it possible for the death and resurrection of one person to save us! Our first representative got us in trouble, but the second representative is Jesus Christ who the Bible calls the “last Adam.” When He was crucified, we were all identified with Him as He died in our place. This was the only way we could be forgiven. God allowed one man to get us into trouble so that one man could get us out of it.
It is that simple. In God’s eye you are not just “you.” You are identified or represented by Jesus Christ. When He lives in you, all things become new – and when God looks at you, He sees you in Christ!
This Changes Everything
Did you know that the words “in Christ,” “in Him,” “in whom” and “in the beloved” appear over 130 times in the Bible? Every time you see these words in scripture, it is talking about the good things you have because as a Christian, you are identified with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.
Jesus did not go to the cross, rise from the dead, defeat the devil and ascend into heaven thinking, “I sure hope this will help a little bit. I hope it will in some way affect your life.” No! He did it to change EVERYTHING!
We need to know and acknowledge that the power now working in us as believers is the same power that raised Christ from the dead. This means you start from a place of victory. You are no longer just doing pretty good “under the circumstances.” No. You are seated together with Christ in heavenly places. You are above the circumstances!
Knowing who you are in Christ may be the most important revelation you can ever receive. Here are just a few of the things that describe the new you.
Who I Am In Christ:
I am the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).
I am complete in Him (Col. 2:10).
I am forgiven of all my sins and washed in the Blood (Eph. 1:7).
I am healed by the stripes of Jesus (Is. 53:5; 1 Pet. 2:24).
I am free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2).
I am holy and without blame before Him in love (Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:16).
I have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16; Phil. 2:5).
I have the peace of God that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7).
I can do all things through Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:13).
I have no lack for my God supplies all of my need (Phil. 4:19).
I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works (Eph. 2:10).
I am a joint heir with Christ (Rom. 8:17).
I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me (Rom. 8:37).
I am a partaker of His divine nature (2 Pet. 1:3-4).
I am an ambassador for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20).
I am strengthened with all might according to His glorious power (Col. 1:11).
I have power, love, and a sound mind because God has not given me a spirit of fear (2 Tim. 1:7).
Your faith will produce results in your life as you see yourself as God sees you, acknowledging and giving place to all the good things that are in you because you are in Christ!
(All scriptures are from the New King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise stated.)
This article is based on Pastor Duane’s series entitled Redemption Realities.