Understand Your Identity in Christ

In this article, I’m going to talk about our new identity in Christ.  What it is and why it’s so important to understand.

Some Christians describe themselves as “sinners saved by grace”.  The problem with this, is that it takes the wrong perspective.  It emphasizes you as a sinner.  It’s describing who you USED to be, not who you are after being born into God’s Kingdom.

The Bible says that upon salvation you became a new creation.  It says that you are seated in heavenly places with Christ.  That your new nature exists with Him in perfection.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

2 Corinthians 5:17

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:6

But some will ask, if this is true, how do you explain the fact that we still sin?

That is the whole point of salvation.  It’s taking your new nature in heaven and transferring it to your mind, will and emotions on earth.

We can better understand this if we look at the composition of man.

Man is comprised of three parts: body, soul and spirit.  He looks like this:

Body Soul and Spirit

At the center of man is his soul.  His soul consists of mind, will and emotions.

Before the fall, man communicated in two realms— the physical realm and the spiritual realm.

The SOUL of man used its physical BODY to communicate with other men in the physical realm.  The soul of man used its SPIRIT to communicate with God in the spiritual realm.

The following illustration shows how man’s soul and spirit were LINKED so that he could communicate with God.

But then the first man, Adam, sinned and his SPIRIT DIED.  Spiritual death is separation from God.  As a result, he could no longer communicate with God.  The link between his soul and spirit were broken.

Link Between Soul & Spirit

The point of salvation is that God restores the link by restoring the spirit of man. Your restored spirit is what connects you to God and your new nature in heaven.  Your new nature is the NEW you.  It’s your true identity.

God further wants to restore your SOUL (your mind, will and emotions).  This is the part of you that still sins.  It’s been corrupted by information received through your physical eyes on earth.

If you VIEW life through the eyes of your fallen body, your soul will never be restored.  You will see yourself as a “sinner” saved by grace.  This is NOT how God wants you to see yourself.  God (Holy Spirit) wants you to see yourself through the eyes of your regenerated spirit so He can transfer who you are in heaven (new self) to who you are on earth (old self).

Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Ephesians 4:22-24

In this way He sanctifies you.  We transform our thinking to MATCH with who we are in heaven.  The Bible calls this SANCTIFICATION.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— his good, pleasing. and perfect will.

Romans 12:2

As you can see, understanding your IDENTITY in Christ is very important.  It’s how God restores your mind, will and emotions.

But what are the characteristics of the new self?  What exactly are we “putting on”?

That is what I’ll discuss in my next article, What is the Fruit of the Spirit?