Summary: A. Personal Identity B. Indwelling Of Jesus C. Jesus Is Our Life D. Putting On Jesus E. Walking In The Spirit F. Identifying The Old Man (sin-nature) G. Setting Your Mind And looking To Jesus H. We are Dead! I. Beginning In The Mind J. Positive Thinking – Right Or Wrong? K. Rejoice In The Lord
The Christian life begins with a recognition of who we are in Jesus. Speak the following confession out loud so that you can hear yourself declaring what God has said is true. You are not declaring these things to make them happen. God says that they have already happened! This is God's answer to the human question "Who am I?" This is who you are in Christ. Speak it with confidence.
A. Personal Identity.
THE CHRISTIAN'S PERSONAL IDENTITY PROCLAMATION
"I believe that in Christ Jesus my sins have been fully and freely forgiven, and I am a new creation. I have died with Jesus to my old identity in Adam. I have been raised with Jesus to a new life. I am seated in the heavenly places in Jesus. God has given to me the full righteousness of Jesus. I am joined with angels, archangels, and all the saints in heaven. God is my Father, and if He is for me, who can be against me? Because of who I am in Jesus, I am more than a conqueror. In fact, I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me. Christ Jesus is my life! Everything in my life here on this earth is working out for good according to the purposes of God. Jesus Himself dwells within me. I have been called according to the purposes of God. These things I believe and confess, because God, my Father in Heaven, says they are true. Amen!"
This identity that you just confessed is true regardless of your day to day living. This is the meaning of grace. We are not worthy to be spoken of in this fashion. The Triune God does not look at us and declare that these things are true -- He is looking at Jesus. As we look at Jesus, we see what the Triune God sees. We identify ourselves as God identifies us. If you should fall, your identity has not changed, no matter what the devil might try to tell you. Rise up! Brush yourself off. Receive your forgiveness. Lift up your eyes to the throne, and go on your way rejoicing as the result of the life of Jesus dwelling within us through the Holy Spirit. While our identity is in the heavenlies, the in-dwelling Christ is our life.
B. The In-Dwelling of Jesus.
1. John 15:4 "Remain in Me and I will remain in you."
a. If we remain in Him (find our identity with Him in the heavenlies) and He remains in us (where we stay connected to His life within us), together we will bring forth much.
2. Colossians 1:27 "Christ in you, the hope of glory."
a. Seeking to live the Christian life means that we find ourselves in Jesus and seek an on-going, life-affecting experience with the Christ who dwells in us.
3. The fact that Jesus dwells in us is not the source of our identity, nor is "the inner Christ" to be the object of our focus. A person might mistakenly declare, "Sure I am a sinner, but Christ dwells in me. Therefore, I must be okay." Being right with God is based upon what God has done outside of us, in Jesus. It is not based on the fact that Jesus has chosen to dwell within us. The stance of the Christian is always extroverted. We are always looking away from ourselves, to the throne, where we are seated in the heavenly places.
C. Jesus Is Our Life.
1. Ephesians 1:3 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ".
2. 1 Corinthians 1:30 "It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption."
a. Contrary to the thinking of many Christians, God does not grant to us a host of spiritual benefits and experiences. Our human pride would like to have spiritual benefits and experiences in order to enlarge ourselves and be identified as "deeply spiritual people." God does not offer to us forgiveness, righteousness, love, peace, joy, gifts, ministries, wealth, and prosperity as separate entities. Since our identity is in the heavenly places, we cannot claim anything that comes from God as belonging unto us. God has only given to us one thing: His Son Jesus, who is our life. In Jesus are all of the blessings and benefits of life and salvation.
3. Colossians 2:2,3,6,7,10 "That they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge .... So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him . . . and you have been given fullness in Christ".