YOUR HEAVENLY IDENTITY
Galatians 2:20 (KJV)
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (King James Version (KJV))
2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Galatians 2:20 is probably my most favorite scripture because everything else in my Christian walk hinges on my being crucified with Him. When Jesus hung on the cross, I was hanging there with Him. He who never sinned, became sin. As Jesus hung on the cross, the weight of all the sin of the world was not only placed on Him but He became that sin. This is why the Father could not look upon Him and why the Holy Spirit had to leave Him. The good news is that as He became sin, at that same time, I was forgiven of all my sin for all time. Yes, I still have to be quick to repent when and if I sin, but I do not practice sin. When Jesus died on that cross, I died on that cross. Once I accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior, my old nature died. I became a new person, a new creation and received a new nature, His nature.
I put it like this. When I accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior and my old nature died, I was resurrected into a new life - a new nature. Not my life or what I had planned for myself but, His life to be lived out through me. My old nature, those things I used to do, no longer exist and my new nature was to take on the characteristics of Jesus Himself. Never-the-less, never less than what He has always purposed for me.
In Acts 17:28 (KJV), the Word says, "For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring."
In Him, to be "in" Him means to be assimilated into Him. The lesser (me) taking on the identity of the greater (Jesus Christ). You can liken it to "putting on Christ". Just like putting on a coat. I become enveloped by the coat or by Jesus Christ. I in Him and He in me. I have become assimilated. I take on His character, in thought, word and action. All that He is in me. His power, authority, everything He is. As He is, so are we.
1 John 4:17 (KJV)
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world.
So, "putting on Christ" would be recognizing my position a child of the King and my position in Christ. I should reflect the holiness of Christ, as well as being seated with Him in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:4 & 2:6) as "sons" of God (John 1:12-13, Ephesians 1:5, Galatians 3:26-27), "But as many as received Him to them He gave power to become the sons of God . . ." and "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus . . ." which establishes my position in Christ.
Before I can put on Christ, I have to be stripped naked of everything that is not like Him. This is, of course, a process and is not something I can do in my own strength but through the gentle guidance and work of the Holy Spirit in my life. I know there is a process I have to go through once I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
As I read Colossians 3, I can see there was much that I needed to "put off" before anything could be "put on".
Colossians 3:8-9 (KJV)
"But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man with his deeds . . ."
In order to determine what I should be wearing, I had to start with Christ Himself. So, what does it mean to "put on Christ"? As Christians, followers, or disciples of Christ we should be imitators of Him. I should be allowing the Holy Spirit to do a work in me to help me conform into His image. This would cover thought, word and deed. I need to think as Jesus thinks (have the mind of Christ)
Philippians 2:5 (KJV)
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus . . .";
Romans 8:29-30 (KJV)
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first born of many brethern. Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Speak as Jesus, the Word speaks.
Ephesians 4:25, 29-31 (KJV)
Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another; 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
And, I must act as Jesus acts.
Ephesians 4:32 (KJV)
"And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you."
Colossians 3:12-14 (KJV)
"Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, . ."
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Jesus gave us a commission in Matthew 10:8 saying:
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
As noted above, Philippians 2:5 states we are to have the mind of Christ. So, what does this mean? I had to stop and think what is it like to have the mind of Christ. Jesus knew where He came from, knew who He was and He knew His purpose. In order to do what Jesus commissioned me to do I must think like him. He knew he was anointed to do exactly what he was doing. We are called to do what Jesus did. We are to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons. It's our heritage as sons of God. Romans 12:2 tells me that I am transformed by the renewing of my mind and Ephesians 4:23 to be renewed in the spirit of my mind. I do this through constantly studying and meditating on the Word. I to, must know where I came from, who I am in Him and my purpose which is all found in Him. For in Him I live, yet not I but Christ lives through me. I move, I only do what I see the Father do and say what I hear the Father saying. And I have my being, all that I am, I am in Him.
I and my Father are one. I may not be the Son but I am a son of God. My citizenship is in heaven. We are not of this world. We are citizens of the Kingdom of the Most High God in Heaven. We are seated with Him in heavenly places. We came out of the Father. Our spirits came out of the Father in heaven and were born into these earthly vessels.
We are ambassadors of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:20 (KJV)
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
An ambassador is someone who travels from his country to another country to represent his leadership or, in our case, the King of kings and Lord of lords. We are to re-present Him. As ambassadors, wherever we live, wherever our territory or realm of influence is, it is actually the property of the country you came from. So, your home, your job, your church, wherever your sphere of authority - is actually property of the King of heaven, the country you came from. When I speak, it is just as though the King Himself spoke. When I decree and declare something I am are saying "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven".
The Word says that we are a royal priesthood, a chosen generation! A holy nation.
1 Peter 2:9
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
We are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. A joint-heir is not the same as a co-heir where you get 50% and I get 50%... we are joint-heirs - what's yours is mine...we share 100%. Everything that belongs to Christ belongs to me! All power belongs to Him it belongs to me in Christ Jesus. The fullness of the Godhead dwells in Him, He is in me and I in Him so the fullness of the Godhead dwells in me too!
And, knowing that we are more than conquerors through Christ gives me strength and confidence to keep moving forward in Him
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
We have to get back to thinking with the mind of Christ.
Today, more than ever, it is imperative that we represent the real Jesus to the world.
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