Hello guys, in this series I started last week working with Philemon 1:6. I want us to acknowledge some of the changes that exist in a Christian’s relationship with God through Salvation to improve the effectiveness of our faith walk. You can view the first post You Have A New Heart.
That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus
This week I want to address a very key identity of a born again Christian. As a born again Christian for many years I must say that the biggest problem I think we have is the “sin” issue. We are very conscious of sin and sometimes we mistake falling into sin to who we really are. This paradigm contributes to a life filled with sinful struggles, it also relates to some of us running away from God thinking he sees us as a sinner when he clearly said “Your sins will I remember no more”. He didn’t say you won’t sin, and since He is all knowing he couldn’t say he would not know you sinned, He is saying even when you fall short he has chosen to never remember your sins. Why would He do that? The reason is quite simple; God punished that sin and every other sin on his son Jesus Christ. Therefore you should not say things like “we are all sinners” which used to be correct before you encountered Jesus. Immediately you received Him everything changed and you became a “Saint saved by grace”. Your new identity is that of a saint which is irrespective of your actions but it totally depends on just your believe. You just asked why a man living in sin can be a saint at the same time; well the answer is simple at salvation your body and soul didn’t get saved your spirit did. And every one should know his spirit is the real him, our body and flesh are temporary casings, don’t let them distract you.
Paul makes us understand from his letters when he says Jesus took our sins and gave us his righteousness. We have been made saints by the life of Jesus in us, without him we are filthy sinners. Therefore when God looks at poor little me all he sees is His glorified Son, that gives me all the confidence in the world to say thank you Jesus. I am thankful because I am a saint only because of him not because I do good nor because of my best attempt at obeying God’s laws which is filthy at best in his sight (Isaiah 64:6). I like to say “My performance stinks but Christ’s performance was perfect”.
2 Corinthians 5:21
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
You are not a sinner because you sin, your identity is in Christ through your spirit not in your actions, feelings or emotions. You should always shift the focus to Christ at all times, because at salvation it is your spirit that is saved perfectly while your soul is on a continuous journey of being saved. This means your actions will not always be what you want it to be, but it will get better the more you behold Jesus and see Him as your righteousness. Make your spirit your identity not the actions or thoughts that result from your flesh sometimes. (2 Cor 3:18) The more you behold the glory of Jesus, you will be metamorphosis-ed into His image from one level to another.
1 John 2:1
1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
We are forgiven people thanks to Jesus Christ our righteousness.
What do I do when I sin?
The simple answer to this question is to confess your righteousness in Christ by simply saying “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus”. You make that confession because that is your new identity and it makes a whole lot of difference. I know we are used to confessing our sins as a habit, but we should learn to confess our righteousness more because as believers when we are sick we confess our healing in Christ, when we are poor we confess our wealth in Christ, when we are weak we confess our strength in Christ but for some reason when we sin we confess that same sin. Do you realize what we are doing by confessing our sins? we just reaffirm the negative situation in our life instead of saying what God says about it which is positive. Confess in Greek is the word “Homologeo” which simply means “To say the same thing as another” therefore when you say I am the righteousness of God in Christ you just said the same thing God says when he looks at you as a believer.
Let me share a story, one day a young man got a bar of gold. On his way home the bar fell into a ditch, got stained by mud but since he saw it fall, he picked it up immediately, cleaned it up and kept moving. A little while later he was about to be robbed by some tugs so he fled for his life and because he didn’t want to loose his newly acquired wealth if they caught up to him when he turned a corner he threw the gold bar into a dustbin hoping to pick it up later. Eventually they caught up to him but all they could take was the little cash he had, he was happy to let that go and went his way. He immediately traced his way back to the dustbin, jumped in, picked up his gold bar, cleaned it up and then he found his way back home rich.
Now in both situations in this story I have a question for you; when the gold bar fell in the mud the first time did that stop it from being a gold bar or did falling into the mud change the gold bar to sand? I guess your answer is No. Therefore why do you think when you fall into sin as a believer you become a “sinner”. You don’t become a sinner you remain a saint, because the gold bar (a saint), that falls into mud (sin), comes out as a gold bar (a saint) still. All that happens is the young man cleans the mud off the gold bar and that’s what Jesus constant flow of forgiveness does for us. The cleaning in a saint is done by Jesus who shed his blood for every sin we will ever commit we just have to believe his blood is sufficient to cleanse us from that stain that we didn’t want to touch us in the first place.
On the flip side in the second scenario I am sure you would also agree with me that the gold bar sitting comfortably in a dustbin filled with disposables and worthless waste products for a few hours did not reduce the value of the gold bar one bit. It still remained as valuable as it was before it was kept in the dustbin. This also applies to you if you are saved and for some reason you fall short and fall back into a perpetual life of sin, your temporary position there no matter how long does not make you a sinner it just means you are a gold bar living in dirt. What you need is someone who knows your worth in Christ to remind you about how valuable you are, so you can shift your focus from what you see around you to what the Bible says about you. The Bible says that in Christ you are a saint in Gods eyes and therefore as valuable as you were the day you welcomed him into your heart. Get yourself out of that bin with the help of Christ in you and go back to living based on your real standard and identity, knowing that God doesn’t condemn you one bit for your actions not because he can’t but because he would not (Romans 8:1). He has already condemned Jesus on your behalf so you just get up and say thank you for the total forgiveness you have available.
From both stories do you realize the most important thing is “Do you believe?”. You may ask believe what? and I will say do you believe the totality of what Jesus blood did? which comes by knowledge. The knowledge that you are a saint forever in Christ makes you realize that your identity is really in your spirit not the actions performed by your body (flesh). You will always be a saint because Jesus promises that he will never leave you nor forsake you, he also said that he has sealed us with His Holy Spirit in Ephesians 1:13.
If you are a familiar with law you should know the term “Double jeopardy”. This is a terminology in law that means someone cannot be tried again for the same crime or charges following a valid conviction by the Judge. This very much explains why in 1 Cor 5:16 Paul lets us know God doesn’t count people’s sins against them (Take note it says peoples sins not christians sins), this means this reality is for everyone on earth with just one clause “Do you believe”. Since Jesus has already been sentenced, judged and convicted by God the only just Judge for sin which is a crime, God the righteous Judge cannot try you for that same crime (sin) again, neither does he try the world. So yes this is also for you if you are not born again the only difference between you and any Christian is receiving the Jesus Christ in your life for he is the payment for the sins of the entire world. God is a just Judge, therefore it would be wrong if he punished you for any sins when his word says Jesus took away all the sins of the world. In this light if you really want to know what happened to that past or fresh sin you committed remember Jesus died for “ALL” the sins of the world and Yes all means all to those who believe. That sounds very free but we must understand that while it is free to us it cost Jesus a lot of pain, hurt and agony and God even had to turn his back on Jesus so that he will never have to turn his back at you and I ever again, such a great and expensive sacrifice on the cross.
My confidence is not in my performance but in Jesus perfect act on the cross for me. Hinge your identity on Him and you will realize that sin is not an issue except you make it one.
SANCTIFICATION IS FREE NOT CHEAP
Every believer is not put on trial for sins committed because we have a Saviour who took away our sins. He took the punishment, died for them and He also went to our hell just so he could give us his righteousness and heaven, if we just believe not when we do right. Doing right is a consequence of believing right.
Now i’m I saying run around and act anyhow? of course not. All I am saying is know and always remind yourself of who you are and you would not go around acting anyhow or out of character. Remember Adam and Eve, they sinned against God because for a moment even though they were like God they did not remember or believe it. When you think about this you realize that the devil has not changed, all he does is accuse us the brethren and try to steal our identity in Christ by telling us we are less than we actually are i.e “He says We are a sinner because we sin”. That is identity theft and when you begin to believe that you will definitely find yourself eating the fruit you do not want to eat like they did (that fruit is sin). Identity theft has plagued Christians for so long but we must make sure we stop the devil’s stealing ministry by not just reminding ourselves that “We are the righteousness of God in Christ” but we must also make it our responsibility to remind other brothers and sisters in Christ around us who fall no matter how big the fall of their identity in Christ. If Adam had reminded Eve that they were made in God’s image humanity would not have fallen in the garden of Eden and who knows they may have just decided to roast the serpent for dinner that day for trying to sell them that false identity.
RIGHT BELIEVING ALWAYS LEADS TO RIGHT LIVING
Sin is beneath you and while there are consequences on earth for them which you will bear by yourself, (for instance if you kill someone you are already forgiven by God, but be rest assured you would most likely go to jail for that crime against the rule of the land). The good news is the punishment of sin from God’s judgement does not fall on us because it has fallen on Jesus (Remember Double Jeopardy). If you are a Christian and you feel unworthy remember he who believes in Jesus is not judged.
This picture below is a cycle of what happens with every believers guilt, shame and iniquity. The only question is “Do you believe”.
Perfect love drives out fear and the truth you know will set you free to reign and enjoy life as a Christian instead of living everyday thinking God is mad at you or out to get you. God has one thing he does all day and that is love you, because you carry his Son in you and not because you are good.
GOD IS NOT GOOD TO YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE GOOD, GOD IS GOOD TO YOU BECAUSE GOD IS GOOD
Relax and enjoy his love and don’t forget no matter how big your sin may be, His grace is more than sufficient for you…. Check this post Your Sins are Small in Comaparison to His Grace to realize how great His grace is.
God Bless and never forget God loves you always and perfectly.