Monday, March 3, 2014

Our identity is now in Christ

I believe most of us would agree with what the Larger Catechism proclaims in it's question number 3.

Q. 3. What is the Word of God?
A. The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the Word of God, the only rule of faith and obedience.

The Bible is the Word of God, it gives the Christian the commandments of God, which are to serve as the only rule of our faith and our obedience.

 One overriding doctrine throughout the New Testament is:  what Jesus Christ's accomplished with His obedient life, His death on the cross, His burial, His ascension, has been credited to us by God the Father.

One thing needs to said about Christ coming down from heaven to provide our only way of rescue from the wrath of God. The Shorter Catechism says that many of these things were an humiliation for Christ. You have to understand that Jesus Christ is GOD! for Him to take on a human nature was an humiliation, for the Majestic Lord of Glory to be put in this low condition was humiliation, For The One who holds all life in His hand to be placed under the miseries of this life, the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross, in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for a time, was humiliation. Yet Jesus did it for us. He knew it is our only hope. He did it willingly.

Do you not marvel sometimes at the wondrously love God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit has for us!! We are created, God made us from the dirt, He has wondrously made us, and in spite of our continued rebellion against Him, His eternal plans and purposes for us will not be thwarted. The Day of the Lord could be any time, and with each new day, we should thank Him. For it seems amazing that God has allowed history to continue for as long as it has. It is Longsuffering.

Our identity is in Jesus Christ, this doctrine, when meditated on, when you read the Scriptures that tell you who we are in Christ, and you pray for the Holy Spirit to work these eternal truths into your life, there is freedom, and joy.

Example: And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11

In the preceding verses Paul was teaching the Christians at Corinth don't fool yourself people who practice sexual sin are not going to inherit the kingdom of God. But he tells them that some of you guys were like this, involved in sexual sins, and some of you are still involved in sexual sin. Paul wants them to identify with who they are now, in Christ, not what they were.

Paul tells them you have been washed, you were sanctified, justified in the name of Jesus Christ by the Spirit of God. They did not wash themselves, they did not sanctify themselves, and they did not justify themselves. The Spirit did the Work!

It's the same for us, the Holy Spirit is working a process in our lives, it is a process of character transformation. He is doing it because of the work of Jesus Christ. If we have trusted in what the Word of God tells us about Christ, the Holy Spirit is working in us. Just so we understand the mystery of that, the Bible tells us this: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God Ephesians 2:8. We exercised faith in Christ when we were saved, we thought we did it, but not so, God did it! He worked faith in us to trust and believe in Jesus Christ. The glorious thing is that God is working the whole of our Christian life in the same manner. The Holy Spirit is working in our lives Christlikeness. As we use the means of grace: reading the Word, and prayer, mainly, the Holy Spirit uses them to develop our character. He is working!!

When we show God that we count His Word as glorious and worthy, we show Him that we count Jesus Christ as glorious and worthy. Romans 1 tells us what God thinks of those who have His Word, have some understanding of the worth of it, yet reason in their hearts that they do not see fit to acknowledge God. What God is saying there is that if you know there is a God, the only place we can find out more about Him, is in the Bible, we don't see fit to acknowledge Him by picking up and reading about Him, He turns us over. He stands against us. That's the condition we were all in before God gave us the gift of faith, such were all of us. But, thank God for His longsuffering grace and mercy toward us. When sin comes, when Satan come, and when the World comes, we must stand against them in our new identity in Christ, we will find the Holy Spirit is working and He is Mightier by far than all our enemies combined. We must exercise the faith that God has given us: So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17. We can not continue to hold the Word of God in contempt, God counts it as contempt for Christ after His humiliation for us and His exaltation by the Father for what He did, we need to hold Him in High Honor and Glory, don't you think that that is the proper attitude for us?

Here are some scriptures that shows us our identify in Christ:
Hebrews 13:21              Ephesians 1:2-9
Galatians 1:3-5              Ephesians 1:19-23
Galatians 2:16               Ephesians 2:13
Galatians 3:14               1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 
Galatians 3:26-29          Philippians 1:10-11
Philippians 3:14            Philippians 3:20
Philippians 4:7              Colossians 3:1-4

All our blessings, peace, joy are found in Jesus Christ!!

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