For as many [of you] as were baptized into Christ [into a spiritual union and communion with Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah] have put on (clothed yourselves with) Christ.
Galatians 3:27 (AMP)
Every born again believer has been joined into a spiritual union and communion with Christ, meaning that our born again recreated spirit is of the same nature as Jesus—righteousness and true holiness. Nothing we can do in the flesh can undo who we have been made to be in Him. The more we accept this by faith and let it take root in our hearts, the more are we empowered to live rightly in this present world.
Much of the Christian life is about believing right. Unfortunately religion in many cases has made it all about getting our behavior straightened out. Yet the radial truth of grace is that the very moment we start to believe right as far as our identity in Christ is concerned, our behavior will take care of itself.
Romans 8:1 tells us, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Friend, have you ever realized the destructive cycle that comes out of living in guilt and condemnation? A person who is constantly living in guilt over something that may have happened in their past, or someone who carries an ongoing sense of condemnation—and on top of that believes that God is condemning them—has more or less cut themselves off from being able to receive the fullness of what the precious blood of Jesus has made available. Nothing keeps us bound to sin more than living in sin consciousness.
Yet there is “no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus!” When Jesus came into this earth and died on the cross for our sins, He made it possible for all of our guilt and condemnation to be removed once and for all—if we would simply accept this precious gift of His love!
In order to fully receive what Jesus has made available, we must understand and receive by faith who He has made us to be in Him. Realize that the very moment you gave your life to Jesus, He has completely changed who you are at the core of your being. He has changed the deepest part of you, which is your spirit. Remember that we are spirit beings, we possess a soul—our mind, will and emotions—and we live in physical bodies.
The part of you that got born again when you gave your life to Christ is your spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:17 tells us, “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” To be joined unto the Lord means that Jesus is the Lord of your life; one spirit with the Lord means that your born again, recreated spirit has taken on a nature that is spiritually identical to Jesus. In other words, it is the spirit part of you that has been made perfectly righteous in Him. It is for this reason that God, who cannot lie, can look at you and call you righteous. God being a Spirit (John 4:24), first and foremost deals with us in our spirits. And those of us who have been born again have been made perfect in our spirits, which is why the Bible talks about “the spirits of just men made perfect.” (see Hebrews 12:23)
And so there is no condemnation to those who walk “not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” And what ultimately determines whether we are walking after the flesh or after the Spirit is our identity. Are we identifying with who we used to be in the flesh, or have we shifted our identity towards who we have been made to be in Christ? To walk according to the Spirit is to walk according to who we are in Christ. It is to understand that the old sin nature which had been working in our spirits to produce sin and death which yields in guilt and condemnation, has been completely destroyed the moment we got in Christ, and in Him we have received a new born again nature—the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. (see 2 Corinthians 5:21)
And so to experience freedom from guilt and condemnation, our task becomes to shift our identity towards who we are in Christ. This shifting of our identity is the work of believing right. The more that we believe right, the more will we live right. This is what the renewing of the mind is all about. As we replace our thoughts with God’s thoughts about us, as we get our words to align with His Word, and as we keep our eyes on Jesus, the Holy Spirit will work in us to give us a revelation of the depths of His love for us, and the glory of His finished works which He has wrought for us on the cross. This is what enables Romans 8:16 to come into effect, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,”—and that’s when all guilt and condemnation must flee.
Father, I thank You for the precious gift of Your love. Thank You, Jesus, for everything Your finished works have made available. I receive Your great love for me that You demonstrated on the cross when You took all of my sin, all of my guilt, and all of my condemnation so that I would no longer need to carry it. I receive now by faith that I am the righteousness of God in You, Lord, and that I am equipped and empowered to live a victorious, godly and overcoming life. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Romans 8:1; Romans 8:16; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 6:17; John 4:24; Hebrews 12:22-24; Romans 6:6; Romans 12:1-2
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.
Galatians 2:20 (KJV)
Through our union with Christ our old self has been crucified with Him, and we have been given a new self which is created after His image and likeness. As we deliberately remember each day who we have been made to be in Him, we are no longer held in bondage to the things of the flesh. Through faith in Jesus we partake of His nature, thereby becoming instruments through which His glory may be made manifest in the earth.
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Colossians 3:1 (KJV)
As Christians we are called to seek heavenly realities. Our thoughts and our words should center not so much around our circumstances and conditions, but around what is true about us in Christ. What is true about us in Christ is that we are risen with Him and seated with Him in heavenly places. (see Ephesians 2:6) This gives us a position of authority through the name of Jesus over sickness, lack, fear, and anything else the enemy may throw at us. We are already victorious, for we are joined to the One who has overcome the world. And as we abide in Him, we get to partake in this overcoming victory.
And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.
1 John 3:23 (NKJV)
Under the new covenant God’s commandment to us can be summed up in this: that we should believe on the Lord Jesus, and as a result walk in love towards each other. Love is really the key for everything else. When we walk in love, we find ourselves living rightly; when we walk in love, we are actually living according to who we have been made to be in Christ. Yet notice that the commandment to walk in love follows our having received Jesus as Lord. And so everything begins and ends with Jesus. He puts us into right standing with the Father, and as a result of our right standing our conscience is cleansed, our hearts are made pure, and we are made free to walk in love.
What? know yet not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (KJV)
The very moment we gave our lives to Jesus, the Holy Spirit took up residence within us. Ever since we have no longer been our own, and so we are being called to live not unto ourselves, but unto God. May we resolve to bring Him glory through the actions of our body which is His temple, and may we rejoice in our spirit communing with His Spirit. And let us live every day knowing that we belong to the Lord, that we have been bought with a price, thereby opening ourselves to the life of victory and service to the kingdom that God has called us to live.
If you then were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
Colossians 3:1-2 (NKJV)
This passage speaks first of our position in Christ, which is that we have been raised with Him. This is the spiritual truth about every born again Christian: our old self has died, and we have been given a new born again self that is united with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Now in order for us to begin to live out of this truth, we are instructed to set our minds on things above rather than earthly things. This means to think about, to meditate on, and to consider heavenly realities. Simply put, we are called to approach everything from knowing who we are in Christ: victorious overcomers who have been given all things that pertain to life and godliness! The more that we make this shift in heart and mind, the more will we lay hold of all that the grace of God has freely provided for us in Christ Jesus.
And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
Mark 4:20 (KJV)
The Word of God is the fuel for our born again spirit, meaning that as we contemplate the Word, as we meditate on it, as we pray to have a revelation of it through the Holy Spirit, gradually our born again spirit becomes fully alive within us. When our spirit is alive within us, we live more out of who we are in Christ than out of who we used to be in the flesh. Renewing our minds and hearts in the Word is crucial for us to bring forth the fruits of all that has been so freely made available to us by grace.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),
Ephesians 5:8-9 (NKJV)
Knowing our identity in Christ is crucial when it comes to living in the fullness of life God has intended for us. We have been set free and delivered from any and all darkness, and we are now light in the Lord. Remembering who we have been made to be in Him becomes the foundation of strong and mature faith. Let us trust fully in the finished works of Jesus without wavering, and we will see the fruits of the Spirit manifesting in our life.