Placing our faith in Christ is not merely a business transaction, wherein we deposit “faith” and get salvation in return. Rather, placing our faith in Christ is a relational transaction, wherein we give him our old selves and he makes us new selves. By faith in Jesus, God gives us a new identity (individually and corporately). An identity is “the fact of who a person is.”
God's Declaration Over You
The second you place your faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, God gives you a new identity in Him. He declares who you are - not your emotions, not your friends, not your family, not your coworkers, not your neighbors, not your conscience, not your suffering, not your past, not your future, not your present, not your successes, nor your failures, and not your career. If we are to know and grow in Jesus, we must know and grow into who God has declared us to be, in Jesus.
Praying Your Gospel Identity
One of the most neglected, yet necessary, means of grace is regularly
praying through your identity in Christ. This has been deeply
transformative for me as a follower of Jesus, husband, father, church
planter and pastor. I commend it to you. Here's my encouragement. Take some time every day over the next four weeks to pray through your identity in Christ. You could work through a list (see below). You could choose particular identities to pray over. You could rotate identities throughout the week. You could use a 3x5 card or Evernote. How you do it does not matter. Allowing God's truth to renew your mind is what matters.
"Who am I, in Christ?"
What has God said over us that is now true of us, regardless of how we feel about it?
That identity includes the fact that, in Christ, you are:
VICTORIOUS over Satan, sin and death (1 Cor 15:57; 2 Cor 9:15; Rom 7:23-25; 2 Cor 2:14)
REDEEMED from slavery to sin (Rom 3:24; 8:23)
SAVED from and FORGIVEN of all our sins (Col. 1:14; 2:13).
ADOPTED by God as his children (Jn 1:12, Eph 1:5; Rom 8:15)
ACCEPTED by God (Eph 1:6)
UNITED to Jesus (Col 2:9-10)
Possess EVERY spiritual blessing (Eph 1:3)
Brought CLOSE to God (Eph 2:13)
DELIVERED from the power of darkness (2 Cor 4:3-4; Col 1:13)
Receive CITIZENSHIP in heaven (Eph 2:19; Phil 3:20)
FRIENDS of God (Jn 15:15) and SAINTS (Eph. 1:1).
COMPLETE (Col. 2:10).
HIDDEN with Jesus in God (Col. 3:3).
SEATED with him in the heavenly kingdom (Eph. 2:6).
ESTABLISHED, CHOSEN and HOLY (2Cor. 1:21-22).
Forever in the LOVE of God (Rom. 8:35-39).
NO CHARGES now stand against us (Rom. 8:31-34).
ASSURED that all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28).
Forever FREE from being ruined (Rom. 8:1-2).
Able to GO TO GOD by the Spirit (Eph 3:12; 2:18)
A recipient of GRACE and MERCY (Heb. 4:16).
Fully RECONCILED to God (2Cor 5:18)
ABLE TO DO ALL THINGS through him who strengthens us (Phil. 4:13).
BOUGHT with a price and belong to God (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
FREE from the devil (1 John 5:18; Col 2:14-15; 1 Jn 3.8)
At PEACE with God (Rom. 5:1)
In ONE SPIRIT with God (1 Cor. 6:17).
God’s CO-WORKER (2 Cor. 6:1; 1 Cor. 3:9)
God’s TEMPLE (1 Cor. 3:16)
A personal WITNESS of God (Acts 1:8).
Chosen to BEAR FRUIT (John 15:16)
A BRANCH of the true Vine (John 15:1-5)
A MEMBER of his body (1 Cor. 12:27; Rom 12).
A MEMBER of the family of God (Gal 6:10; Eph 2:19)
Given ACCESS to God (Heb 4:16; 10:10-20)
An INHERITANCE (Eph 1:6, 18)
and RECEIVE an inheritance (Eph 1:14; Col 3:24; 1 Peter 1:4; Heb 9:15)
LIGHT of the world (Eph 5:8)
God the Father is IN ME by the Spirit (Eph 4:6)
I am IN THE SON (Rom 8:1)
The Son is IN ME (Jn 14:20)
I am IN THE SPIRIT (Rom 8:9)
The Spirit is IN ME (1 Cor 2:12)
CALLED to bring people together for God (2 Cor. 5:17-21)
Able to PARTICIPATE in his unfolding story (Mt. 28:18-20) SENT as Jesus was sent (John 17:18).
PERFECTLY LOVED (Rom 5:7-8; Jn 3:16; Eph 1:7, 5:2, 5.25)
NO LONGER under God’s wrath (Gal 3:13; Rom 3:25)
Declared “NOT GUILTY!” (Rom 5:9, 3.24, 3.28)
RECONCILED to God and others. (Rom 5:10; 2 Cor 5:28; Eph 2:16; Col 1:20)
Entirely CLEANSED and FORGIVEN. (Eph 1:7; Mt 26:28; Ps 103:12)
Free from the FEAR OF DEATH. (Heb 2:14-15)
Part of God’s people, THE CHURCH. (Lk 9:23; Mt 10:38; Rev 5:9; Jn 10:16)
FREE FROM SLAVERY to sin (Rev 1:5-6; Heb 13:12)
BROUGHT HOME to God. (Rom 5:10; 1 Peter 3:18; Eph 2:13; Rom 7:4; 1 Cor 6:19-20)
Declared 100% RIGHTEOUS (2 Cor 5:21; Rom 5:19; Phil 3:9)
A recipient of eternal life...which is KNOWING HIM. (Jn 3.16; John 17:3)
If any of you decide to try this out over the next four weeks, I'd love to hear how it goes.