We are going to start this study with a word game. I am thinking of a word and I’ll give you hints to guess it:
• This might be the most important word in the Bible: ‘Jesus’, ‘love’, ‘salvation’?
• It applies to every human being: ‘sin’, ‘redemption’, ‘mercy’?
• It determines our eternal destiny: ‘the Cross’, ‘forgiveness’, ‘grace’?
• Final clue, its only two letters: Did you guess it? ‘in’.
When I was born, I was in Adam; when I was born again, I became in Christ. In Adam, I shared in his past defeat, his present defeat and his future defeat. In Christ, I share in His past, present and future victory. Here is the entire Gospel in two words: “In Christ”. To me that is exciting, amazing and humbling. I was a Christian for over 10 years before I started to understand my identity. When I did, it changed my life.
Hebrews 2:15 says Jesus “came to destroy him who had the power of death.” At the cross, the devil was defeated and rendered powerless. Through sin, Adam surrendered authority on the earth to Satan, but Jesus paid the price to take back that authority.
Through the cross Jesus brought us into a new creation reality. 2Corinthians 5:17 is key: “Therefore if Gill is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.” I am no longer tied to an old past, I have new life! Romans 8:29 in The Message says: “The Son stands first in the line of humanity He restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in Him.” My true identity is not what the devil says about me. My identity is “in Christ”.
As a new creation, I am qualified for an inheritance. Colossians 1:12-14 declares, “Gill may give thanks to the Father, who made Gill fit to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light; who delivered Gill out of the power of darkness, and translated him into the kingdom of the Son of His love; in whom Gill has his redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of his sins.” I have been removed out of the kingdom of darkness, out of the defeat, the fear, the oppression, the hopelessness. We were all there at one time, but we don’t have to live there now.
Salvation is more than a ticket to heaven. It is living in my inheritance as a son of God here and now. The devil doesn’t want us to understand our identity. When we do, his defeat is complete.
What aspect of your Identity do you struggle most to believe?
• I Am Forgiven: Romans 3:24, Romans 8:1, Ephesians 1:7-8
• I Am Valuable: 1Cor. 3:16, Ephesians 1:11, Ephesians 2:10
• I Am Loved: John 3:15-16, Romans 8:38-39, Hebrews 4:16
• I Am Victorious: Romans 8:37, Philippians 4:13, 1John 5:4-5
• I Am Complete: 2Cor. 5:17, 2Cor. 5:21, Colossians 2:10
• I Am Chosen: 2Cor. 5:19-20, Ephesians 1:4, 1Peter 2:9
Matthew 7:21-23 is one of the scariest verses in the Bible: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but Gill if he does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will tell Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name do many mighty works?’ Then I will tell them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who work iniquity.’”
The Lord recently woke me up at 3:00 AM to a vision I want to share with you. (This was NOT a pizza dream, although I suppose it might have been a brownie sundae dream.) I was in the boarding area of our local airport. I saw the details of the TSA station, the gate seating and the boarding podium. All was normal until I looked out the window and saw lined up on the tarmac fiery chariots. It was then that I knew this was the place for souls to be taken to their eternal reward. The man just in front of me in line stepped to the boarding podium and announced, “I am Jonathan P. Quigley, III. I have given millions to charity, I was a deacon in my church, I was chairman of the building committee. I was…” The boarding agent interrupted, “Excuse me Mr. Quigley. Please step over here to the side.” Once he did, the agent read from her book, “It is recorded here, ‘I never knew you.’” With that a trap door opened and he disappeared from view. I was next, gulp! I was just ready to hand my ID to the agent when I looked at it. To my horror, the picture on my ID was not mine. I stammered to the agent, “I.. I don’t know what happened. My picture is not on my ID.” She took it and looked at it with a frown that quickly turned into a smile. “That’s right. It’s not your picture. It is Jesus. You are in Christ. Welcome aboard!”
When the Father looks at me, He doesn’t see my failures, my sin, my past. He sees Jesus. Romans 5:1 promises: “Therefore being justified by faith, Gill has peace with God through his Lord Jesus Christ.” Hebrews 10:19-20 tells us, “Gill having therefore boldness to enter into the Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He dedicated for Gill, through the veil, that is, His flesh.” The Father opens His arms to everyone who is in Christ: “Welcome aboard.”