(This is cross-posted from my other blog, myfullcup)
If you are in Christ, you are not dead. In Christ Jesus, you are not a sinner.
There I said it. If you are a believer who has claimed the forgiveness Jesus bled and died to give you. You are not a sinner. That is not your nature and it is not your identity.
Every time we say “I am [fill in the blank]” we are making a statement of identity. We are telling ourselves and others who we are and that, in turn, tells others how to treat us.
In Romans 6 we read, “How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?” (Romans 6:2b-3 nasb)
Before Jesus came we were dead IN sin. (Ephesians 2:1) After Jesus came we are dead TO sin. (Romans 6:11). The life of Jesus changes prepositions. And in changing prepositions lives are changed. Dead things begin to breathe.
The Lord is Life.
This means you are alive IN Him and TO Him. His life, His power reign supreme. He lives in and through you. The life that breathed life into dead things and made them live, breathed into you and now you live.
You are alive in Christ Jesus.
You are alive to Christ Jesus.
His life makes dead things live. His life changes people-from dead to living.
You cannot be a slave of sin and a slave of righteousness at the same time. And you are not, but the enemy wants you to believe and live the lie that you are his slave, when you are not. He has the uncanny ability to make the truth seem like a lie and a lie seem like the truth.
This is why we are so often told “Don’t be deceived!” Anyone who knows the truth won’t be duped by a lie unless they are somehow deceived into believing the truth is a lie.
Adam and Eve knew only the truth. Before satan whispered in their ear that what they thought was true was in fact, a lie. It was not in their nature to sin. When satan, our enemy, approached Eve the only way he could get her to sin was to deceive her. The only thing he has to do to get you to sin, after you have come to Jesus, is to deceive you into believing a lie.
All we need to sin is the freedom to choose and the ability to be deceived. And everyone has both.
We are all born dead. Jesus brings us life.
“even when we were dead in our transgressions made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),” Ephesians 2:5 nasb
He made you alive! He made you live. At the cross we were crucified with Him. When something is crucified, it is dead. There is no question as to its deadness. It is completely dead. Because Jesus didn’t stay dead neither did we. We were raised up in Him.
“and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:6
You were dead. You were crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20). You were raised with Him. You are in heavenly places with Christ Jesus.
How can we who have died live in the dead places any longer? If He made us new, why do we still live in the old? That old is gone, it is dead, and as believers, we must stop hanging out at the grave as if that were us and our reality. It is not. We are new. Now is the time to act like it.
“Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 nasb
To say that we still must live with the dead means that God lacks the power to fully resurrect us. It means He is not omnipotent, because He could not fully resurrect us and make us alive. It means my dead is stronger than His life. There is no hope in that.
New life doesn’t begin when we die physically, it begins the moment Jesus breathes His life into our soul and we become a living being.
Our flesh is dead, it is and it always has been. Our dead flesh has always had one wish, one desire, one burning passion–to do whatever it pleases, whatever it wants. It controlled us. The flesh wants us to believe that we still have no choice to and in sin. It wants us to believe it is still in charge and therefore still our nature.
When Jesus says “I set you free from that power. I made you alive. I made you a new creation. Your old way of life is gone. Now you have My nature, walk–live in that.” And we say, “I can’t because my dead flesh is still too much alive. This is who I am, it is what I am and it is how I am, there is no hope for change.”
Jesus says, “Your flesh has been crucified. You are Mine. I redeemed you. I redeemed your life from the pit. Walk, live by My Spirit in you and you will not gratify the flesh.”
And our enemy says, “Nope. That is alive. See I can still make you respond, react in the same old ways. He isn’t that powerful after all. I have more power over you than He does.” And we believe him.
But Jesus says, “I set you free. Abide in Me. I abide in you. You are Mine and the graveyard is not your address.
Oh dear readers, please grasp this! You are not a sinner, sinners are dead. You have been bought with a price, you have been redeemed from the pit. You have been made alive with and in Christ Jesus. Your old nature has gone and you’ve been made new.
Yes, we will still sin and struggle with sin and a desire for it, because we still have an enemy, the freedom to choose, and the ability to be deceived. That is all we need to sin. But we are so easily deceived into thinking, into believing we have no choice because this is who we are when it is so not who we are.
Too many people who claim to love and follow Jesus spend to much time hanging out at their own grave. Move along, folks, there is nothing to see here. Go live. His blood bought your life and you won’t find it by looking in the grave.
(For further study, read Romans 6, 7, 8 and Galatians 5.)