Who we REALLY are - Our identity in Christ
This is one elementary subject that most Christians still don't fully understand, and it is a powerful key to spiritual breakthrough for countless believers around the globe today! Don't believe you're just an old forgiven sinner just because some pastor tells you so. Look these things up in the Word of God for yourself and know the truth. For Jesus said clearly that if we continue in His Word, we will know the truth and the truth will set us free!
John 8:32, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
The opposite of truth is deception or false beliefs... and will cause you to live in bondage unnecessarily. This subject is no exception. If you see yourself as a failure, you will not be able to boldly exercise your authority in Christ because you will feel unworthy (even after the Blood of Christ has made you worthy). If you claim to be unworthy after the Blood of Christ has made you worthy, then you are denying the work of Christ in your life!
I want you to say to yourself, "I am worthy, because JESUS' blood has made me worthy!"
You are loved by God the Father
You are loved by God, not because of what you've done, but because of who you are. The Bible tells us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He longed to have a relationship with you even before you became His child!
Romans 5:8, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
This one may be hard to get your mind around, but it is true. God loves us with the same love that He had towards Jesus Himself! Look at this passage in scripture:
John 17:23, "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."
Jesus said that the greatest love a man can show for his friends, is when he lays down his life for them. Jesus laid down His life for us - that is how valuable and dear we are to Him!
John 15:13, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
As a matter of fact, if we don't realize the love of God, we cannot be filled with the fullness of God. We will lack His fullness in our lives until we come to know of His deep love for us:
Ephesians 3:17-19, "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God."
You were purchased at a steep price
The wages of your sin is death (see Romans 6:23), but Jesus paid that price for you. God's Word tells us that we were purchased by the precious Blood of the Lamb:
1 Corinthians 6:20, "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
Revelations 5:9, "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed (meaning purchased) us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;"
Why did Jesus purchase us with His own Blood? Because of His deep love for us, and He deeply desires to have a loving relationship with you and I.
Romans 5:8, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
We are justified and declared innocent
If you have repented of your sins and accepted the gift of God, referring to the forgiveness of sins through the precious shed Blood of Christ, then God's Word tells us that we are justified:
Galatians 2:16, "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."
The word justified in the above passage is derived from the Greek word dikaioo, which means, "to render (that is, show or regard as) just or innocent: - free, justify (-ier), be righteous." If a person is justified, it means they are made innocent or made just as if they have never sinned!
We are entitled to a clean conscience
Since our sins have been put away and removed from us, and we are justified, that is, made right with God, you and I are entitled to a clean and un-defiled conscience!
Hebrews 9:14, "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"
My friend, if you are still beating yourself up over your past failures which have been nailed to the cross, you are denying the work that Christ has done for you! A clean conscience before the Lord agrees with what Christ has done in removing their sin and declaring them as justified or innocent before the Lord.
Your sins are no longer a part of you
The truth is that your sins have not simply been covered, but actually removed from your account. This was not possible in the Old Testament, but through the precious Blood of Christ, the removal of sins is a reality.
John 1:29, "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
Matthew 26:28, "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
And if forgiving us wasn't enough, God Himself chose to FORGET our failures for His own sake. When He sees us, He doesn't want to remember our failures, He wants to see us as His precious child who stands blameless before Him:
Hebrews 10:17, "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."
We have peace with God
We have been justified and made right with God, therefore we have peace with God. This means that your relationship with God has been restored and you can boldly enter His presence with a clean conscience because of your faith in Christ Jesus and the work that He's done for us on the cross.
Romans 5:1, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
We are clothed with the righteousness of Jesus
As believers in Christ, there is a great exchange that has taken place. One of the things exchanged is our sin for Jesus' own righteousness. Let's take a look at a few scriptures:
Romans 3:22, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference."
Romans 3:25, "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God."
Romans 5:17, "For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ."
Jesus received what we deserved (punishment for our sins), and He gave us His righteousness in exchange!
You are made new in Christ - Born of God!
The old saying, "We're just forgiven sinners saved by grace" is so devastating because it actually denies the work that God has done in us. We are not forgiven sinners, as addressed in my teaching, "Forgiven sinner or saint?" God's Word tells us that we are new creatures in Christ, old things having passed away and all things have became new:
2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
When you accepted Jesus as your Lord and savior and believed upon Him, you became a new creation in Christ. God's Word tells us that this new man is created in righteousness and true holiness:
Ephesians 4:24, "And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."
We aren't just born again, but we have also become sons (and daughters) of God:
John 1:12-13, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
So what happened to the old-you? The old you was crucified with Christ. God didn't repair the old-you, He created a new-you in Christ, which is what the Bible refers to when talking about being born again:
John 3:5-7, "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."
Galatians 2:20, "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."
Now this is referring to our spirits, not our souls. To learn more about the difference between your spirit and soul, see my teaching, "Soul vs. Spirit".
You are seated with Christ - a position of authority
Many people do not realize what this means. To be seated refers to a place of authority. Jesus is seated at the right hand of God, and God's Word tells us that we are seated with Christ:
Ephesians 2:6, "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus."
Because of our position in Christ, we are seated in a place of authority over all sickness, diseases and demons. Jesus said that signs and wonders would follow them who believe, including casting out demons (which requires authority - see Luke 10:17-20). Look at this passage:
Mark 16:15-18, "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."
Who shall these signs follow? Them that BELIEVE. That includes all true followers of Christ that are alive on the earth right now. Take a look at this passage in Revelations:
Revelations 5:9-10, "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth."
The truth is, we don't need to 'ask' God to heal somebody.. we can speak with authority over that sickness and command it to flee in Jesus' name... we can command those broken bones to grow... we can command, because we have authority. This is the standard practice in the early church when the followers of Christ were going out and healing the sick! The same is true when it comes to demons. We don't need to ask God to remove the demons, but we rather take up the authority that Christ has given us, and exercise it through faith using Jesus' name.
Did you know that the only reference to prayer for healing in the NT is found in James 5:15? The rest of the NT tells us of how Jesus, His disciples and the early church would exercise their faith when they went forth to heal the sick. They weren't asking the Father to heal the sick, they were saying things like, "Be healed in Jesus' name" or "Rise and walk!"
Jesus made it clear that we have authority here on earth, which is naturally ours through our position in being seated with Christ. Jesus demonstrated this when he cursed the fig tree:
Matthew 21:18-22, "Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."
When we don't realize who we are in Christ, our faith will be crippled. If you don't feel worthy to exercise your authority in Christ, then you won't be doing it in the fullness of faith and will lack assurance. Satan works diligently to program people's minds to feel unworthy and unable to walk in power of God here on earth. This is one of the most popular strongholds in existence today in the body of Christ! The truth is that we, by our own power and effort, are unworthy, but it is the Blood of Christ that makes us worthy. And if we say we are unworthy when the Blood says we are, then we are denying the work that Christ did for us on the cross!