In Him Identity?

In the last post we talked about what makes us special and the fact that it was what Jesus did. In this post, we’re going to explore that truth a little more. There are numerous scriptures that use the phrases, in him, in whom, in Christ, etc. We’re only going to be using a few in this discussion but they will make the point, and I hope they will whet your appetite to know more.

In our society we have some interesting beliefs, including these two; first, we’re all made in the image of God, or second, there is no God, just fate and the “universe.” In both of these, we find people focusing on our humanity, and how we’re all the same inside.

Addressing the second item first, let me say that it is extremely irrational to believe that there is no God, but that there is some “higher power” known as the “universe” or whatever designation you want to give. That some billions of years ago, there was nothing, and from that nothing something suddenly exploded into LIFE. No catalyst, no initiator, no designer, no creator, just spontaneous production. Following that, we have this spontaneous growth and mutation. And unbelievers mock our faith.

The first item is held as an axiom by many who are both those who are considered “religious” and those who are not, though those who aren’t religious are also not in the camp of those who believe there is no God. I mean, they’ve been told the Bible says that we are made in God’s image. And, we can see that we’re all the same under the skin, so we must belong to one family in some way, right?

The Bible does, in fact, say that we were created in the image of God, and it says we were made after his likeness.

The word image means – a reproduction…of the form of a person…; especially, an imitation in solid form (Webster’s online dictionary)

The word likeness means – the quality or state of being like (same dictionary)

After Adam sinned, and later, after God judged the earth with a flood and saved Noah and his family, he reaffirmed that we are made in the image of God. But in Genesis, God said everything reproduces after its own kind. In light of that, Paul wrote, in his letter to the Romans (5:12-14) “through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.”

What this means is, when we’re born, we’re born in the likeness of Adam. Not God. Yes, we’re in his image, but we don’t bear the “quality or state of being like” God, but Like Adam, born in sin. As I mentioned in the last post, to change your Likeness to that of being Like God, “You have to do what Romans 10:9-10 say, and confess Jesus and believe on him in your heart. That’s the only way to be saved. (No other name under heaven whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12).” (You can see that here; What Makes You Special? Posted 4/7/18)

Once we do believe on and confess Jesus, we’re transformed. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us we’re new creatures. Verse 21 tells us that we “become the righteousness of God in Him.” And right there we see the first indication of our topic, and our identity. “In Him.” If it weren’t for Jesus, we would still be in Adam, dead to God. But because of Christ, we are (can be) translated into his kingdom, transformed into his Likeness.

Let’s look at some passages from Ephesians 1 that reveal powerful truth.

Verse 3, “Blessed be … God … who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” We, individually, were not blessed with spiritual blessings, Jesus was. But what happened to us is, when we get saved, born again, transformed, translated into his kingdom/family, we become a joint heir with Jesus (Romans 8:16-17). We become children of God, but it is through being baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3, Galatians 3:27).

Ephesians 1:6 says that He qualified us to be accepted into the Beloved, into his Family.

Ephesians 1:11, “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance…”

Why does this matter? It’s an interesting study for theological debate and discourse. I’m sure there are even some who will take exception to what I’m saying, that individually, we’re not special. That there is nothing about who we are, what we do, how well we behave, that results in any blessing from God. If you reread the previous post, and if you read this one with an open heart, you will see this is true. But, why does it matter?
It matters for two reasons. One, because there are some people out there who are teaching us the self-esteem gospel, that we’re special because we’re made in the image of God, and that he planned us from before the foundation of the world. So, we battle our insecurities by telling ourselves that what we feel is important, and who we are is important to God. We struggle to be better, but we’re okay so if we don’t manage to “be better” that’s okay, God loves us just as we are.

The second reason is like the first, only with the negative twist. So many people feel that they are unworthy, that they are so bad, or such a loser that God couldn’t possibly want to be with them, that they don’t really have anything to offer the kingdom. They are steeped in their insecurities.

God doesn’t approve of either of these positions.

I don’t mean that God doesn’t love each one of us, individually, and with an intimate affection. He does. I don’t mean that we’re not unique, I already dealt with that last time. What I do mean is, our uniqueness has no bearing on how we come into the family, and it has little bearing on how we succeed. “For without Me, you can do nothing.” That’s what Jesus said in John 15:5. Paul said it this way, in 2 Corinthians 2:14, “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ.”

We will not succeed based on who we are. We will not succeed until we see that who we are is transformed through Him. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” We must learn to allow the Christ in us to dominate our lives. We still have thinking and feeling and doing that is not in line with Him, but trying to change that is not how we will become triumphant.

Again, don’t misunderstand me, we’re still important to God in our triumph. 2 Corinthians 2:14 goes on to say, “and through us, diffuses the fragrance of his knowledge in every place.” He works through us, and he uses our skills, talents, abilities, and personality, etc. to share with the world who has not yet scented the “fragrance of his knowledge.” 

Galatians 2:20 goes on to say, “and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Jesus embraced the whole world with a divine, supernatural love, and by this laid down his life to open the way to God, the Father. He prayed about it in John 17:11. “…that they may be one, as we are.” (See also verses 21-23)

Find your identity IN HIM, not in yourself. Respect the package that God has given you, but realize that much of that package is still in need of transformation, but don’t be discouraged. God does love you as you are, but he loves you FAR TOO MUCH to leave you that way!

For more on God’s Heart for You, check out the links below:

I’m Okay, You’re Okay; Is Anyone Really Okay?

Act like daddy!

You can also get a copy of my book on the liberty we have in Christ (not nutrition as the title may suggest) on Amazon: Eat Healthy…Most of the Time!

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