Messy. Broken. Not good enough. Failure. If you look in the mirror and label yourself this way, dear friend, it’s time for a heart-to-heart with your Heavenly Father.
Once we were lost; even more than that, we were actually enemies of God. Yet, He so deeply loved us that He sent His perfect son Jesus to bring us back into fellowship with Him (Romans 5:8-10). When we place our faith in Him to save us, God not only forgives us, but gives us a whole new identity in Christ.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
Bible teacher Jeff Verdoorn reminds us of the powerful image the Bible uses to describe this moment:
“What happened at the moment of salvation is God has taken your old self and crucified it, put it off, it’s been done away with. He raised you in newness of life, as a new creation, created in Christ Jesus, united with Christ. filled with His Holy Spirit! Your old unsaved self is gone, actually dead. Your new self is raised to life. God has made you alive in Christ!”
What an amazing reality! Yet it can be all too easy to forget this gift at the moment we fall down.
“This is the core problem. We’re saved–we understand our identity–but we tend to fall back to our old self and the practices of our old ways. There are still all these distractions in this world that trip us up. That’s what the Bible describes as “the flesh.” And that’s why God says the spiritual battle is in the mind: we are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).”
The more we focus on Jesus, surrendering our own will to follow His way, and filling our minds with the power of His word, we will more closely resemble our Heavenly Father.
“When we think on what is pure, true, noble, praiseworthy, when we study God’s word and we understand who we are in Christ, what God has done to us…now as I trust in Him and all of His promises…I can start living out my identity more and more. Remember, it’s living by His power, not by my own.”
“Living the Christian life isn’t hard…it’s impossible. Only Christ could do it. So let Christ do it!”
It’s really true – your old self is buried and gone. You are a glorious new creation in Jesus! So we can walk forward in faith today, confident in what God has done (and continues to do) to make us who we are meant to be.
Jeff Verdoorn is married to his wife Julie and live in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. They have three children, one at Colorado Christian, one at Bethel University and one at Liberty University. Jeff attends Grace Church Eden Prairie where he has been teaching various bible studies for more than a 15 years. His favorite topics to teach include the End Times, Creation, and Salvation.