Introduction to a New Series
Welcome to the new multi-contributor blog series titled, “Your Actual Identity”. There will be several parts which will be spread over a several week period. With the current confirmed contributors as of now, it appears that it will extend five to six weeks and maybe longer.
This series is going to delve deeper into your actual identity in Christ. I know that I have discussed this topic quite a bit, but never in such detail. Now, there is no way for me to possibly describe all the facets of our identity all alone. So, I have asked a few brothers and sisters to contribute to the series. Unlike the last series on this blog, What I’ve Learned in Organic Church, all of the posts will remain here on this site (so no need to hop from blog to blog or try to figure out where the next post will be).
I will be posting each part of the series between Tuesday and Thursday of each week. So, most likely there will be two new posts per week. I may or may not be writing different unrelated posts in between the series’ posts.
The contributors (list subject to change at any time) are:
And possibly more…
An example of different topics that will be discussed are Accepted, Free, etc.
Below is the first installment to the series. I can’t wait to see what the others have ready for us!
There are some circles in Christendom that believe that only God is holy and that me and you are not. That train of thought leads to the belief that you and I are dirty, stained with sin, and contaminated until we go to heaven. It also leads us to believe that we can only ‘gain’ holiness through our acts and non-acts. Like if we don’t sin too much, we are holy; or, if we do a bunch of spiritual activities and are on our best behavior then we are becoming more like God.
However, according to Scripture, this is a wrong view of things.
The New Testament is covered in a specific word that most overlook or misread. This word is often skipped over in our reading of the Bible yet it contains a single, most precious truth! That word is ‘Saints’.
“To the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throughout Achaia…” (2 Corinthians 1:1b)
“To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus…” (Ephesians 1:1b)
“To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi…” (Philippians 1:1b)
“All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.” (Philippians 4:22)
And so on, and so forth.
Okay, so a quick scan of your New Testament (and Old in places, especially Psalms) will lead you to see that this word is littered throughout Scripture. I’m sure many of you know what this words means, but I’ll go ahead and define it anyhow. It means, ‘Holy Ones’, literally.
What a phrase! We must remember that when Paul used this word, he was saying it to churches that were having issues or dealing with sin. Especially Corinthians! Just read both of the first and second epistles and you will quickly realize that that church was dealing with sin issues that many of us never even hear of! Yet Paul still titled them as ‘Holy Ones’.
So What Does that Mean Today?
What that means is this: If you have truly accepted Christ into your heart you have been made holy, clean, ‘set apart’ (the definition of Holy), and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. However, you have not been made holy on your own doing or merit, or even your good works. You have been made holy because Christ is holy and He now lives inside of you.
Now I know we’ve all heard some of these things before, that because Christ died on the cross we are now clean. But I don’t feel as though we’ve actually fully understood the implications of that. Maybe for some (for me at one point), it is just a phrase, a doctrine, or something that is coming in the future.
It isn’t just a doctrine or a future event, though—not at all. It’s right now. Again, right now, this very moment, you are holy. Not in a theoretical way but in an actual way. Take thirty seconds to dwell on that for a moment. Picture yourself, right now, as being holy and clean—being with God, not separated from Him by some of your actions. Read no further until you do that…
I’m going to say something that you may not believe, but I hope you will take it before Christ and seriously consider its implications…
No matter what you do or don’t do, you are just as holy as you were the first day you believed in Christ; just as clean as you were before your birth; just as clean as you were after baptism! That means that ‘big sin’ you committed that one time, either before or after your deliverance, has been washed by the blood of the Lamb. That thing you regret most that won’t leave your memory no matter how hard you try has been wiped clear from your history in the sight of God.
Maybe you did something bad recently and you’re having a hard time dealing with the guilt of that action. Even that, you are holy. Clean as the clearest glass.
The Issue of Sin
I don’t wish to get into this too much here, but I feel that I need to clarify a few things before closing.
We are in fact holy. BUT, that doesn’t give us a license to sin, nor does it remove us from receiving discipline from God. Read the book of James, for instance. However, I believe that the discipline of God isn’t a guilt trip. In fact, I think that His discipline is something altogether ‘other’ than what you and I can imagine. It is deeper and more effective than even the discipline a child receives from his parents. But I do know that shame and guilt are not part of that.
Remorse is something completely different than guilt, but we’ll save that for a different day.
We do live in a world full of sin and evil. One cannot go anywhere without somehow being affected by it. This is why Jesus said to Peter, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean…” (John 13:10) when Peter refused to let Jesus wash his feet but then declared that he wanted his entire body washed, also.
As Jesus said himself, “You are clean…” so it is. That’s quite another statement! So we are clean, though we need our feet washed at times, which only Jesus can do and He’s obviously more than willing to do so.
No matter how you feel or what you’ve done, if you have truly been saved, you are holy.