4.19.2015

who we are

A few weeks ago (or has it been months already?), I wrote a post about what I call “Identity Lists.” The main one I had written and worked on was listing everything Scripture says that the LORD God is. If I find a verse that says “The Lord is my banner,” then my banner goes on the list. If I see, “God is the father of the fatherless,” then the father of the fatherless gets written. If my reading comes across a phrase that says “The Lord is the living God,” then the living God is written on the list. Writing every reference I found was not only causing me to read Scripture differently, but left me with a list pages long of beautiful characteristics of God to remind myself of. I decided to start other lists for “Jesus is,” “The Holy Spirit is,” and “Believers are.” Bits of them are on my previously written post.

But as I read through the New Testament last time, having a “Believers are” list simply wasn’t enough. SO many incredible statements regarding who we are in Christ are phrased in the past tense, things like “you have been saved,” or “You have obtained access by faith…” So as I started the New Testament again two weeks ago on Easter, I started with two new lists: “Believers have,” and “Believers have been.” I’m only in Ephesians, but here are some of the things I’ve already found. Read this and know that if you have believed in Jesus, these are all true about you. Listen for His still, small voice to speak to you as you read these words. The statements that make you think, “No, that’s not true about me,” those are the ones the enemy most wants you to deny. Believe everything that God has said about you. Remember, these are all true about you not because of anything you’ve done, but because of Jesus’ sufficient sacrifice. So when He says this is true of you, He means it.

Believers are:
John 1 – children of God
John 3 – not condemned
John 15 – the branches, not of this world
John 18 – of the truth
John 20 – blessed
Romans 1 – called to belong to Jesus Christ, love by God, called to be His saints, brothers and sisters
Romans 3 – justified by His grace as a gift
Romans 5 - reconciled
Romans 6 – dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus, not under the law, but under grace, slaves of righteousness, slaves of God,
Romans 7 – released from the law
Romans 8 - not in the flesh, in the Spirit, sons of God, children of God, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, called according to His purpose
Romans 9 – vessels of mercy, my people, beloved, sons of the living God
Romans 12 – one body in Christ, and individually members of one another
Romans 14 – the Lord’s
1 Corinthians 1 – called to be saints, called into the fellowship of His Son, in Christ Jesus
1 Corinthians 3 – God’s temple, Christ’s
1 Corinthians 4 – servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God
1 Corinthians 6 – not their own, bought with a price
2 Corinthians 3 – God’s field, God’s building, Christ’s
2 Corinthians 5 – a building from God
2 Corinthians 6 – the temple of the living God
Galatians 3 – no longer under a guardian, all sons of God, all one in Christ Jesus, Christ’s, Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise
Ephesians 2 – no longer strangers and aliens
Colossians 1 – holy, blameless, above reproach before Him

Believers have:
Romans 5 – obtained access by faith into this grace
Romans 6 – died with Christ, become obedient
Romans 7 – died to the law
Romans 8 – received the Spirit of adoption, the first-fruits of the Spirit
1 Corinthians 2 – received not the Spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, the mind of Christ
Ephesians 1 – redemption, forgiveness, obtained an inheritance
Ephesians 2 – access in one Spirit to the Father
Ephesians 3 – boldness and access with confidence through our faith in Jesus

Believers have been:
Romans 5 – justified by faith, justified by His blood
Romans 6 – baptized into His death, buried with Him, united with Him in a death like His, set free from sin, brought from death to life, set free from sin, set free from sin (yes, three times in one chapter)
1 Corinthians 6 – sanctified, justified
1 Corinthians 13 – fully known
Ephesians 1 – predestined
Ephesians 2 – saved, raised up with Him and seated with Him in the heavenly places with Christ Jesus, saved through faith, brought near

P.S. – In the past two weeks of writing these lists, many things have stood out to me, but perhaps my favorite have been these:

1. From 1 Corinthians 13 – “I have been fully known.” Just pondering what it means that God has intentionally “fully known” me, because He wants to. And loves me on top of it!

2. Ephesians 1:19-20 says, “…His great might that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the head and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places…” We read that almost without a second thought. I mean, it makes sense that Jesus would be raised from the dead and seated in heaven, right? But do we think the same way of ourselves? Because just a few verses later, in 2:5-6, we read, “… when we were dead in our trespasses, [He] made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved - and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…” So think about that! We have already (as in, past-tense) been raised out of our dead, former selves. We have already been seated in the heavenly places with Jesus (meaning, at the right hand of God). And if we believe Scripture, it means that we are there are this very moment. We are simultaneously with the Father and living through Him here. I’m still learning what that all really means, but I can’t wait for Him to show it to me!

Believer, you are loved.

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