This morning as I sit around the camp fire warming my self as the dawn sun rises and people stir; I ponder over my thoughts of the identity I have with Christ and what this truly means in my life.
We all can identify with certain troubles, situations and lifestyles of others only to the degree where we have been through or you might say, are going through. We all have heard people respond to others with the statement; I know what you are go through!
Yes, when we have been there or you might say are going through those tough or troubled times and situations in life we can identify with them in their times of hardships.
We all can identify with sin in our lives at one time or another; for we all were born into sin and sin had control over us in one way or another, be it in our thoughts, mind, spirit or body.
Yes, we can identify with sin at one time or another for we all have sinned and have come short of God.
But I have good news…we don’t have to stay there, in the bondage and entrappment of sin, for God made a way that we can identify with the freedom found in Christ Jesus. Yes, we can be made right, or you might say live in the righteousness that God had planned for mankind and that is through the identification of Christ in us.
Let’s look into a few ways to Identify ourselves with Christ. Identification with Chtist simply means you no longer desire to take part in the worldly, carnal ways of life. Your thoughts, mind, spirit and soul is spiritually directed toward Christ and His Kingdom.i
We will identify with Christ inwardly, eventually showing an outwardly expression of Christ in us through our attitudes, emotions and lifestyle. We will become as one with Christ. You might say, partners in Christ Jesus for the Gospel sake.
1. By making proper confession of sins… I would consider the first and most important recognition is that Christ died on the cross to make amends for our sins and bring us into right standing with God and that our sins were actually carried by Him. 1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.
2. By crucifying the old man…the old man is the spirit of the devil working in us before we are saved…Recognize that we are freed from him and we no longer obey him in any respect. We must consider ourselves dead to him and that he is dead to us. Holiness and purity must become our lifestyle.
- Ephesians 4:27 for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil.
- Ephesians 5:10-18 (10-13) Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But when the light shines on them, it becomes clear how evil these things are. And where your light shines, it will expose their evil deeds.
- James 4:7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.
- 1 Peter 5:8-9 Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.
- Romans 6:1-14 (1-4) Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more kindness and forgiveness? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we became Christians and were baptized to become one with Christ Jesus, we died with him? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
3. By Faith in Christ…faith in His name…you might say, through the person of Jesus there is power. Knowing Jesus as your Savior gives us the right to us His name.
- Acts 3:16 “The name of Jesus has healed this man-and you know how lame he was before. Faith in Jesus’ name has caused this healing before your very eyes.
- Acts 4:12 There is salvation in no one else! There is no other name in all of heaven for people to call on to save them.”
4. Faith in Jesus and the sacrificing of his life for us. Yes, do you know His blood was shed for you, for me…
- Romans 3:24-25 Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us. God was being entirely fair and just when he did not punish those who sinned in former times.
5. By Walking in the light…But if we walk in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us FROM ALL SIN. This is probably one of the very keys that will keep us in the Christian Faith…that of Walking in the light, applying the teachings of Christ in our everyday lives, yes, walking in this truth.
- John 1:7-9 to tell everyone about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was only a witness to the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was going to come into the world.
6. As we get to know the truth of the Gospel, we accept it, obey it and it makes us free. John 8:31-32 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
7. That of growing in grace and in the knowledge of God.
- 2 Peter 1:4-10 (1-6) And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature. So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better. Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness.
8. By taking up our cross daily to follow Christ…this is forsaking all that the gospel requires to give up…dead to self…death to our own ways… and loving the Lord with all our heart and soul.
- Matthew 19:27-30 Then Peter said to him, “We’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get out of it?” And Jesus replied, “I assure you that when I, the Son of Man, sit upon my glorious throne in the Kingdom, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will have eternal life. But many who seem to be important now will be the least important then, and those who are considered least here will be the greatest then.
- Luke 14:33 So no one can become my disciple without giving up everything for me.
- Luke 14:25-27 Great crowds were following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, “If you want to be my follower you must love me more than your own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters-yes, more than your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And you cannot be my disciple if you do not carry your own cross and follow me.
9. As one learns truth, he must conform to it daily bringing them to the meaning of life… to the will of God…all selfishness in obeying truth must be denied and the gospel must be obeyed regardless of personal interests…
- Mark 8:34-38 (34-36) Then he called his disciples and the crowds to come over and listen. “If any of you wants to be my follower,” he told them, “you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will find true life. And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process?.
- Acts 4:12 There is salvation in no one else! There is no other name in all of heaven for people to call on to save them.”
10. By walking and living in the Spirit…this means that we seek to know the will of God by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, and that we shall always follow the leading of the Spirit and reject anything in our lives that would be contrary to the Word of God and our best spiritual interests. This is putting to death all the works of the flesh and cultivating the fruit of the Spirit. Are you determined to know the will of God and follow Christ?
- Romans 8:1-8 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature. But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent his own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
11. By constant prayer, study, search, continue in and obeying the Word of God.
- Romans 10:17 Yet faith comes from listening to this message of good news-the Good News about Christ.
It will take a constant meditation in the Word of God and a cheerful obedience to it. It is by total surrendering our own will (self) meditation and study of His Word (Bible) that we get to know the fine truth and of spiritual leading of God. Men are required to study the Word…
- 2 Timothy 2:15 Work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. We are to to search the Word…
- John 5:39 “You search the Scriptures because you believe they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!
Bible study and prayer helps us stay focused and maintain our relationship with Jesus, but only thru what Jesus death on the cross and His resurrection do we have eternal life…
Yes, it is finished…but we as believers must daily, totally surrender our mind, spirit, soul and body to the way of the cross…dead to self, alive to Jesus; and as we do, we grow in the knowledge of Christ thru His Word and prayer.
We are to continually live for Christ, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide and direct our lives.
We are to continue in the Word, and will know the truth.
- John 8:31-32 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
12. We are to obey the Word…
- John 14:23-24 Jesus replied, “All those who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and live with them. Anyone who doesn’t love me will not do what I say. And remember, my words are not my own. This message is from the Father who sent me.
- Acts 5:32 We are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit, who is given by God to those who obey him.”
- Romans 1:5 Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name. We are to meditate in it day and night…
- Joshua 1:7-8 Be strong and very courageous. Obey all the laws Moses gave you. Do not turn away from them, and you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed.
13. We are promised that if the Word abides in us and we abide in Christ we can ask what we will and it shall be done.
- John 15:7 But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! It is by staying joined to Christ as stated in the above scripture, that we learn in what ways to identify ourselves with Christ and how to do it.
14. By faithfully working for God and in consecration to help others. We are saved in order for us to serve…find the most spiritual (Christ-like) church in your community, not necessarily the most popular one.
Choose a church that holds up a genuine standard of Christianity and clean holy living according to the gospel. We must be sure that we co-operate with the pastor and the program of the church in the winning of lost souls. We should attend every meeting that it is all possible for us to attend.
- Hebrews 10:25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.
We should back our pastor in prayer and be the kind of members that he can depend upon. We should get busy for God and use every opportunity we get to be a witness for Jesus either in the public or in private.
Pray constantly allowing the presence of God to flow thru you. Believe that you can have healing and health and all the things promised by God. Seek God daily to attain to these benefits with a repentant heart and your life will be blessed beyond anything that you now realize.
Yes, we can identify with God and Christ when we turn to God, and accept His Redemption plan for our lives. With this relationship comes our identity with Christ and an eternity with our Heavenly Father.
As always, Love in Christ Jesus,