Christian Identity and Purpose
When God mercifully and graciously transfers one of His elect, redeemed from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Col 1:13), she is said to have been baptized into Christ (Rom 6:3). This is spiritual re-positioning. A new identity and purpose are generated in this new creation.
The effect of God reconciling a sinner to Himself, in Christ, is a mutual indwelling. The Christian is in Christ (Eph 2:4–6), and Christ indwells the Christian (Rom 8:9, 11; Gal 2:20). This is union with Christ (1 Jn 4:13).
Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “But now God has placed the members, each one of them in the body, just as He desired (1 Cor 12:18).” He is referring to the body of Christ, which is His church (Eph 5:23; Col 1:18, 24). There is one church, be it in history, today, or in the future. The Lord knows those who are His (2 Tim 2:19).
The many members of Christ’s body have been brought forth by the Word of truth (Jas 1:18). Again Paul wrote, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit (1 Cor 12:13).” The Spirit of truth and Word of truth give life to those whom God shows mercy (Rom 9:15).
This baptism by the Spirit into Christ, causes the one, made alive (Eph 2:5), to die to her old life in the realm of sin. We who have died to sin (Rom 6:3), we put off the old man, and put on Christ (Rom 13:14). The old things have passed away, behold, new things have come (2 Cor 5:17). Therefore, the Christian puts on the new self (Col 3:10), being renewed in his mind (Rom 12:2), day by day (2 Cor 4:16).
A new identity comes with new purpose (Gal 2:20). A new life, with Christ living in the soul, means all things become possible because Christ is the Author and Perfecter of one’s faith (Heb 12:2). He has prepared good works beforehand (Eph 2:10), and He Himself wills and works these according to His good pleasure (Phil 2:13), and in accordance with His eternal will (Eph 1:11), and for His glory.
Here is the Christian’s everlasting rest. The servant of the Lord must not strive (2 Tim 2:24) because none of us are adequate to be God’s slaves (2 Cor 3:5), but He makes us adequate, as servants of the new covenant (2 Cor 3:6). The course of every believer is sure in God’s predetermined plan (Acts 2:23).
In the body of Christ, there is the manifestation of the Spirit, in bringing forth gifts (Rom 12; 1 Cor 12; Eph 4). The gifted Christian has been made for particular ministries, for the building up of the body, Christ’s church. Serving Christ, in His wisdom and power, gives meaning to our labors, as unto the Lord (1 Thess 1:3).
Not knowing what our good works will be, nor really knowing what have been our actual good works, we are humbled (Mt 23:12). God gives grace to the humble (Jas 4:6), who respond to God’s grace with much thanksgiving. God’s working, all for good, allows us to give thanks in all things (Eph 5:20).
Seeing life from a Christian worldview, fills the believer with hope (Rom 15:13; Heb 6:11) because he sees the truth of Scripture, which illumines the tragedy of this present world of darkness. Whereas love for darkness and the things of the world used to dominate a person (Jn 3:19), she now sets her mind on the things above (Col 3:2). The lusts of the past are replaced by holy things, taught by the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:26). The result is holy conduct and godliness (2 Pet 3:11).
This is the victorious Christian life (1 Jn 5:4), lived by faith in Christ (Gal 2:20), who accomplishes all things concerning us (Ps 57:2; 138:8). It is an abundant life of God’s grace, ever assuring God’s chosen people of His everlasting love that endures forever (Jer 31:3).
Christian, because you are not yet home, you feel the weight of affliction (Col 1:24). This, too, is God’s way. We suffer in a myriad of ways, all of which drive our affections out of this world. We long for the world to come (Rev 21–22). This is your increasing desire for heaven (Col 1:23), where Christ is seated in glory and majesty (Eph 2:6). There is an inheritance for you in a far away land (Heb 11:16), for which you have been made privy. It is reserved for you (1 Pet 1:4), and it awaits your arrival in the presence of the Lord. You are an heir of God and a co-heir with Christ (Rom 8:17).
It is always important, to hold to blessed assurance in these matters (Rom 5–8) because the devil hates the joy of the Lord in you. It exposes his pathetic lies and fabricated happiness in this world of sin. His promises are always empty.
The Christian life begins when the Holy Spirit baptizes you into Christ (Rom 6:3), and coincidentally, when you are baptized with the Holy Spirit, Himself (Mt 3:11; Acts 2:38; 10:47). He has promised to never leave you, nor forsake you (Heb 13:5), and His ongoing presence and work is evident in you. He has given you gifts (Eph 4:8), and He is producing fruit (Gal 5:22–23). He is directing your steps (Prv 3:5–6), and guiding you into all truth (Jn 16:13). He is causing you to walk in His statutes (Ezek 36:27), so you might know more of the covenant way of grace (Ps 25:14).
How then should you live? Always remember, it is by faith (Hab 2:4), therefore, you are trusting in His providence and grace, for the working of His will, to be done (Rom 9:19). Never forget that He is with you, even in you, and for you, to give you the most assured future imaginable. You are strengthened in faith, by your exposure to the truth, which is God’s Word (Ps 119:160).
As He gives you greater desire for His Word, you will grow in grace and knowledge of Christ (2 Pet 3:18), who is the way, the truth, and the life (Jn 14:6). When you feel distant, distracted, or dirtied by sin, then, call upon the name of the Lord Jesus (Joel 2:32), who died for us (1 Thess 5:10).
The promises of God are all “yes” and “amen” in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 1:20), who is our all in all because He is, Lord of all (Acts 17:24), who provides the way into His kingdom (2 Pet 1:11), and who sustains you in every way (Heb 1:3). Trust Him, who gives you identity and purpose.
July 29, 2022