Sunday, 12 June 2016

Who we are in Christ [introduction] ~ Ganeida

Over the next few weeks we will be looking at
who we are in Christ. My prayer for you would be that as we work through what the scriptures say that you get a revelation in your spirit by the power of the Holy Spirit & that this revelation will completely silence satan’s accusations.

In Genesis 1:26 *God says Let us make man in our image.*  We know the word used for God is a plurality ~ Elohim.  Our doctrine teaches us that God is a trinity, 3 in 1: Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Man as made in God’s image is also a trinity: body, soul, spirit. We know this from 1 Thessalonians 5:23 I pray God your whole spirit & soul & body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ & Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick & powerful, & sharper than any 2 edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul & spirit, & of the joints & marrow, & is a discerner of the thoughts & intents of the heart.

God created man from the dust of the ground, Then He breathed the breath of life into the man's nostrils, and the man became a living person. [Gen 2:7]

From the very beginning man’s soul was a separate entity to his body.  It is the soul that gives physical life, but it is by the Spirit we live spiritually. When we are born again by the Spirit of God we become a new creation 2Cor 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

We do not have the new body. If you had red hair before you were saved you will still have red hair.  If you were bald you will still be bald.  It is not the soul that is renewed. Scripture says we must renew our souls: James 1:21 (ASV 1901) Wherefore putting away all filthiness and overflowing of wickedness, receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

It is our spirit that is a new creation, able to love & obey the Lord. This is a free gift of God & requires nothing of us except that we believe in faith & confess Christ as Lord. In fact God’s Holy Spirit even helps us with that!

Acts 16:30-31 (KJV) (30) And (the Philippian jailer) brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Why is this important?  Because it is the implanted word of God that saves our souls. James 1:21

The Greek word is emphytos & can mean engrafted, that which replaces the old nature by stripping away the original & allowing the root to only feed from the new source. In this way a new plant is grown from an old one. If you allow shoots to sprout below the graft, that is from the old nature, eventually the plant will revert to its original form.  So it is with us.

Now, you must understand that anything that satan has once had a hold on he is reluctant to let go of, so even though you are saved he will do his very, very best to convince you that you are not worthy, not forgiven, not acceptable etc & so long as we believe his lies he has a foothold in our lives from whence he can render us ineffective for the Kingdom of God.  In fact, this is the state of the majority of Christians.
We have not been given a spirit of fear. 2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. We have God’s spirit residing in us.  Therefore we have access to courage, power, love & self~control via the Spirit. This is what God says about us but of course satan doesn’t want us to be brave, powerful, loving & self~controlled. We might actually start doing what Jesus asked us to do: preach & teach, heal & cast out demons. So he tempts us so we lose control, whispers in our ears that we can’t do this that or the other, tells us we’ve sinned too much so God can’t use us, makes sure the most unlovable people cross our paths.

So let’s get something straight.  Moses was a murderer; God chose him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt & it was to Moses the Law was given.  David was an adulterer as well as a murderer yet God declared him a man after His own heart & from his lineage came the messiah. Rahab was a prostitute; God chose her to harbour spies & not only did she save herself & her entire family she is one of 5 women mentioned in Jesus lineage. Actually most of the women mentioned there have shonky pasts. So you see your past does not define you in God’s eyes.  It does not limit you. It is satan who will do that for it is satan who comes to kill, to steal & to destroy. John 10:10

Ezekiel 36:26 says
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.
If you are born again God has changed your heart, the heart that was in rebellion against Him, & transformed it into a heart that desires to obey & please God.
 However~ your heart, or your inner spirit, is only one third of your total. You still have your flesh & your soul in the same state they were in before you got saved. This is why so many Christians struggle with a besetting sin.  They think God’s going to do all the work for them when clearly this is not what scripture teaches.

Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. James 1:14/15

Sin begins in the mind but if allowed to grow unrestrainedly it leads to actions that eventually lead to death. James 4:7says,Resist the devil and he will flee from you”.  A lot of our battles are won or lost in our minds.  The mind is so powerful that we are instructed in  Romans 12:2 to:

 Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

What has all this to do with who we are in Christ? All of it is to do with our thought patterns.  What rattles round in our heads day after day becomes what we think about ourselves & what we think about ourselves becomes who we are.

God is very clear about how we ought to think.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing: Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8

God is holy so he’s not going to ever be thinking the way satan thinks, or the way we think when we allow satan to influence our thinking.  Allowing our minds to be transformed by the washing of the word [Eph 5:26]is our greatest defence against satan & all his wiles. Without it we will revert to behaving just like unsaved people do & thinking as the world thinks.
 Romans tells us that the renewing of our minds allows us to discern the will of God, what is good, acceptable, perfect or as Joshua 1:8 puts it when we meditate on the word & speak the word: then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, & then thou shalt have good success

Part of being a doer of the word, as James says, is meditating on that word & then implementing that word in our lives. The bible has a lot to say about who we are in Christ once we become born again, spirit~filled believers.

The first thing I want to mention is found in Romans 8:1 
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

So many of us need a revelation in our Spirits of Isaiah 43:25: I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, & will not remember thy sins… or if you want it in the N.T Acts 3:19

 Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Once we have repented & turned to God our sins are wiped away.  Do not give satan a foothold by allowing him to drag up your past. The old life is gone; a new one has begun 2 Cor 5:17

The second thing is John 1:12 

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

You are a child of God.  Family. 1 Corinthians 6:17 for

he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.  Thus we can claim Galatians 4:6 

And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

If we are family then Romans 8:17 applies:

And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

It is true God loves the whole world [John 3:16] but family is special.  Family has a special place.  Family has privileges. Family has rights & responsibilities. Family has a special claim on God & His promises.

God does things for us but there are some things He wants us to do for ourselves.  He will help us but He wants us to know how to fight the enemy for ourselves because the enemy is already defeated.  If we allow him any victories in our lives he will grow stronger.  His voice will grow louder in our lives & over time it will drown out the voice of God.

I can’t stress enough that we must know what the word says.  We must know the truth because it is the Truth that sets us free. The word is our primary weapon against satan.  The word is our primary defence against attacks on our minds.

 Look at 2 Corinthians 10:4~5 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ… Simply put, if you don’t know what God has said you can’t know when an opinion or argument contravenes God’s & you can hardly make every thought captive to Christ.

Knowing the word makes all the difference.  If you know the word says you are forgiven & that God no longer remembers your iniquity then you will not allow satan to drag up your past.  Quote the scriptures out loud. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat until every time satan drags up an accusation you can counter with the word of God.  Satan is a liar. John 8:44 He will lie to you.  He will lie about you.  He will accuse you before the Father. Revelation 12:10 If you know you are a child of God & co~heir with Christ it is easier to believe you have the power & authority to deal with all satan’s attacks & walk in victory because Christ has already overcome your circumstances, 1 John 16:33.  Scripture is not a collection of pretty words to offer comfort.  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

The word is living & active.  That means it has the power to change us. It corrects wrong thinking, wrong believing, wrong action by showing us what God, thinks, & believes & how He acts towards us.

There is a trend in the world at present for tattooing the names of children & lovers on the body. When the lover changes people are eager to get rid of the tattoo but God is not changeable like people are.  Isaiah 49:16 is variously translated as See, I have tattooed your name upon my palm[TLB]; See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands[NLT]; Behold,  I have engraved you on the palms of my hands[ESV] ~ but the meaning is clear.  Those who are beloved of the Lord are never forgotten, not even for a moment. Meditate on the fact that God loves you so dearly he paid the ultimate price that for you & Hebrews 13:5 become a living reality for us for: He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  John 14:1 Jesus said: Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

The instruction is simple.  We are to believe what Jesus says, & that includes what he says about us.  What do you believe about yourself?  Does it line up with scripture?  If not, immerse yourself in the word & allow it to transform your mind!

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