Featured image for “Identity in Christ Part 13”

My New Identity in Christ


There are only two possible spiritual identities – “in Adam” or “in Christ”. We are all born onto planet​​ Earth​​ “in Adam” and we can all be born again “in Christ”.​​ It is our spirit that​​ ultimately determines our identity.​​ Read​​ God’s Design for Man​​ for a better understanding of this.​​ 

Recall,​​ we are all born separated from the life of God because of Adam’s sin in the garden​​ (You may want to go back and review​​ Part 3​​ in this series).​​ The moment​​ we receive Christ by faith, we are​​ baptized into​​ his​​ death, burial, and resurrection.​​ (Rom. 6:1-6)​​ This is a spiritual baptism (no water in sight).​​ What this means is that our​​ old​​ human​​ spirit​​ along with its sinful​​ nature​​ is crucified​​ and​​ buried​​ with Christ (Gal. 2:20).​​ It’s​​ gone forever!​​ We​​ are also resurrected​​ (born again)​​ with a new spirit that is​​ permanently​​ joined with​​ Christ’s spirit​​ who​​ now lives in us (1 Cor. 6:17).​​ Thus,​​ our​​ new​​ identity is​​ said to be, “in Christ”, i.e., “in union with Christ”.​​ ​​ As a result of our new spiritual birth and union with Christ, we​​ become​​ something/someone we were not before; we become​​ a new creation!​​ 


Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.​​ 2 Corinthians 5.17 (ESV)


In Union with Christ’s Life


To better​​ help you understand this union we have with Christ, let’s take a closer look at​​ Romans 6.5. ​​ -​​ For​​ if​​ we have become united with​​ Him​​ in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be​​ in the likeness​​ of His resurrection,”.​​ 

“have become”​​ -​​ speaks of a past​​ completed action​​ with a​​ permanent​​ result.​​ 

The​​ word​​ “united”​​ literally means “planted together” or​​ “to make to grow together”.​​ Consider the following example​​ of grafting a tree branch​​ -​​ 

Suppose you take a​​ peach tree limb off a peach tree and attach (unite)​​ it​​ to a nectarine tree. At that point, there is no more “peach tree life” flowing to that peach tree​​ limb. It now has​​ a​​ new source of life​​ which comes​​ from the nectarine tree. This new life​​ flows up from the roots of the nectarine tree and into the grafted peach tree limb.​​ 

And so it is with us when we receive Christ.​​ He becomes our new source of life.​​ (Col. 3:4; Gal. 2:20)​​ Read my commentary on​​ Romans 6​​ for a better understanding​​ of this.​​ 

It has always been God’s plan to restore his life​​ and​​ thus,​​ his image​​ within​​ mankind.​​ He chose to do this through his beloved Son, Jesus.​​ ​​ (Gen. 3:14-15;​​ John 3:16;​​ Rom. 5:18;​​ 2 Cor. 4:4; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3)


United​​ but​​ Distinct


Although our new human spirit is​​ united​​ with Christ’s spirit, we are not Christ!​​ We​​ are​​ still​​ human​​ and distinct from Christ.​​ A great example is the marriage of a man and​​ a​​ woman.​​ We are told in scripture that​​ it​​ is a picture of Christ and the church​​ (Eph. 5:22-32). In a marriage,​​ the man and woman become “one flesh” (Gen. 2:24; Eph. 5:31), but​​ remain distinct individuals.​​ 



The Real Deal


Our union with Christ is​​ a real union. It is not​​ “just positional”​​ as some​​ might​​ suggest. It is not “just how God sees us” or​​ “just in a legal sense”​​ that we are united with Christ.​​ Perhaps the best evidence for this is seen as we surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit. This allows​​ the life of Christ​​ to be​​ manifest through our unique personality, resulting in​​ a supernatural life that could never be achieved by man’s​​ self-effort (flesh)​​ or explained by man’s “wisdom”!

So, please don’t think of​​ Christ Jesus as​​ being far away,​​ but think of his spirit being within you, united with your spirit.

Remember -​​ Our identity is based on our birth, not our behavior. We were born a sinner in Adam. We are born again,​​ a saint in Christ.​​ 


How do you see yourself?​​ Do you see yourself as God sees you?​​ Don’t be​​ deceived into believing that​​ you​​ obtain​​ your identity by​​ your​​ performance.​​ When you know and understand who you are, your performance will naturally flow from​​ your true identity.


Know this -​​ You cannot​​ consistently​​ behave in a manner inconsistent with how you see yourself!​​ I often hear people say,​​ “You​​ just​​ need to have a positive self-image”. We don’t need a positive self-image;​​ we need a​​ proper self-image. You are a child of the Most High God. Live accordingly!


Scripture References –​​ John 3;​​ 15; Romans​​ 6;​​ 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27-28.​​ 


There is much more that comes with our new identity in Christ. I had originally planned to list those things here but decided to list and discuss them over the next several weeks in a new series entitled,​​ A New Creation in Christ. I hope you will join us.​​ 


Back​​ Next​​ –​​ A New Creation in​​ Christ