Pastor Ryan’s first message for the short series, The Beautiful Journey, was dynamic, enriching, and so Gospel-centered. It was very refreshing to hear about God’s grace filling our lives as we journey in Christ through life. One of the points that struck me was to be reminded that our identity is not merely that we have righteousness of Christ, but that when we trust in Christ we are made righteous in Christ. Our identity is not in the old life of the sin nature, but is in the new life of Christ’s righteous nature. We are not only declared righteous, but we are being made righteous. That is the identity we have now, and that identity is what is so essential in life’s journey; the journey God makes beautiful.
So, tagging along with such good news, here are a few more things you have in Christ. Be encouraged. Take hold of this new identity you have in Christ alone so you can relish in the Lord and delight in his beautiful journey.
When you trust and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ he changes your position before God and also changes your very person, your identity in life. Here is what Jesus Christ has done:
* You have been transplanted out of kingdom of darkness and placed into kingdom of Light.
(1 Peter 2:9-10; Col. 1:12-13; Eph. 2:1-2; 1 John 5:19; Eph. 6:10-12; 1 Thess. 2:12; 2 Pet.1:11)
* You have access to God and are recipients of His grace, mercy, love, peace
(1 Cor. 2:10; 2 Cor. 3:18; 13:13-14; Eph. 2:8; Rom. 5:2; 2 Pet. 3:18; Heb. 4:16; 10:19-20)
* You are now adopted as children of God. You are in God’s family and share God’s family name!
Meditate on these statements:
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13)
…just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will (Ephesians 1:4-5)
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19)
(John 1:12; Eph. 1:4-5; 2:19; Rom. 8:23; 9:4; 1 Cor. 3:1; Gal. 6:10; Eph. 1:4-5; 2 Tim. 2:19-21)
* He has brought you near to him. In other words, you are now able to have fellowship with the almighty, eternal, and living God!
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13)
(Eph. 2:13; Jas. 4:8; Heb. 10:22; Jn. 1:3)
* You are kept secure in Christ all the way into eternity
(1 Peter 1:3-5)
* You have been, are being and forever will be saved or redeemed by Christ
Redeemed out of the slave market of world, flesh, devil (Luke 1:57-79; Gal. 4:4-6; Rev. 5:9-10) and reconciled to God with forever peace (Rom. 5:10; 2 Cor. 5:17-21)
* You are given God’s Holy Spirit who places you in Christ
What the Holy Spirit does in your life is to give you R.I.B.S. This means, he Regenerate you (brings you back from spiritual death and gives you life), Indwells you, Baptizes you, and Seals you. The Holy Spirit also fills you with himself and gives you special gifts to love and serve God and others.
(Jn 3:6ff; 7:39; Rom. 5:5; 6; 8:9, 23; 1 Cor. 12:13; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 1:14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Jn 2:27; 3:24)
* You inherit all things in Christ!
This is incredible to think about. First, you have Christ’s inheritance. What the Father God has given to him is now also yours (Eph. 1:18; Jn. 17:22; Rom. 8:30; Col. 3:4; Eph. 1:6).
Ephesians 1:18 says, “…may the eyes of your understanding be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.”
You have that inheritance now, but you will also receive the full amount in the future. What’s in this inheritance is not completely revealed to us, but it is certainly something we will claim in heaven. What we do know is that this inheritance cannot be corrupted, defiled, will never fade away, and will always be reserved for you (1 Pet. 1:4; Eph. 1:14; Co. 3:24; Heb. 9:15).
But even more mind-blowing is that you are Christ’s inheritance. You are what God gives to His Son (Psa. 2:6-9; John 3:16; 17:11)!
When Jesus had a special time in prayer with the Father and was praying for his present and future people he said, “Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to you. Holy Father, keep them through your name those you have given to me, that they may be one as we are one (John 17:11)
* You are also vitally united to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Our triune God has you and you have God (1 Thess. 1:1; Eph. 4:6; Rom. 8:1; Jn. 14:20; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 2:12).
* You are in fellowship with saints as a new and holy nation, a special people, with heavenly citizenship
(Lk. 10:20; Jn 17:11-23; 2 Cor. 5:8, 20; Eph. 2:19; 4:1-3; Phil. 3:20; Heb. 12:22; 1 Pet. 2:9-11; Ti.2:14)
You have new life in Christ! You share with Jesus, his
• life (Col. 1:27; 3:4; 1 John 5:11-12)
• position (Col. 3:1; Eph. 2:6)
• service (1 Cor. 1:9; 2 Cor. 3:6; 6:1-4, 14; 15:57f)
• suffering (2 Tim. 2:12; Phil 1:29; 1 Pet. 4:12-13; Col. 1;24; Rom. 5:5; 8:18; 9:1-3; 1 Thess. 3:3; Gal. 5:22)
* Finally, you are being glorified in Christ.
To be glorified is to share in the radiant beauty of our holy God. It is to own and reflect some and certain qualities of his divine nature. God is not waiting until he brings you to heaven to glorify you. He is making you glorious now. You are glorious in Christ!
(Rom. 4:17; 8:16-18, 30; 1 Cor. 15:22; Col. 3:4; 2 Peter 1:1-11)
Your bags are packed. You’re ready to go.
Yes, if you truly trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior you are given Christ’s righteousness and are made righteous in him. That’s your position before a holy God and your condition in our perfect Lord. Packed in with this righteousness are so many of the additional things we have seen above. The journey you have in life is beautiful because of all that God has for you. The realization of just how beautiful that journey is comes by personally owning the reality of it. Christ has packed your bags full. He has prepped your vehicle. All you need to do is take hold of this new identity, accept what he’s given to you in Christ and relish in his beautiful journey.