Let’s look at 5 keys to anchoring our identity in Christ.
This is the 5th post in a series titled “Set the Captives Free.” We’ve been looking at how we can walk in the freedom that Jesus died to give us. Life is hard when we live in our own strength and when we focus on ourselves and our problems. But when we live in Christ and set our focus on Him, we can rest, have peace and enjoy life. He did all the work for us to live victorious lives.
6 Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, 7 so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. 9 Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
In Christ alone we find our salvation. When we remain in Christ, He will take care of us. In the Scripture above, Jesus uses an illustration of the shepherd and his sheep. Sheep follow their shepherd because they know his voice which brings us to the first key to anchoring our identity in Christ Jesus.
Key #1 – Know His voice.
As we dig into the Bible, we will gain knowledge and understanding. When we read the Word, God will give us revelation and understanding and plant it in our hearts. When we know the Word, we will not be led astray by the enemy whose main purpose in life is to steal, kill and destroy. The enemy wants to keep us in bondage of regret, fear, shame and anything else you can think of that keeps us locked up inside. When we are in bondage, our focus is inward making it impossible to see all those around us who are desperately in need of Jesus.
In the book of John, we see that Jesus Christ is the Word. Pause just one minute and think about what this means. When we dig into the Word, we are digging into Jesus. The more we read the Word, the more we get to know who Jesus Christ really is and the more permanently etched His voice within us becomes.
In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.
3 God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.
And John goes on to tell us that the Word lived among us.
14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
God’s ways are so much higher than our ways.
Not only do we have an incredible book of instruction for all areas of our life, but the Word is the very heartbeat of Jesus Christ. This book reveals to us Jesus from Genesis to Revelation. Reading the Word is how we learn to hear His voice. When you read the Word, start looking for Jesus in every single book and chapter. You will find Him throughout. It truly is amazing grace!
Key #2 – Know that He is in us.
13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God.
1 John 4:13-15
God has given us His Spirit to live within us. When we declare Jesus Christ is the Son of God, we have His very Spirit living within us to guide us and teach us and comfort us. It is the Holy Spirit within who gives us the revelation of the Word. He opens it up in our hearts and allows it to take root within us.
If you are interested in learning more about the Holy Spirit, you can click this link to receive a free e-book that I’ve written titled “Holy Spirit – True Transformation”.
Key #3 – Know that we are in Him.
Key #2 is that Christ is in us. Key #3 is that we are in Christ. We are protected from the inside out.
All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.
1 Corinthians 12:27
Christ is the Head of the Body and we are the Body. Together we are the Church. This is a powerful truth. The Church is not four walls and a steeple. It is a living, moving, breathing, active Body of believers who are tucked away in all corners of the world to share the light and love of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit within us gives us the boldness to proclaim His name.
Key #4 – Know how He is, we are right now.
Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.
1 John 4:17 (NKJV)
As He is, so are we. Repeat a few more times. As He is, so are we. And how is He? In the verse right before this verse we see that God is love. It goes on to say that perfect love casts out all fear. There is no fear in Christ. There is no condemnation in Christ. Only love. How He is, so are we!
God is love ~ 1 John 4:16 ~ We are love.
He is the light of the world ~ John 8:12 ~ We are the light.
Key #5 – Know we are free from our past.
The final key we’ll look at in this post is that we are no longer defined by our past. When Christ died on the cross, He redeemed our past so we no longer have any legal ownership of it!
So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you— 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Peter,[f] or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, 23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
1 Corinthians 3:21-23
Paul tells us what belongs to us and he specifically mentions the present and the future. Take note that he does not mention the past. We do not own our past. When we allow things in our past to tie us down in regret, shame, fear, condemnation or the like we are perverting the work that Jesus did on the cross. The only way we can look at our past is through the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ. To look at it any other way is to view it in a distorted manner which leads us to distorted beliefs. Put the past in the past and let it stay there.
If you would like to read the past posts in this series, here are the links:
- Set the Captives Free – Be Free Today!
- Knowing God
- Knowing God’s Great Love for You
- Knowing the Finished Work of the Cross
The next post, and last post, in this series will help us understand what is next in our walk. We’ll talk about our assignment in Christ.
Here is my prayer for all of us:
Thank You for Your written Word which became flesh to live among us. Thank You for the Word being alive and active in our lives. As we read Your Word, please give each of us discernment and knowledge. Help us tuck it away in our hearts so that we can stand strong against the enemy. We thank You for Jesus Christ. We thank You for Your ways being so much higher than our ways. Help each of us fully realize that You are in us and we are in You. For this and for so much more we are forever grateful and humbled. In Jesus’ name, we pray.
Stay in the Light and the Love Always,