Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ P41 (06-14-22)
If You Are In Christ Jesus, He Gave You His Righteousness
So many people today think that they were righteous in the sight of God before they had the Righteousness of Christ Jesus living in them. We get it in our minds that we were righteous, and simply need forgiven from time to time in order to stay righteous. Folks, that teaching is from the pit of hell. We never had righteousness before we received the righteousness of God.
Listen in as Bob teaches from the word of God in today’s lesson.
2 Corinthians 5:21
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Just as a person’s physical growth is based on proper diet and exercise, so is the Christians’s spiritual growth dependent on regular feeding upon the word of God and application of its principles. With more false teaching, shifting opinions and general confusion in the world than ever before, Christians need a solid foundation upon which to base their beliefs and build their lives. The word of God declares that Jesus Christ is that foundation of truth. With that in mind, let’s now take A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ.
As we are, studying through these different elements that are involved in this whole realm of salvation, it’s important for us to recognize the fact that all of this ties into your new identity in Christ Jesus. As we talked about last week, that unfortunately, many times in evangelical Christianity, and in theological debate, that we take individual subjects, such as reconciliation, such as sanctification, such as justification, such as glorification and all the other “ations” that we come up with; and we put them out there, kind of like they’re dangling out in space. And so we deal with them one at a time as a separate entity. And what we fail to realize is that what God did at the initiation of the New Covenant that took place at the time of Christ’s death. And that was the day in which Christ had completed His life on earth in our humanity, fulfilling the righteous requirements of the law that no human being on earth had ever fulfilled, nor ever could fulfill through a sinless life. He fulfilled the law by walking in perfect love and love is the fulfillment of the law.
And so the old Covenant that was put into effect by God given to man, totally man incapable of fulfilling it. And so He was the One came, took upon Himself our humanity and fulfilled the law. He lived a perfect life now in the fulfillment of the law. Now that old Covenant, having been fulfilled, God was now able to initiate a new Covenant. To have initiated a new Covenant, without the fulfillment of the old would have said, well I put a covenant into effect but it didn’t work so we’re just going to go to another one. But I don’t think God works that way. So what God said, Yes there’s a covenant in effect, but I am going to show all of the angelic world, I’m going to show Satan and the demonic world, that a perfect life is possible. But He did it through His Son. Now that again is where the Virgin birth is not up for grabs. When Christ was born here on this earth, that was Jesus Christ born on this earth. That was God taking upon Himself, our humanity. He was not born of human means such as you and me. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit of God. And had he come from the loins of Adam, he would have been born into this world, dead, just like you and I were born into this world, dead. And so He was born alive in all aspects, just as Adam was created alive in all aspects, and He walked on this earth in His perfect humanity and fulfilled the law. And there, He who knew no sin at the cross, then became sin for us.
Now that’s an event. Why did He do that? It tells us, so that we could be called the righteousness of God. So there’s a cause and effect for everything. And why did He go to the cross? So that we could be reconciled to God, so that we could have life in Christ Jesus. There’s always a reason for something. Now Christ went to that cross and there He reconciled us unto Himself. So that having been reconciled, there was nothing left to do, except to receive His resurrected life and to be born again, which means bringing life to the dead. Bringing something that was not into existence, as if it were. And so that’s what Christ did at the cross. Now, that was New Covenant. A new agreement between God and man went into effect on the day that Christ Jesus died, buried, resurrected. All of that event brought in, ushered in what is called a New Covenant, a new relationship between God and man. The barrier between God and man taken away, the law that separated us from God, taken away. Our sins that separated us from God taken away, not covered, not winked at; dealt with and taken away. And the case is closed.
Now, when we come to see that we today who are in Christ, have entered into that circle, if we want to look at it that way, that enclosed circle called the New Covenant. You say, well, what is in that circle? Reconciliation, total forgiveness, justification, sanctification, glorification, everything. Our entire inheritance is encompassed in that circle called the New Covenant. So, that is new life, a new creation. Outside of that circle I’m a child of Adam. Inside of that circle, you’re a child of God. So I don’t deal with, am my child of God or not outside of that circle of the New Covenant, I have to deal with it in the New Covenant. Are you, have you come to the relationship with Christ Jesus? Have you accepted Him for what He came to do for you? Not only my friends, to die on the cross for you then, but to come and live in you now. In other words, did you come to Him for new life? Not just coming to Him for this forgiveness thing dangling out here in space someplace, but that forgiveness is in the circle. It’s in the New Covenant. So is His life. That circle represents the New Covenant represents the total Life of Christ. What ushered in the New Covenant? The resurrected Life of Christ Jesus and that’s why Paul said without the resurrection, our faith is futile. We’re to be pitied of all people.
So it’s in his resurrected life that this new covenant is a living thing. It’s not some dead doctrine. It’s a living entity. And so the very moment that I stepped out of Adam into the Life of Christ, Christ came in me, I was now placed in Him. I’ve been placed in this circle that is Jesus that encompasses all of the entirety of the New Covenant. And so I don’t deal anymore with reconciliation and sanctification out there in no man’s land. The issue is, are you sanctified? Well, are you in Christ? Are you in the New Covenant? Well, yes, well then you’re sanctified. Am I justified? I got a better question. Are you in Christ? Are you in his new agreement? Are you a participant in a new agreement between God and man? Yes. Well then the question is answered, am I totally forgiving or do I have to keep getting forgiven? I have a better question. Are you in Christ, are encompassed by the New Covenant that is Christ? Are you or aren’t you? Yes I am. Well then the question is answered. You are a forgiven child of God. You don’t get it, you live in it.
In Matthew 26 it says that Jesus as He was giving a demonstration of what the Lord’s Supper represented. As it came to the cup, that’s the cup of the New Covenant and the Lord’s Supper is not a place where we sit around in a model and fashion getting all of our sins confessed so that we can be forgiven. If we understand we’re in the New Covenant, we go there rejoicing that we already are forgiven. But the purpose of the New Covenant is not just to establish what has taken place in our relationship with God, but what God wants us to do with each other to recognize the fact that just like there was a single loaf of bread that represented His single body when He was here on earth that that provide He was broken passed around eaten. And now that bread is in you and me and every other believer across the country and He says, now, you are the body of Christ and that’s what that represents showing how we each and every one of us members of the body of Christ at the very moment that we took of the salvation offered to us in Christ Jesus. Now, the cup is a cup of the New Covenant, and if that were not important for us to know, why would it be there? And yet how many of us when we’re taking, when we take, have taken the Lord’s Supper, have ever realized what the wine is about at all? Or what the drinks about? We get our sins forgiven, but that’s as much as it mode as we ever come to.
Now, listen to what He said, folks, He said after He took the cup, He gave thanks and offered it saying drink from it all of you. In other words, drink this in folks, this is My blood of the Covenant which is poured out for many, for the forgiveness of sins. This is the blood of My Covenant. I’m a New Covenant. What did that new Covenant say? Their sins and lawless acts, I will remember what no more and where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins. So what do we do? We drink the cup of the New Covenant, which says all of your sins are behind the back of God, never to see them again. But before we do that, we sit around in modeling self-introspection, trying to get all of our sins confessed, so that we don’t drink any damnation upon ourselves and we wonder why we are so messed up in our understanding of what Christianity is all about. We are speaking double-talk constantly in Christendom today. If you’re going to drink the blood of the New Covenant, you’re not going to be sitting around in modeling introspection prior to drinking of the blood of the New Covenant. I am going to see that I am a part of the body of Christ called a child of the Living God. That’s where? How did that occur? At the very moment that I receive Christ and became a member of the body of Christ that, that bread represented. This is My body. Now, you’re My body. And how did that come about? Through the New Covenant and it is through this agreement, that forgiveness is encompassed in that. Agreement between God and man.
The other day I was listening to a minister who is a very well-known radio minister, and I have great respect for him, but here’s what I heard him say as he was talking about a need that we have to be interacting with lost people. Sometimes in other words, we have such a tendency to be ingrown among our Christian brothers and we never get a chance to meet lost people. And therefore how is evangelism ever going to take place? And a statement is made something along this side. If you’re sitting next to a lost person, you’re not better than they are. i always think of () who was a very popular bible teacher at one time, when he said I’m not better than anybody I’m just better off if there’s a Christian to a non-Christian and that’s a pretty good statement. Well he was saying you’re not better than they are. The only difference is you’re forgiven and they’re not. And I listened to that statement. I thought to myself boy, that is so wrong, that it’s unbelievable. That is not the difference between a lost person and a saved person.
The difference between a lost person and a saved person is they are in Adam dead, separated from this new agreement between God and man, not even knowing it’s there. And to a saved person, I’ve been made alive in Christ and I am in this new Covenant that encompasses all of these marvelous things that God has done for me. I’m a new creature in Christ. And a lost person is yet (a new creature in Christ. It isn’t forgiveness. He’s as forgiven as I am.
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Now, I want to take this to its logical conclusion. You see if our understanding that the only difference between a lost person and a saved person is forgiveness, then am I not saying that the, (to a lost person) he must be alive spiritually that is? Because the only thing forgiveness is involved in and is what he’s doing. You get forgiven for what you did. You don’t need forgiven for who you are. You need identified for who you are, and change, get a new identity. I don’t need forgiven. If I’m a worm, I don’t need forgiven for being a worm. I need forgiven for doing wormy things, but I don’t need forgiiven for being a worm. It’s who I am. I need to recognize, I’m a worm here, the proposition to become a butterfly here the proposition as to how that can occur through metamorphosis and make a decision. Whether I want to remain a worm or to be a butterfly. I don’t need forgiven for being a worm. I need change. If I’m going down a one-way street, I don’t need forgiveness. I need to get turned around. So if the only thing that’s wrong with me is I need forgiveness for what I do. That means that me, as an individual, I’m okay. I just do some bad things that I need forgiven for. That means, I’m alive. That means that basically I’m righteous until I do something wrong, then unrighteous. But as soon as I get that forgiven, then I’m righteous again. How’d you get to be that? Was born that way. And that’s where the I’m okay, you’re okay comes in. But because you see religion dealing with nothing but reconciliation and forgiveness is a baby religion. It is never dealing with issue. Never. It’s dressing the worm up in Christian clothing, sending him to worm, you to get him educated. Send him over here, to the worm church, to get him spiritual, and then blasting the daylights out of him, because he’s acting like a worm and that’s what most of Christian religion is. No change of identity. Just worm behave properly, get your behavior right. And we do have a system here that when you don’t behave, the way you really ought to behave, then we can get you forgiven. No change of identity. No seeing that you’re a mess. Just, you do things bad occasionally.
And so the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian is this guy over here who claims to be a Christian recognized that his behavior isn’t what it ought to be. So he turned to Christ to get forgiven. And this poor soul over here, that’s really okay, but he also does some bad things. He’s so stubborn he just doesn’t seek forgiveness. And that’s the difference folks, that is out of the pit. And that is exactly the type of theology that has kept the Christian world paralyzed of any reality of a living Christ living inside of us. It comes from not going on, it comes from not recognizing what Paul was saying, in Romans 5, 10 and 11. For if, catch this, we were God’s enemies. That’s lost folks. That’s a condition of a lost man, not that he’s unforgiven. He’s an enemy. We were reconciled to the death of His Son, were reconciled while you were an enemy. That’s what He did at the cross. For how many people? All people. Did not John say He not only died for our sins, but the sins of the whole world? Then how much more having been reconciled (lost man) shall you be saved by His life, We are not saved merely by the death of Christ. You’re saved by the Life of Christ. What do you saved from? The wages of sin, the law, death, identity with Adam. All of those things that are in this circle over here. That’s different from the circle contained in the New Covenant, and that’s what salvation is. It’s not just getting yourself forgiven, you can go to the day of atonement and got yourself forgiven, but there was no change in identity. They were still an Israelite in their heart, but not a child of God, just like today, we’re Catholics in our heart, Baptists in our heart’s, Presbyterians in our hearts, but have never been made a child of God, and I have to leave those things behind those identities, those are man-made identities. And even with the Israelite the, at least it was man-made because it came for their mom and dad, but they were tied up in a cultural and in an area of a certain group of people. And so they were saved because they were God’s people came from Moses and Abraham and they were saying, no, you leave that behind, because in Christ, there is no Israelite. There is no Gentile. There is no slave. There is no free. There is no Baptist. There is no Catholic. There’s no Presbyterian. There’s no Methodist. In Christ there’s only one and that’s a child of the Living God.
And so folks what You can place here and getting back to that statement whenever we are, all we ever see is salvation is getting your sins forgiven. Take going back to my illustration then it means I’m okay except in what I do. Now, folks, I want to ask you is that true? You see when when we’re told were we not, when you were dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God, made you alive with Christ, He forgave all your sins. I want to ask you a question. What’s the worst of your problem? Sins or death? It’s like saying, which problem do you have? Which do you think the biggest problem is, a sniffle or death? You know, I’ve asked people who are tied up in this first John 1:9 and they literally looked and because they didn’t want to admit what they were about to have to, said a cold is worse than death. I literally had people say that. Well, a cold is worse than death. Boy you’ve got something wrong, you’ve got your head screwed on wrong. Folks, death is about as stringent as you’re going to get. In fact, the Bible says, it’s what keeps people paralyzed in fear, is the fear of death. We’ve been freed from that. Now, when I see something about myself, not what I’m doing, what i’m doing helps me to see of something about myself. That’s what the law was given to do is show me who I am? No! How am I’m not living up to the righteous requirements of the law? Now, if I got a brain in my head, I’ll start thinking. Why can’t I live up to those? They seem pretty simple to me, as only 10 of them ought to be able to live up to those. And yet you can’t.
And you find yourself living with parents who have raised you. And yet I can’t love them the way I should. And then you’re all oshy gooshy over this girl. I just can’t wait to marry, and two weeks later you come back from honeymoon and you’re wondering what you did. What happened? That love capacities gone. It seems like you say, what’s wrong with me? And now you’re getting to the point. What’s wrong with me? Not sure what’s wrong with me, what I’m doing, what’s wrong with me? That’s why Jesus said. It’s not what you put in your mouth. Drinking’s not problem of man. It’s his ehart. He said, it’s not what you put in your mouth. It’s what precedes out of your heart. There’s something wrong with you. And when I see that now, I say I need a new me. And Jesus says, now you got it.
If all I needed was forgiveness. And if I was okay, after I got forgiven, Then that means I was born in this world righteous. Now you see, I never was righteous. That’s why at the cross, I had to be cleansed of all unrighteousness. I never had righteousness, you and I folks, in and of ourselves have never been righteous. It says that Christ died for sins once and for all that means once, and for all doesn’t mean once and forever. It means once and for everybody. He died once and for everybody, the righteous that was Jesus alone, for the unrighteous. Now had I ever been righteous then when He said the righteous for the unrighteous, then I could have died for you, because I would have to been called righteous, but I never was righteous. You never were righteous, you never will be righteous in and of yourself. If righteousness we’re told, could be gained through obedience to the law, then Christ died for nothing. Righteousness has to be credited to you. It has to be given to you. It has to come from without, it cannot come from within. Now folks, birth, new birth, and a same thing with, talks about your eyes not seen, your ears not heard, your mind is not conceived of those things that God has prepared for those who love Him. It must be revealed. How? By the Spirit.
Conception requires a sperm and an egg. A woman is not born with sperm in her. That has to come from without, into within. It has to be met with an egg that is fertile, but the sperm has to come from without. You’re not born with it. And concepcion takes place when sperm and a fertile egg gets together. Now, it’s the same thing. We had to be born again from outside of ourselves that has to come from God, conception of the Holy Spirit of God has to come from God. That occurs when your egg is fertile so to speak, your spiritual egg is for a when you come to a point in your life where you see your need for a total change and then new birth takes place. Now, folks forgiveness is absolutely necessary but God was not going to do that forgiveness over and over and over and over and over again. There was a system called atonement to do that, He says I’m not going to do that. The blood of Jesus of God himself which was of such import value that it covered the sins of the entire world from the time of its development from the first man on earth to the end of all. It is done. It is finished. And folks that act of forgiveness was not done just for saved people because there weren’t any. It was done for lost people, He died for everyone since He didn’t go to the cross and say I’m going to die for the forgiveness of sins for the saved people. There weren’t any. There was no one spiritually regenerated until Pentecost, 40 some days later and so He died for the sins of the entire world. Even those who crucified Him. Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing.
Now that forgiveness has been executed on you, the worst criminal who may be listening to this broadcast. It has already been done. But you’ve got a problem greater than forgiveness, but you see, it’s when I see the love of God that reached down to me in my mess and said, son, I forgave you that on the cross. I’ve loved you, I came for you. I forgave you, I took away your sins so that there’s nothing left to do except receive My life. I’ll say, well Lord, I’ll clean myself up so it… No no no Bob. You cannot clean yourself up.
There was a true story of years ago. I believe it was by Gillette the razor people who were going to do a commercial and showing the toughness of their blades and they had called a mission place where a lot of street people came. And said, I want you to get the scruffiest beard guy, bearded guys there are. And once you have them ready for us tomorrow morning, we’re going to clean them up, shave them and show the toughness of these blades. So they went in and got a couple guys whose beards looked like steel wool and said, I want you to be ready for tomorrow. The jet Gillette people are coming in and you’re going to be on television and going to clean you up. So they got together that night, they got all excited about being on television and said well man, we’re going to be on television, we probably need to shave. So here they went out and they shaved themselves so they showed up the next morning all clean shaven and the Gillette people looked at him. Said, what’d you do that for? I can’t use you, I came to clean you up and you cleaned yourself up. I can’t use you. And so that’s when man is I try to clean himself up. God says I’m sorry, how can I clean you up when you’re cleaning yourself up and besides that, you did a lousy job shaving. So we have to realize friends, that God did this for us. This was something He did for, not for it to end there, mean as wonderful as forgiveness is, don’t stop there. You’ve got a problem worse than that. It’s called identity.
Thank you so much for tuning in to Classic Christianity, with Bob George. We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s program. We truly hope that today’s message has inspired you to walk a life of faith in the Lord, find more information online at shop.BobGeorge.net. There you’ll also find available CDs, DVDs, and bible studies available for purchase. It’s through your help that we are able to spread the good word of Jesus Christ. Until next time, walk in faith, be good to one another and praise the Lord. Amen.
Stand on the firmness of truth. Don’t keep going back and forth. Thank Him that the forgiveness issue is settled.
Let’s pray together:
- Lord Jesus,
- I thank you for taking away my sins on the cross,
- never ever to see them again.
- Having done that, I now thank you for giving me eternal life,
- through your resurrection.
- I now receive that life.
- And I am going stand in the fact that I am a child of the living God.
- In Jesus Holy name I pray.
All believers are now brothers and sisters in Christ.
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
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