Ok, this is going to be short and it comes from personal experience as of late.
Romans 5-8 has totally rocked my world in the past 5 months! I believe it is a key to changing ones spiritual and emotional identity. Around January I was challenged to study chapters 5-8. I took the challenge and I’m so happy I did. Grace and the ramifications of the cross hit me like a nuclear bomb, blowing away all of my pre- established beliefs.
What changed? My identity or how I perceived myself. Jesus died on the cross and we (all mankind was co crucified with him AT THAT MOMENT) were co-raised with him. This act was a re-genesis of our spiritual man. Our sin man was decimated. The law of sin and death was revoked. The free gift of forgiveness and grace was appropriated to all mankind. We were given the ability to accept this gift and step into His fullness. The verse ” there is now, no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, behold all has become new!” actually means literally what it says. I no longer have the notion that I have failed and fall short and and am filled with guilt and shame.
My identity is defined by God, I don’t define myself, he does. He says he sees him in me! (2 Corinthians 3:18)
I said I would keep this short so if you have questions or comments please reply below.
The Mirror Word Weekend
With Francois du Toit author of The Mirror Translation of the Bible.
Friday May 31st & Saturday June 1st at New Day Church in south Kansas City, Missouri.
New Day Church
310 W 106th St
Kansas City, MO
More info @ www.newdaykc.org
You can also email David Doria at: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Andre Rabe On January 26, 2012
You are valuable, you are loved, and someone knows you even better than you know yourself. There is an image and likeness imprinted upon your being that is the basis of your value … a value beyond your wildest dreams.
Coins used to have the face of the person who guaranteed their value, minted onto them. Any note or coin has a guarantor, a person or institution that guarantees its value. Even if a coin gets lost, the coin never loses it’s value.
The one who invented and designed you, stamped you with His own image and likeness.
He knows you better than you know yourself … He knew you even before you were born. You might not know Him, but He has always known you. You might not be aware of Him, but He has always had you on His mind.
You might think ‘why’ … why would anyone have such an obsession with me. Well, the creator of this universe sees a value and a beauty in you beyond anything in this natural world. He even sees a possibility of romance!
When, Where and Why you began.
Whatever age you are, you have a beginning that cannot be measured in time.
You have the most awesome origin. In the beginning, before creation, before time as we experience it, before the existence of evil, there was a dynamic exchange of love, a relationship without boundaries, an enjoyment of total abandonment … a being we now call God. It was in the very midst of this fiery love, at the core of this passion, that the idea of … you came into being!
The God who is love planned to share this love with beings created in His image and likeness. This God, who is all-knowing and able to accomplish all of His purposes, planned a love-affair that would span over eons and conclude with a final victory in which His love conquered all – no contradiction; no evil.
This good news is not some new idea, but the ancient, original thought of God.
Let’s imagine this beginning, let’s allow the spirit of God to draw us to this place in which all things had their origin. Although no science can explain it, although the greatest minds have tried and failed to define it, God is confident that you are able to comprehend the unsearchable; to appreciate the motivation that gave you birth; to remember where you began. In this place there is no space, yet no limit; no creation, yet no emptiness – there is only God in all His fullness. He is not lonely or in lack. It is out of His fullness, out of the overflow of love that you are conceived.
God did not imagine a pet that would simply entertain Him! This God-dream is about a being who has the capacity to intelligently appreciate, to receive, to produce and to exchange the same quality of love that flows within God. His plan is not vague or speculative philosophy, but clear and specific … so clear, that He uniquely identifies and names the individuals who would form part of the plan and become part of creation. And so before the foundation of this world, He saw you in Christ. At this point, He made up His mind about you! No matter what detours, no matter what contradictions would come, He determined that you would be His treasure – blameless and innocent before Him in love.
When did you begin?
Before creation, before time itself.
Where did you begin?
In the very heart of love, a love relationship we call God.
Why did you begin?
To be loved, adored … and ultimately for that love to be awakened in you.
The Word made flesh.
The original, authentic Word was face to face with God from the very beginning. God Himself is the content of this communication – revealing His personal presence and unique expression in all that exists.
In fact there is nothing original or innovative outside of Him! He is the only Creator and the source of all inspiration and creativity. Everything that is, has ‘Made by God’ stamped on its existence.
The very life of God is what ignited the existence of man. This original light still shines even in darkness and no amount of darkness can put this light out. (John 1:1-5 Breath of Life)
The time lapse between the original thought of God and now is obviously vast. Has this original thought not been lost through time?
No, this authentic dream began before time and was preserved, set apart, in a person called Jesus Christ. In Him the logic of God was kept until the right time when it was made visible in flesh. He came and demonstrated in human form, the kind of life God had in mind from the very beginning … a life where God and man is so fully united that we cannot even tell them apart.
Man began in God. No matter how far man has fallen from his original place of innocence, God has never been confused about the true identity of man.
Jesus Christ is the place, the event and the person in which God and man meet once again. In Christ Jesus, God has taken the initiative to reconcile man back to Himself – to restore man to blameless innocence.
Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, and as such does not only represent God’s initiative, He also represents man’s perfect response of faith to God’s initiative.
Jesus reveals the heart of God more than any other story ever told or any scripture ever written. In Him God reveals that He does not want to be God apart from us. He does not want to be a distant or unknowable God. The only way in which He wants to be God, is with man, in man, and as a man.
Jesus reveals the truth about man more accurately than any other story, or even the factual history of man. In Him we see that the only way to be fully man, the only way to be fully free, is in union with God.
This passion of God to restore man to that place of union, would drive Him to pay any price, to go to any depth to see it accomplished. And so in the act of becoming man, He places Himself in a position of conflict. Everything that has ever stood between God and man, every obstacle and every form of separation (called sin in the Bible) would meet and come to a final conclusion in this God-man, Christ Jesus.
When your timeless Creator became a man, He mystically united Himself with you, so that He could bring an end to everything that stood between you and release you to be fully and truly yourself again. In this unity He faced everything you faced … and conquered! In His death, you died! That old state of being, separated from Him and united with sin, was brought to a final end in Him. He has wiped your slate clean, forgiven you of every wrongdoing.
In His resurrection, you were resurrected to newness of life – that original life that God imagined for you from the beginning. In His ascension, you were raised to the most glorious place of honor – a place where God delights in you!
The only thing that has ever kept you from enjoying these realities, is blindness. Not seeing what He sees, keeps us from enjoying what He enjoys. But these very words you are reading now, are reminding you of your union with Him.
As for me, I shall behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake in thy likeness (Psalm 17:15)
What should I do?
You might ask, what should I do … how does one respond to such news? Well the good news is that the hard work has already been done for you! Jesus defeated everything that stood between you! Gratitude … love awakened, is all that’s left to do. Some call it faith.
Here’s a simple suggestion to give expression to this faith. Turn your focus inward. Become aware of the One who made you and united Himself with you … within you. In your own thoughts and words respond … something like: Thank you for who You are and what You have done for me. As You gave yourself in love to me, in Jesus Christ, I give myself in love to You. You made me in Your image and likeness, I acknowledge Your ownership. You made me to be loved … here I am, love me!
By Andre Rabe On April 22, 2013
The cross is the greatest contradiction. It is an evil act of murder and it is our salvation. This horrific death is the ultimate goal of false accusation, but simultaneously it exposes the deception of this accusation and so forever strips it of its power.This scripture summarizes the tension of this paradox: “For the Son of Man will go just as it is written about Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.””(Mark 14:21 HCSB)
In other words, it is God’s plan but it is an evil act that should not happen. The scriptures simultaneously declares that he was innocent, that he was unjustly accused, that those who murdered him was guilty of the blood of all innocent victims … it was wrong in every way, yet the scriptures maintain that this was exactly what had to happen.
If we become so familiar with the story that we no longer see the contradiction, then we’ve missed the central revelation contained in it. Like all other pagan ideas of sacrifice, much of christianity looks at this sacrifice and are mystified by its magical powers – we allow the very revelation it is supposed to bring, to be swallowed up by sacred awe.
The murder of the innocent man Jesus Christ can never be justified – it was wrong! He was falsely accused and brutally abused by a frenzied ignorant crowd. Nowhere else was the true nature of our religious and secular institutions revealed more clearly than in this senseless violence. This is where God in all his innocence, in his most vulnerable state, faced evil in its most articulate expression – the unjustified violence of man. Evil incarnate met God incarnate.
Yet it is exactly here where evil is most real, that God intersects, turning our act of murder into our salvation. He uses the occasion of our most brutal violence to demonstrate His most extravagant love. He bore the brunt of our hostile minds, of our sinful thoughts. The event in which we bruised him and wounded him, is met with healing. At the very moment in which our rejection of him is absolute, he demonstrates our absolute acceptance.
However, we have often ascribed both the good and the evil of the cross to God! Lets expose that myth.God obviously anticipated these events. He knew that the open display of truth, in a world bound by myth, would be a confrontation with only one possible result. The very fabric upon which our societies were build, the false accusation, the prince (principle) of this world, the father of lies, would not take to this exposure kindly. Yes God knew and planned to make the most of this confrontation, but in no way is He the source of the violence that it exposes. In no way does He delight in the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.
The unjustified torture and death of the innocent Jesus Christ does not satisfy God’s justice in the sense that He delights in this punishment. The blood of Jesus does not satisfy the blood-lust of an angry God. Such theories is a mixture of ancient pagan thought and the very biblical revelation that came to expose the corruption of these myths. We were the angry deities who satisfied our blood-lust in this iconic murder.Why would God then use such an event? The scriptures describe this event as God’s victory over evil. In what way did He conquer evil?
This was the event in which the deceiver would deceive himself; the act in which our unfounded accusations would be exposed for what it is. The story that would deconstruct all our myths into the nothingness that they are.
These false models are exposed in the very moment when our true model is revealed. We are now able to see the true God and reflect Him – a God who loves and adores; a God in whom there is no accusation.
Wherever the gospel is declared and understood, sacrificial systems cease; victimization ceases, the oppressed and downcast are given hope by a God who identifies with them; a God who is able to overthrow the established corrupt overlords and make all things new.
Every temptation that you face is rooted in your identity.
How you respond to the temptation is connected directly to your vision of you. What you fill your spiritual gas tank with is important. When I am rooted and find my foundation based on what God has to say about me or how he defines me makes a huge difference. If I base it off works or the law I am forced to try to attain some mark or target which on my own abilities I will fall short every time.
God’s desire for you is to tear down the lies we have clothed ourselves in. Our original identity is our default setting but Adam’s sin robed each of us in a false identity, a disguise, a ruse. We look at ourselves inaccurately. We compare to some ideal that on our own we will never be able to attain. We do not have to strive for something we can not attain. How futile is it to strive for a goal we could never reach. I have heard it to many times in business meetings.
“What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different results. ”
The Christian life under the law is insanity! If you try I doing or complying to a set of ten commandments and 500+ laws… good luck with that.
My identity is or should be rooted in what God says about me. That is what matters. Any other source is inferior. Why roll in a Ford Pinto when I could have a Bentley?
The gift of Christ gives dimension to grace and defines our individual value.
Eph 4:7 TMT
His truth trumps my thoughts, he reveals/defines ME.
“What we are destined for is not as important as what we have settled for.”
Randy Bohlender (podcast)
Have you settled for less than your God mandated vision or destiny? Let your destiny be cast by what God says about you.
I’m not going to say too much this morning. At New Day Lloyd Rindels opened quoting Galations 2:18-20 out of The Mirror Translation.
18 Only a con artist will try to be a law-man and a grace-man at the same time!
19 My co-crucifixion with Christ is valid! I am not making this up. In his death I died to the old system of trying to please God with my own good behavior! God made me alive together with Christ. How can any human effort improve on this!
20 The terms, co-crucified and co-alive defines me now. Christ in me and I in him! His sacrificial love is evidence of his persuasion of my righteousness!
If you have read any of my blog in the past this is probably the common thread, your identity is in him! He defines you not your actions or abilities. If I could do anything to attain a place of position before God the act of the cross would have not been necessary.
The law has been superseded by the cross. We were co-crucified and our original identity was restored. Freely given, freely recieve it. Step into his grace, his freedom, his faith… A hard reset was done to this world at the cross. That relationship that God had with Adam in the garden (pre-sin) has been restored. Your redeemed innocence is restored.
God relates to you through your identity not through your behavior. He defines your identity not you.
He says you are made in his likeness. You were created in his image. His image of you is spotless. He sees eternity in him in your identity now. He likes you now. He liked you before he created the world. He is not wanting you to be something or do something to gain his acceptance or love. If we could do something to please him on our own merit he would not have had to send Jesus to the cross. It is a free gift given to us at the time of the cross, that’s right he did it prior to our being conceived. He forgave us and extended the gift of forgiveness and grace freely to all at the time of the cross. It is simply a matter if accepting the gift and walking into the place of sonship he has supplied.
We were created to not only be partakers of his divine nature (in fullness) in heaven but also to partake here on earth. He says who I am not me or my actions. My significance is or should not be defined by anything but the word of God.
2 Corinthians 5:16-19 TMT
16 This is radical! No label that could possibly previously define someone carries any further significance! Even our pet doctrines of Christ are redefined. Whatever we knew about him historically or sentimentallity is challenged by this conclusion.
17 In the light of your co-inclusion in his death and resurrection, whoever you thought you were before, in Christ you are a brand new person! The old ways of seeing yourself and everyone else are over. Acquaint yourself with the new!
18 To now see everything as new is to simply see what God has always known in Christ; we are not debating man’s experience, opinion, or his contribution; this is 100% God’s belief and his doing. In Jesus Christ, God exchanged equivalent value to redeem us to himself. The act of reconciliation is the mandate of our ministry.
19 our ministry declares that Jesus did not act independent of God. Christ is proof that God reconciled the total kosmos to himself. Diety and humanity embraced in Christ; the fallen state of mankind was deleted; their trespasses would no longer count against them! God has placed this message within us. He now announces his friendship with every individual from within us!
Romans 5:17-18 TMT
If death saw the gap in one sin, and grabbed the opportunity to dominate kind because I’m a one man, how much more me we now she’s the advantage to reign in righteousness in this life through that one act of Christ, who declared us innocent by His grace. Grace is out of all proportion in the superiority to the transgression.
18 The conclusion is clear: it took just one offense to condemn mankind; one act of righteousness declares the same mankind innocent.
“You don’t have to claim another promise when you discover that the promise already claimed you! 2 Cor 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.”
Francois du Toit
Had to share!
When the Word becomes flesh in Jesus a radical statement is made by God! God’s original thought, His logic that has been preserved from the beginning manifests on earth! What is amazing about this is that the real God is revealed as well as the true man. Jesus as fully God becomes fully man and does not reduce His expression of himself as God. In fact, the fullness of the Godhead is in him bodily. What does this mean for man? It means that we also accurately and completely express God by our design. It means that we also house the fullness of the Godhead within us. When God’s logic becomes flesh we see what He really thinks about ‘flesh’ and that we do not have to continue to war with our ‘flesh’ against sin because He dominates sin in the flesh.The amazing thing about Jesus is that he simultaneously reveals God and man in the incarnation. This means that there is no separation between us and God. Also it wasn’t a temporary arrangement for him to be a man for 33 terrible years until he goes back to heaven free at last. He was raised as a man to show that we could never ever be separated. He is forever united with us! This is why Paul can make such a radical statement in 2 Cor 5:14 when he says, “If One has died for all, then all have died.” We see that Jesus wasn’t alone in His life or on the cross. 2 Cor 5:19 says that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself.” So man and God were united in Christ’s life and cross. Jesus says in John 14:20, “On that day, you will know that I am in my Father, you are in Me and I am in you.” He comes and reveals a union that cannot be broken. There is one mediator between man and God, the man, Christ Jesus. As long as He is a man, mankind is completely united and reconciled to Himself.Why was sin destroyed? Because it wasn’t in our true design. Why are we in perfect union with the Godhead? Because we were designed for that. Why does Jesus look like us? Because He made us in HIS image and likeness. Why did love win over rule-keeping? Because love designed us to live in His heart and He put His heart in us. The incarnation is a radical statement from God that WE BELONG!
Who am I? That is a question that each of us ask all the time, most of it is subliminally. You probably don’t realize it but we have been brought up in a society that has a foundation of comparisons.
Think about it, on the playground when teams are picked you probably knew where you ranked in the pecking order. In the class room the giving of grades as well as the raising of your hands to give answers all set a preconceived idea of your identity compared to the kids around you. Have you ever said to yourself “I wish I could be like ________.”? Parents, often strengthen this as well. Have you ever heard someone say “Why can’t you be more like your sister? ”
If I were only taller…
If I were only skinnier like…
If had a better job like…
If I were only smart like….
If I had more money…
If I were better at sports like…
If my ministry was just…
1 a : sameness of essential or generic character in different instances b : sameness in all that constitutes the objective reality of a thing : oneness
2 a :the distinguishing character or personality of an individual :individuality b : the relation established by psychological identification
3 : the condition of being the same with something described or asserted
Identity deals with comparing to something. It’s that something one sets as there sameness or likeness too that defines them. What defines you? What group or category have you put yourself in? The world has a way of pigeon holing people. I lived much of my life in other people’s shadows because I compared myself and much of the time disqualified myself. I lived with shame and condemnation. I remember my freshman year in college. In my head I thought people let me tag along out of pity (humor him and put up with him). I didn’t feel worthy of common friendship. I had been like that in high school also. I look back and have talked about this with some of my college friends and found out that it was the opposite. I was somewhat popular and didn’t realize it. People liked me for me but in my head I twisted it all around.
I have been going through Ephesians with a small group each week. In reading chapter 4 verse 1 it hit me and I couldn’t go on. I had to sit back and mull it over.
In Ephesians 4:1 (The Mirror Translation) Paul Writes;
The fact that I am in prison does not in the least diminish my awareness that I am in Christ! My complete existence is defined and confined in him. The detail of your day-to-day life flows from the consciousness of your true identity and worth as defined in him.
Replace “The fact that I am in prison does not”
“My circumstances does not.”
It changes my former paradigm totally! My identity is in the GRACE of Jesus. it is not dependent on what others see of me or what I feel. It is not based on what the world claims to be important. I do not define me, Jesus/Grace defines me. Paul who wrote a good share of the NT and in Ephesians 3:8 writes;
“I am the lowest ranked saint by far. His grace alone qualifies me to declare thus unexplored treasure if Christ in the nations. “
Paul! Paul who was walking the walk who was moved out of a miraculous transformation, who spoke with Jesus on a dirt road, who wrote a large chunk of the Bible, who did miracles and well just a whole lot of things that personally blow my mind refused to throw his merits out or say “Look what I did!” He understood that what was given to us (GRACE,HOPE, FORGIVENESS) was a free gift that was not connected in any way to performance. He did not find his identity in ministry or some celebrity status.
This is how grace rescued us: send left us dad two words God, like spiritual corpses; yet in that state of deafness and indifference, God co-quickend us together with Christ. Send proof how dead we were. Grace reveals how alive we now are. Before anyone but God believed it, he made us all alive together with him and raised us up together with him. We are co-included in his resurrection. We are also elevated in his ascension to be equally present in the throne room of the heavenly realm where we are co-seated with him in his executive authority. We are fully represented in Christ Jesus.
The Cross all marks mans identity whether they choose to accept it or not. The ramifications of the results of Jesus’s death on the cross give all an invitation into Christ, into sons-hip into the throne room. Wouldn’t you rather have that as your identity.
I can not give a better definition to me then the one that was already supplied to me.
I am going to close this with one of the Apostolic Prayers. Please read it through, contemplate it, and then personalize it by praying it out for yourself (about yourself and your identity).
I desire for you to realize what the Father has given you from his own limitless resources, so that you may be dynamically reinforced in your inner being by the Spirit of God.
This will impact your faith with capacity to fully grasp the reality of the indwelling Christ. You are rooted and founded in love. Love is your invisible inner source just like the root system of a tree and the foundation off a building.
This is your reservoir of super human strengths which causes you as saints to collectively grasp the limitless extent of his love in breadth, in length, in height, and the extremities of its depths.
I desire for you to become intimately acquainted with the love of Christ on the deepest possible level; far beyond the reach of a mere academic intellectual grasp. Within the scope of this equation God finds the ultimate expression.
End Note as I was writing this I had this come through on Facebook I decided to have a second ending.
The gospel is a Person. It’s Jesus Christ. He IS grace. If we are calling grace a licence to sin, we are calling Jesus a licence to sin……wrong thinking