We are looking at some of the basics of the Christian faith upon which we can then build a dynamic, alive, and productive life for Jesus. We are looking at two basic questions everyone, Christian or non-Christian, are looking to answer … 1> Who am I? and 2> What is the purpose of my life? Why and I here on the planet?
To answer these two questions we need to discover who we are “in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17). This is different than “Christ in you” when you are born again. This is you discovering the “new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:21) that you became when Christ came to dwell in you.
The Bible states: “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (Romans 12:1-2 The Message Version)
So, to discover who we are “in Christ” we need to give ourselves fully to God and give Him permission to do whatever is necessary for us to come fully alive “in Christ.” This is a journey of self-discovery as you begin, maybe for the first time, to discover who you really are – who He created you to be. Don’t be in a hurry to go out and minister. This “doing” always follows discovering yourself because then God has a solid, mature, healed, free vessel through which to minister. First “be” and then “do.” You are a human being and not a human doing.
This is not an easy journey. First you will need His help to dig you out from all the expectations, demands, and influences that have shaped and formed the person people now see – the current you. This will require a good amount of time and a great deal of work. The real you inside is buried under a substantial pile of people’s expectations, demands of others, cultural expectations, self-imposed rules that you run your life by, your generation’s influences (music, media, friends, worldview), and your culture..And, if you are a cultural Christian and a church attender you will have to work at removing many of the rules and regulations that man has imposed upon you and your non-biblical lifestyles, Underneath all these and other influences there is buried a real you that God created … this “new creature” wants out and wants expression.
When we are born again through conviction of our sins, godly sorrow, and repentance (2 Corinthians 7:8-10), we become this “new creature in Christ.” Instantly, old value systems, priorities, beliefs, loves, and plans are gone. Evil and sin are still present, but you see them in a new perspective and they are no longer controlling you. So, there is a change in the way a person views life and lives life. But, what needs to change inside us does not happen instantly as it is a gradual change as “all things are becoming new” as you, with God’s help, dig out from under and begin to experience healing and freedom for the first time.
And, not only are old things gradually seen in a new light and removed … But, “new things have come.” The Greek grammar here indicates that this newness is a continuing condition of fact. The believer’s new spiritual perspective of everything is a constant reality for them as they now live with an eternal perspective and see things as God sees them but only slowly impacts the way they live and relate.
So, we are new creatures “in Christ” but it takes time to discover this new you and change your lifestyle. This is the journey into self-discovery. This journey is where healing and wholeness are experienced. This is where ‘old things’ are removed and ‘new things’ are added. This is where, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we dig out from under all the cultural and generations expectations and demands. It is on this journey where we find healing and deliverance, new life and freedom from the past. And, as old things are removed and new things are added we begin to see the “new creature in Christ” emerge – this new person that we became when we were born again.
Only as we journey does this unveiling take place and then we discover who we really are.