“I tend to live in the past because most of my life is there.”—Unknown
When I was ten years old, I was playing with some of my friends at a middle school near our house. The workmen had left a ladder leading to the roof of the school, and being ten-year-old boys, we did what ten-year-old boys do: sought trouble.
We climbed the ladder and goofed around on the roof for a while—until a policeman spotted us. Busted! The interrogation began. He asked me several questions, got my phone number, and sent me home with these fear inducing words, "I'll give you half an hour to explain to your parents, then I'll call with your punishment." I ran home and blurted the whole story out to my mom and dad. My dad said, "Well son, now you aren't a Briscoe anymore. You're a criminal, no longer fit to be part of this house."
Okay, so he didn't say that. Why not? Because he couldn't. Because the fact that I am a Briscoe cannot be changed. I will always be the son of Stuart Briscoe. I could rob forty banks and write a manifesto about how devoted I am to living a life of crime, and I would still not be able to un-Briscoe myself. Not only that, but my dad would never want me to.
What's the point? Your identity is in your birth, not in your performance. As God's child, you have been born again into the family of God, the perfect Father is your father. You have a new identity.Fifty-six times in Scripture, following the resurrection of Jesus, believers are called "saints," translated as "holy ones."
Fifty-six! Not once are born-again believers called "sinners." Many folks have a hard time understanding their new identity as a saint and not a sinner, but it's not something up for debate.
Paul is adamant about this:
"For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous." -- Romans 5:19
Our "saintliness" is not based on ourselves. It's based in Christ's sacrifice on the cross. We were definitely not worthy of it on our own. We were very much sinners—but no longer.
There are two kinds of people in the world: sinners (people who don't know Christ) and saints (those who do know Christ). If you have turned your life over to Jesus Christ and accepted His forgiveness, you are in with the saints, adopted by God, never to be kicked out of the family. It is your very core, something etched into your spiritual DNA.
Do you see yourself this way? Even if you don't feel like it, are you willing to step out in faith and let this truth begin to be lived out in your life as reality?
Father, sometimes I struggle with accepting my new identity as a saint. I climb up onto many roofs. Yet, your Word says that my identity is not based on my own actions; it's based on that incredible act of Your son Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. Give me the comfort and reassurance of this promise! Amen.
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