Victory Over the Darkness (Chapter Two) The Whole Gospel
We finished last month’s entry with this statement: “Who are you? Your life is not the sum total of your accomplishments and failures. Your life is not determined by your reputation. Your life is not measured by the material things you possess. The value of your life is summed up in two words: THE CROSS!”
Moving into Chapter Two we begin to see that “how we perceive ourselves” is very important, especially as it relates to who we are as a believer. Behavior will always follow Belief. What we believe about ourselves will determine what we do.
Dr. Anderson says, “Many Christians are not living free and productive lives because they don’t understand who they are and why they are here. Who they are is rooted in their identity and position in Christ. If they don’t see themselves the way God sees them, to that degree they suffer from a false identity and poor sense of worth. They don’t fully understand the gospel and the dramatic change that occurred in them the moment they trusted in Christ.”
Wow! When I read that the first time I was like, “I have an identity crisis!” No wonder I was living my life as though I was being tossed to and fro – I was unstable in all my ways and struggling to make it as a true believer! I have since learned that what Jesus modeled was a life totally dependent on God the Father……He’s my Daddy and I can trust Him with everything! John 10:10 says, “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.” That is great news! We need the “Whole Gospel”!
Dr. Anderson says, “People cannot consistently behave in ways that are inconsistent with the way they perceive themselves.” Once again, we are confronted with this truth that – Behavior will always follow Belief. Eternal life is not something you get when you die, you are spiritually alive right now! It’s not some future event that we fearfully live our lives hope to one day experience.
Galatians 5:1 says, “
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let
yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Guess what? We are free! Right now! Do
you believe this?
It is not what you do as a Christian that determines who you are; it is who you are that determines what you do. If you perceive yourself wrongly, you will live wrongly because what you are believing is not true. If you think you are a no good bum (like I did, for years), you will probably live like a no good bum. If, however, you see yourself as a child of God who is spiritually alive in
Christ, you will begin to live accordingly.
Dr. Anderson says, “The major strategy of Satan is to distort the character of God and the truth of who we are. He can’t change God and he can’t do anything to change our identity and position in Christ. If, however he can get us to believe a lie, we will live as though our identity in Christ
As believers we have been identified as saints…….the Bible calls us saints…… Where are we missing this critical truth? In our belief! We don’t really believe this so, we are living under a false identity which affects our behavior……..as believers, we are not trying to become saints; we are saints who are becoming like Christ. We are saints who sin, but we have all the resources in
Christ we need not to sin.
Dr. Anderson has a list of scriptures that confirm the truth about our identity in Christ. I would suggest you take the time and read these statements aloud, to yourself – they can be found at the following link – www.totalvictoryoutreach.com/whoami.html – he says, “Because you are alive in Christ, every one of these characteristics is completely true of you, and you can do nothing to make them more true. You can, however, make these traits more meaningful and productive in your life by simply choosing to believe what God has said about you. The more you reaffirm who
you are in Christ, the more your behavior will begin to reflect your true identity.”
What is the believer’s hope? That you are a child of God now, who is being conformed to the image of God. You must believe you are a child of God to live like a child of God. Colossians 1:27, “God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles,
which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” This is really good news!