Anyone who visits here, or has listened to me teach before, has probably heard me mention our identity in Christ. I speak about our identity more than any other topic, simply because it is so very vital to understanding our relationship with Jesus Christ. Nearly every day, I end up meeting someone, or having a discussion with someone who fails to understand the reality of who they truly are in Jesus, and who He has made them to be. This literally breaks my heart to see people in such a state, because I know the pain of living that way far too well. I was stuck in that same spot for many years, and there was no one around to help me through it.
So whenever I encounter someone who needs to know this truth, I don’t hesitate to share it with them – and so I end-up talking about it quite a lot here as well in our studies. Yet I don’t always explain exactly why it is true. Most of the time, I mention it in passing, or as an aside to whatever topic we may be studying in-particular, and this sometimes leaves people wondering where exactly I am getting it from, or if I just made it up!
In light of this, today I want to share with you, how we are to truly see ourselves in Christ Jesus, and why it is true. And by seeing this, it is my wish (and God’s wish) for you to stand on the solid foundation of the finished work of Jesus Christ, for you.
So as always, we must start where Jesus finished… that may seem obvious, but for a lot of people that I have spoken with, they do not do this. You see, one of the main stumbling blocks for a lot of people is the nagging feeling that something is still left undone or unfinished. Many people are still trying to accomplish something themselves that Jesus has already accomplished. They are trying to fight and win a battle that He has already fought and won. They are trying to become something that they actually already are. It seems silly when I explain it like this, but that is precisely what many people are stuck doing… and they have spent years of their life on this kind of spiritual treadmill, working hard, but never actually going anywhere, because the reality is that in Christ, there is no where to go.
There is this old Hymn that we used to sing called “He’s still working on me”. The lyrics in-part go like this: “He’s still working on me, to make me what I ought to be…” – the song has a happy melody, but the idea that you are still an unfinished product is a lie straight from the pit of hell. And that’s not too strong, I have grace from the Holy Spirit to say this, because God took great pains to make it known to you that Jesus Christ absolutely finished His work to make you everything that you were destined to be, and He didn’t leave even one single part undone or unfinished.
You need to know this because it goes straight to your identity in Christ, today, right now. This is one area that Satan loves to attack people in, because if he can somehow mar the identity of believers or obfuscate the reality of the finished work of Christ, then people will go about their life exactly as they have been – weak, powerless, unsure, timid and defeated.
Well, I’m here today to tell you that the lie is going to give way to the truth of Jesus Christ right here, right now in this study. It’s time for us to see all of what Jesus has done, and to not be ashamed of it any longer.
Let’s begin by looking at Hebrews 10:10… it’s a verse that I go to a lot, and I’m going to continue to go to it, until every single person within the sound of my voice understands what Jesus has done.
Hebrews: 10:10, says this:
“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
Now, as I said, I go to this verse a lot, so if you have listened to our studies before, you have probably heard this verse before – but go ahead, let this verse rattle around in you head and sink into your heart. You have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all.
This is not a repeated action; this is not a process; it is not a goal to strive for or work towards or obtain through effort. This was a one-time event, done once for all that has sanctified all who receive Jesus Christ – and it was the will of God to do it.
Now drop down to verses 17 through 22 here:
“And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
Having therefore, brothers, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
By a new and living way, which he has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
And having an high priest over the house of God;
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
Here, God is describing the New Covenant which Jesus has ushered us into by the finished work for us on the cross. I don’t think there are many who would deny that today we are in the New Covenant, yet not many actually live as though they are in it!
Notice what God says here: their sins and iniquities I will remember no more. These are God’s own words regarding our sins and iniquities under the New Covenant which Jesus has wrought. He will no longer remember our sins! Get this through your head and embrace it, because this is an area where many are still bound tightly. I talk to countless people every single week who think that God is keeping a laundry list of their sins, and remembering every little detail of their behaviors, when here He clearly says that He is not!
What this means for you and for me, is that we no longer have to live in fear of God scrutinizing every little thing that we do, or keeping a checklist of our wrongdoings! His love and acceptance of us is not dependent on how we are doing at any given moment.
Notice verse 18, where there is remission of sins, there is no more offering for sin. This has absolutely huge implications for us today. Because many of us are still making offerings for sin, even though we may not realize it. Sure, we may not be slaughtering animals like under the Old Covenant; but we still have that same Old Covenant mindset inside of us many times. We still carry the guilt, the shame, and the condemnation around with us, and many times we still punish ourselves and even push away from God because we haven’t yet received the truth of verse 17 for us, personally yet.
So while we may not be offering burnt animals as sin sacrifices, we are very much burning in our soul, our mind, our emotions, because we have not yet received the truth of Jesus in our own conscience, which brings us to verses 19 through 22:
Having therefore, brothers, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus…
And I want to pause right here and meditate on this. We should have boldness to enter into the holiest, by the blood of Jesus.
Think back to the old covenant priest, if the priest did not measure up to the standards of holiness in the Old Covenant, he would die upon entering the Most Holy Place of the temple. They did not enter the holiest place with boldness, but with much fear and trepidation, knowing that their lives were on the line.
In contrast with that, we on the other hand, having the Perfect Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which does not merely cover sins for one year as the old sacrifices did, but instead completely removes all sin – we have boldness to enter the holiest, knowing without a doubt that Jesus finished His work, has completely removed our sins, to the point where He doesn’t even remember them! We are completely righteous, completely accepted, completely sanctified! So not only can we enter into His presence, but enter confidently and with boldness – which testifies of the finished work of Jesus Christ!
And how are we supposed to approach God and get close to Him? Well, many people today have the same demeanor towards God as the Old Covenant priests did… they think that their lives are still in jeopardy, and that if they approach God, He may find fault with them and strike them down. But that is not how we are supposed to behave in Christ. Look at verse 22:
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
You see, friend, a “true heart” is one that agrees with the truth of God… that you are no longer dirty, no longer a sinner, but a saint. A saint made so by God Himself, one whom God has washed. A true heart is one that has “full assurance of faith” that Jesus actually did what He promised; Knowing beyond all doubt (full assurance) that your heart is sprinkled from that evil conscience that keeps trying to burden you with guilt, shame and condemnation regarding things which Jesus has already purged away from you. Having even your body, washed with His pure water, being cleansed completely, both inside and out, leaving nothing unwashed, and nothing undone.
So what does all of this together mean for you, personally, on a daily basis? Turn to Colossians 1:19-23:
“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;
And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has he reconciled
In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and blameless and unreprovable in his sight:
If you continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.”
Again we see that not only was this the will of the Father, but the reconciliation made for us by Jesus, actually pleased the Father. So we should start believing it fully and not doubting that it has been done.
We see in verse 20, that Jesus has indeed made peace through the blood of His cross. We have peace with God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ! We are not trying to get peace, nor are we struggling and striving to maintain peace through our efforts. Stop trying to get what you already have! Stop trying to earn what has already been given! Stop trying to become a new creation when Jesus has already made you one!
LIVE! BE! Be what you naturally are in Christ Jesus!
Look at verse 21, and notice the contrast between past language versus now present language: We were at one time strangers to God and enemies to Him, in your mind, with your wicked works… BUT NOW He has reconciled you.
And how did He do it? How did He reconcile you? By giving you Laws and Rules and making you behave better? NO! Look at verse 22: He reconciled you In the body of His flesh through death (that’s Jesus on the cross) – now pay really close attention to this next part, this is what Jesus accomplish for you and how you should live and present yourself to Him every single day… not as a sinner begging for forgiveness, but to present yourself to Him, holy, blameless and unreprovable in His sight!
Most of us if we are honest, don’t see ourselves that way… and it’s because of doubt coupled with ignorance of what Jesus has truly accomplished for us.
This is why verse 23 is here… because the point of all of this, is not our behaviors or work of our strength, but our faith and believe on the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Do we actually believe what Jesus has done for us, or are we going to rest instead on our own strength and effort?
I encourage you today, do not let anything or anyone, move you away from the simple, glorious truth of who you are in Christ. There are many preachers, pastors and leaders even, who will try to get you all self-focused and works-driven and merit-minded… who will try to make it Jesus plus you, when the reality is Jesus alone has done the work, and you simply rest in Him.
He said “It is finished” on the cross, and I believe that He meant what He said.
You are holy, blameless, and unreprovable in His sight. Not because of you, but because of what Jesus did in your place on that cross.
Rest in that truth, draw near to God with boldness and confidence, and live the reality of who you truly are in Christ Jesus.
Present yourself properly, in Christ.