All of heaven knows who you are, and all of hell also knows who you are. The only question they both have is this: Do you know who you are? (Think Who song, “Who are you, who, who, are you…tell me who are you!”) Sadly, many beloved Christians walk through their life mostly ignorant of their true identity, living like orphans instead of beloved sons and daughters of their Father in heaven, acting as if they didn’t die with Christ and get raised as Him.
Let’s look at what John is telling us here:
“As He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17b NKJV)
We’re not even as Jesus was before His resurrection, but as He is now, seated at the right hand of God. We died with Him and rose as Him. This is not because of anything we’ve done, but because of what HE did with us! The reality of this union is a mystery but what’s plain is that God intends for us to be “Jesus” on this earth.
Here’s what Paul doesn’t want us to forget in Romans 6:
3 Or have you forgotten that all of us who were immersed into union with Jesus, the Anointed One, were immersed into union with his death?
4 Sharing in his death by our baptism means that we were co-buried and entombed with him, so that when the Father’s glory raised Christ from the dead, we were also raised with him. We have been co-resurrected with him so that we could be empowered to walk in the freshness of new life. (Rom.6:3-4 TPT*)
This has already been done. This is our New Creation life.
Why don’t most Christians see themselves this way?
First, because our experience doesn’t line up with the reality of who we already are. To use a video metaphor, while our spirit is already life-streaming heaven in Christ, our soul is very much locked up in this world. It’s buffering, totally out of sync with our heavenly identity. This is why we need to increase our bandwidth so we can train our souls to live from heaven to earth.
Second, as I said here, it’s because of how our “world” has been framed up for us: by our upbringing, our culture, our education, and life experiences. For instance, in this culture we’re taught to only believe what we perceive with our natural senses. We also trust what other people tell us rather than what God is telling us. Or worse, we were taught a religion of separation and distance, that we’re “dirty worm” sinners instead of being the “righteousness of God in Christ” (2 Cor.5:21). And that gets to the third reason we struggle.
Religion actually makes the problem worse for us because it blinds us to who we really are by inserting a counterfeit spirituality instead of an authentic New Covenant relationship in Christ (Eph.2:6; Col.3:3). It creates complicated systems for reaching up to God, but true Christianity is God reaching into us, from within us.
Sadly, this religious framing has made us more sin-conscious than God conscious. But God is relentless about re-framing us according to how HE sees us!
For instance, this is how Jesus sees us. It will blow your mind!
10 For now he towers above all creation, for all things exist through him and for him. And that God made him, pioneer of our salvation, perfect through his sufferings, for this is how he brings many sons and daughters to share in his glory. 11 Jesus, the Holy One, makes us holy. And as sons and daughters, we now belong to his same Father, so he is not ashamed or embarrassed to introduce us as his brothers and sisters! 12 For he has said,
“I will reveal who you really are to my brothers and sisters,
and I will glorify you with praises
in the midst of the congregation.” (Heb.2:10-11 TPT*)
Not only is the writer of Hebrews telling us that Jesus is the pioneer, the forerunner of an unprecedented kingdom of New Creation sons and daughters, but He also shares His glory with us and reveals who we really are!
22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one (John 17:22 NIV*)
Through Jesus, we now see each other as we really are, no longer regarding one another according to outward appearances (2 Cor.5:16). This is one of the main reasons we’re to meet together—to encourage one another according to our true identity (Heb.10:19-25).
Beloved, we’re only suppose to see ourselves in Christ! In fact, the only person we can relate to in the Gospel stories is Jesus. We’re not the disciples (before the resurrection and Pentecost) and we’re certainly not the people He ministered to. As He is, so are we in this world!
Of course, the next question is, how do you and I bring our souls into sync with our true heavenly selves? We will look at that next time.