18 Sep Born Again (Part 7): You Have a New Identity!
With a new Lord and as a new creation, those who are born gain have a new identity that the Bible speaks of frequently as something that can be put on through faith. Ephesians 4:22–24 welcomes born again people “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Whereas the sinful nature does not submit to God, the regenerated nature can, by God’s enabling grace, put off the identity of the old life, like stained and worn clothing, and put on the identity of a new life, like the white robes of righteousness mentioned throughout Scripture, to live a life that increasingly reflects the character of God our creator.
I was speaking with a woman who has been a Christian for many years. She has recently come to understand that how she lives her life is, in many ways, not in accordance with her theological convictions. So she has decided to put off many aspects of her life, such as breaking up with her non-Christian boyfriend, stopping her frequent trips to the local bar to drink and flirt after work, and refusing to be pushed around by her friends who are skilled at persuading her toward various kinds of trouble. She has decided to put on such things as participating in a weekly women’s Bible study, pursuing a godly older woman for a mentoring friendship, and exercising so as to be a good steward of her health. Her motivation for all this is that she sees herself as a Christian and wants to live all of her life as an act of worship to God. Simply put, as a new creation we have a new identity.
What old identities and negative self-images do you need to stop believing so that you can grow into the person Jesus intends for you to be?