2 Corinthians 5:17

On our own we are nothing

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He takes all our sins, faults, weaknesses, and failures, and gives us His ability, His righteousness, and His strength. He takes our diseases and sicknesses and gives us His healing and health. He takes our messed-up, failure-filled past and gives us forgiveness and hope of a bright future.

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
Isaiah 64:6.

But in Christ, we have a beautiful future, one worth looking forward to. In Christ means that we have placed all our faith in Him in every aspect of our lives.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the bright future we have in your son Jesus Christ.

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Roots and Fruits – Children of God

Advertisements Are you experiencing the deepest intimacy with God that you can? Do you soar in the heavens with Holy Spirit? If your answer to this kind of life is no, it is because barriers are chaining you down. If you are not soaring through this series, I will help you to understand what chainsContinue reading →

The Importance of Fellowship

Advertisements The Cancer of Sin In this series of posts, we will look at the New Testament book of 1 John. A letter written by John to the church. Through this letter, we can understand that as Christians we can be certain of our salvation and our position before God. We have been forgiven andContinue reading →

Move far away from the shallow

Advertisements Reflecting on the last wrote on this subject, I spoke about a song, an earworm, that I had playing in my mind over and over. Well, 2 days later and it’s still there. The song, “Shallow,” a duet by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper from the movie “A Star is Born“. To view the firstContinue reading →

Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in The Importance of Fellowship, 0 comments

Roots and Fruits – the Child of the Devil

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If you plant a fruit tree, let’s say an orange tree, you will expect oranges to grow. An orange tree will not produce pears. It is not part of the orange tree’s nature to produce a different fruit. This is a good way to imagine how the natural is a resemblance of the Spiritual. Just as a physical seed cannot produce something outside its genetic code, so God’s seed cannot produce something opposing to His nature. John shares a powerful and profound message that can help us to better understand our nature in Christ and to identify and be aware of the work of the Devil. 

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The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. 1 John 3: 8‭-‬10

The child of the Devil cannot produce divine fruit: “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8‭). This is saying, satanic roots will produce satanic fruit. Someone who is doing the works of the Devil must have a nature within him like the Devil’s. 

The sinful nature we have today is one of the results of the fall of Adam. Adam was not created sinful, but his choice to defy the Lord and sin somehow twisted his make-up, and this twisted nature has been passed down to the human race through his seed (Psalm 51:5). It is therefore logical to conclude that an unbeliever cannot stop from producing the works of the Devil—it is in the unbelievers nature. 

Thankfully and blessedly, a child of God cannot remain in sin. John tell us in verse 9, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” You might ask yourself at this point: “Wait, I still sin, does this mean that I am not a child of God?” If you read Paul’s parallel statements in Romans 7:14-25, the evil which I do, although is done my me, it is from my sinful nature. Therefore, the divine good I do is not done by me, it is done by my Spiritual, divine nature. Both of these natures dwell in the child of God simultaneously. 

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. Romans 7:14-25

However, a new person in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) knows that when he knowingly sins, he is not acting in accordance with the change that took place when he was born-again. As he has the mind of Christ, he acts in harmony with his new identity in Christ. We tend to act in accordance with how we see ourselves, that is why it is fundamental to understand who we are in Christ. 

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As children of God, we make visible, or demonstrate (manifest), who we really are when we produce divine righteousness. On the contrary, when we sin we are hiding God’s glory. So, remember who you are. You were created for God’s glory, so manifest God everywhere you go. Wherever you are, manifest who you really are as a child of God. Manifest God’s glory.

Believe in Christ! Receive Christ! Become a Child of God!

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Roots and Fruits – Children of God

Advertisements Are you experiencing the deepest intimacy with God that you can? Do you soar in the heavens with Holy Spirit? If your answer to this kind of life is no, it is because barriers are chaining you down. If you are not soaring through this series, I will help you to understand what chainsContinue reading →

The Importance of Fellowship

Advertisements The Cancer of Sin In this series of posts, we will look at the New Testament book of 1 John. A letter written by John to the church. Through this letter, we can understand that as Christians we can be certain of our salvation and our position before God. We have been forgiven andContinue reading →

Move far away from the shallow

Advertisements Reflecting on the last wrote on this subject, I spoke about a song, an earworm, that I had playing in my mind over and over. Well, 2 days later and it’s still there. The song, “Shallow,” a duet by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper from the movie “A Star is Born“. To view the firstContinue reading →

Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in The Importance of Fellowship, 0 comments

Identity Theft

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Here in South Africa, and many countries around the world, identity theft is a real problem. Your whole life can be taken away from you without you realising immediately. It happens slowly… the identity thieves take your identity, open credit accounts in your name, marry you off to a foreigner to get that person into the country, and all this without you knowing or permission. You only find out when the damage is done, when you receive an account in the post for which you have to pay or when you actually want to to marry the love of your life and find out you’re already married! The horror!!

We are a new creation just by trusting Jesus and putting our faith in Him. This transformation is immediate! 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here (2 Corinthians 5:17) It’s like instant pudding – just add milk. Here, just add Jesus, and immediately, we have new life in Christ and a new identity. And with that new identity comes responsibility.

Just add Jesus!

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In our new identity in Christ, we must constantly be on guard. The moment we add Jesus to our lives, the enemy comes; the enemy comes to bring doubt, cause us to doubt God’s love for us, to discourage us and to distract us with lies about who we are in Christ. Our identity is at risk of being stolen. He deposits lies into our minds, in our hearts, leaving our hopes to slip into unbelief and to question if what God has said is really true.

News flash, what God says is true.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Proverbs 4:23

Ephesians 6 instructs us what to do! How we can wise up to the schemes of Satan – put on the full armour of God. Why? So that we can stand. But not just stand, we can stand firm!

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The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:10‭-‬20

Declare the Gospel without Fear!

the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
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God’s armour, which we wear, needs constant and persistent assessment to allow us to stand firm. Read the Scriptures in this post, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show you where there might be weaknesses in your armour.

Be alert! Wield your Prayers! Use the Word of God as your weapon against the enemy. Safe-guard your heart, your soul, your mind, your Identity.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:10
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Ask God to teach you how to be more alert to the enemies lying schemes that come to steal your Identity in Christ.

What God says, goes!

Advertisements How can we know who we truly are? We have to know what God says about us first! Thankfully, our identity in Christ – that is, who we are as followers of Jesus – can be found rooted in the foundation of Scripture. So many voices compete for our attention. It can be easyContinue reading →

Knowing and Believing

Advertisements Who am I? This is not a one-time question for most of us. Throughout life we can find ourselves questioning – yet again – who am I, and what have I allowed to influence my life over the voice of God? The living God has given us His Word and Spirit. And He has toldContinue reading →

A Change of Perspective

Our world, our lives can be rocked, shifted, redirected, turn around 180 degrees or upside down by difficult circumstances. Equally so, these circumstances change how we see ourselves. Has someone in your life, in your job, your finances, your relationships left you in a tough situation where it begins to chip away your identity? Maybe you begin to believe you’re a failure, not good enough, I will never make it?

Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in Identity in Christ, 1 comment