2 Corinthians 4:1 - The goal of most believer’s life has been to become disgusted enough with ourselves to try hard enough, so that we can finally win God’s approval. The truth Paul has proclaimed in all of his epistles is we could not get right with God in a million life times of trial and error. We could never make ourselves right with God; God had to do what we could not do for ourselves.
Yet many believers spend their entire existence unsuccessfully trying to be someone other than who they really are, paying lip service to the idea that we are accepted because of God’s grace, the struggle for acceptance on the basis of works is epidemic, but the greatest travesty of all, is the lack of understanding about our new identity in Christ.
It would be disastrous enough if the reason people did not understand who they are was simply for a lack of information, and the truth is that there is an absence of teaching concerning our new identity and what it means to be new creations in Christ. For all the performance-based people around us, we are simply bad for public relations.
2 Corinthians 5:18 - This ministry of reconciliation is not to the saved, we know we are reconciled, but now all have access to God, a change in status for the entire world. Does this mean the entire world is save? No. We have to have an individual change of status and that takes place when we accept what God’s son accomplished for us.
Paul wants us to agree with God, to reckon our identity with our flesh as dead and gone, but the sin nature has not died. Do we need to change our minds about the seriousness of sin and God’s answer to that serious dilemma we find ourselves in? Yes, we do. God has been long-suffering in holding back his wrath, because he hopes that we will consider his goodness through his son, his goodness on our behalf and flee to his grace.
God wants us to change our mind about who we are from fleshly perspective apart from Christ. God is not patiently waiting for us to change our mind about what we do; many have done that, thinking it gains salvation. We are justified through our sanctified position in Christ; we have a new identity.
It is impossible for a believer to lose his salvation, but a believer can die physically. If that believer decided every morning before eating cereal, that they are going to coat their cereal not with milk, but with a fifth of whiskey, what is the believer going to do to their body? A believer can die functionally in that they can serve no further useful purpose here on earth, no heavenly purpose on earth to those to whom they become an ambassador.
2 Corinthians 6:1 - The most dangerous and harmful detriments to our growth is passivity, putting our mind in neutral and coasting, sitting back and waiting for God to do everything is not God’s way to maturity. Our old pattern for thinking and responding to our sin-trained flesh must be transformed by the renewing of our mind, it is our responsibility to change our behavior by putting to death the deeds of the body.
If the enemy can deceive us into believing a lie, they can control our life in that area. We are saints whom God has declared righteous, believing the enemies lie will lock us into a defeated, fruitless life, but believing God’s truth about who we are will set us free.
It is imperative to our growth and maturity that we believe God’s truth about who we are. We must learn how to resolve previous conflicts or the emotional baggage will accumulate as we continue to withdraw from life, the past will control our life as our options for handling it continue to decrease.
Perceiving those events from the perspective of our new identity, which God sealed in Christ, is what starts the process of healing those damaged emotions, because we have the privilege of evaluating our past experience in the light of who we are now, as opposed to who we were then.