Mark Collins Pastor UMC
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 KJV
My wife and I recently went and seen the movie “Overcomer”. My favorite part was when Hannah the young girl who has had a life of hardship said “ask me who I am.” She had experienced Christ and now knew who she belonged to and who she was in Christ. In people today I see more often than not, an emptiness, a loss, a need in their life and they don’t know where or how to escape. That’s why I wanted to share with you again an article I wrote for the Patrick Pulpits four years ago.
I remember at a Bible study one night a pastor asking us who we were. What he was getting at was “who are you in Christ.” You see if we are in Christ, we are not our own. We have been bought with a price, we are as a new creation. I was blessed to have learned this at a young age.
As a child in school I didn’t have much trouble with bullies, one reason I was a little bigger than most kids my age, but even the older kids didn’t pick on me much. Looking back on it, I can see the greatest reason was because I knew at a young age who I was. I didn’t get offended, I didn’t have to get even, it didn’t make me mad, so picking on me I guess, wasn’t much fun. Yes, it did hurt my feelings sometimes, I felt a little insecure or left out but that was not who I was. I can remember thinking to myself I am a child of God, I belong to Him, greater is He in me than he who is in the world, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. It was not always easy, sometimes I wanted to get mad and show off who I could be in the world and occasionally I suppose I did. The point is, knowing who we are will determine a lot of our actions and feelings.
Watching or reading today’s news is not only depressing but it also reveals who we are as a people. We are living in a time where accountability is at an all-time low. Responsibility seems to be no longer applicable to our personal lives but widely applied to others. It is my neighbors’ fault, the government caused this, or a big one is the church. I’m not saying these are not true. Our neighbors do upset us, the government is a direct fault of a lot of our hardships, and the churches have let us down by not standing for the truth, resulting in our country heading down the wrong path. But Christ lives in me, through faith I live for Christ although still in the flesh. “To live is Christ to die is gain.” As Christians we live our life with the knowledge of our eternal security. No matter what we face on the earth we still belong to Christ; we are His, we cannot lose.
At a young age I also learned that there is power in being a Christian. There is strength that is not our own which gives us an ability to face fears that would normally consume us. An older pastor once said that he was awakened one night to see the devil standing in his bedroom, the pastor then replied, it’s only you and went back to sleep. The world tells us we are not good enough and worthless, Christ says His goodness is enough and you are priceless. The world says we can concur and be free, Christ says that He has already concurred and set us free. The world says to look out for yourself and watch your back, Christ says to look out for others, and don’t worry, I got your back. There is a big difference in living and living for Christ.
A true Christian has been crucified with Christ yet is more alive than ever. So, when the world says you were born that way, yes but that way is dead, I was born again a new creature. When the world says it’s your body your choice, no I am not my own. When the world waves history in your face and brings up the past, now this is a good one, you can just say God knew me before the creation of the world, before history began. It was not your political party, civil leader, your boss, not even your parents or your pastor, although they may have sacrificed some for you, it was Jesus Christ who was the sacrifice and loved you and gave Himself for you.
Since I wrote this article, I realize that some may not understand how you can become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” To become new, Jesus says that you must be born again. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) Our sins prevent us from entering into God’s Kingdom we must repent and be forgiven. “That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:15) To believe in Christ is to accept Him, accept His sacrifice and forgiveness, to accept Him as Lord. We don’t have to wait to have that born again experience it begins the moment we trust Christ as our Savior.
When we trust in Christ, we see the world around us in a new light, there is an undeniable change. We begin to have new senses, new affections, new ideas, new appetites, and new concepts. We find we have a love for others as never before and yes even for our enemies. Know who you are in Christ, read your Bible daily and live within that knowledge.