Identity… What We Were vs. What We Are

October 20

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

new creation b

Much of the New Testament is written to help us understand that something amazing has happened because we have placed our trust in Christ. It was none of our doing. We never deserved it. We didn’t win God’s approval or favor by anything we did. God did it all. And what He did, He offers to us freely. It is a gift, pure and simple, and this gift has the power to completely transform our lives.

With this gift comes some astounding changes. The long and short of it is this: ALL of us were the enemies of God, all of us were wicked to the core, all of us were deserving the wrath of God (only!), and all of us were without any chance to escape our condition on our own. That is what we were. That was our identity. But God’s love couldn’t leave us that way!

The gospel is centered in the fact that Jesus came and took everything we WERE upon Himself. Upon that cross, He actually became sin for us (2Cor. 5:21). He willingly embraced our enmity with God, our wickedness, our punishment, and our imprisonment to sin and our sinful state. He exchanged His glory for our destitution – all because God would rather die than live without us.


But that is not the end of the story… Jesus did not just come to pay the price for our sins, to make God’s forgiveness available to us. He came to open up something completely unexpected – and immensely more amazing.

He came to give us the gift of a whole new life. Forgiveness (as great as that is) was never His end game. God’s entire plan was to take away everything we WERE and to make us totally new – to make us into what He wanted us to be.

Our verse today is the centerpiece for this truth.

I have said it before, but it bears repeating (because it is really hard for us to believe!): Jesus’ work (on our behalf) brings immediate results and offers us immediate transformation. We are NOT becoming new creations… we ARE new creations. We are not gradually being fixed over the course of our Christian lives… the new HAS come. What we WERE (our old life, in its entirety) has passed away. The new life (what we ARE now) is a present reality.


Practically speaking… everything that was so indelibly attached to the old you “has passed away.” Your addictions… Your failures… Your bad habits… Your sins… Your desire to sin… your character flaws… have “passed away.”

What is more… every hurtful and abhorrent thing that was ever done to you by others “has passed away.”

The new you is completely liberated from everything you WERE — and from everything you WERE carrying in the depths of your soul.

But you are not a void. God made you new – and God made you to be a place where He lives, and works, and loves.

Your old ID has been tossed aside. You have been given a new ID. You ARE changed. You ARE new. You ARE somebody else entirely.

new life old life 2

You were the object of God’s grace all along.

Prayer Focus: God, I need to see myself in the light of Your handiwork in my life. Fix my thoughts on the fact that what we were is “passed away” and what we are has come to be.

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About theheartseeker

I have spent years studying the Scriptures and seeking for God's answer to the question: What IS true Christianity? Let me share some answers with you...
This entry was posted in Daily devotional, Identity, New creation, New Nature, our identity in Christ, Transformation, True Christianity and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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