We learned in my last post that we are no longer slaves to sin, because we have been crucified with Christ—and we are dead to sin, and alive to God (see Romans 6:11).But there’s an even more powerful truth in the gospel that enables us to live in freedom from sin and its desires.
Do you view yourself as a sinner, a slave to some aspect of sin? Or, do you view yourself in your new identity in Christ? Do you know how God views you?
Pauls says that for a while, the Law was needed to be a kind of nanny—a guardian of sorts, to supervise us and point us to life in Jesus. But Paul tells the Galatians, and he says to us—you no longer need that nanny! You are ready to become full sons and daughters of God! Read what he says here:
For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes … And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you (Galatians 3:26, 27, 29 NLT).
This is amazing! God is telling us we belong to Christ—through faith— and have become His children. That’s our new identity! Paul goes on with this theme in chapter 4:
But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir (Galatians 4:4-7 NLT, emphasis added).
This is one of the most critical identity shifts in the Christian life! If we don’t understand how God views us (and that He invites us to view ourselves in the same way) we will always go back to the Law and rule keeping to motivate us in our obedience.
Here are three truths that can change our motivation and increase our longing to live in connection and obedience to our heavenly Father:
- Through our faith in Christ we have become adopted sons and daughters of God.
- As sons and daughters, we are no longer slaves to sin.
- Not only are we sons and daughters, we are heirs, in essence, princes and princesses of the King of kings.
How would life be different for you if you fully embraced this change of identity?
How would it change your relationship with God to view Him as your Abba (Daddy), versus a celestial rule monger or cosmic kill-joy?
How does this identity adjustment affect your motivation for right living?