Many of us have been programmed to believe things about ourselves that are no longer true in Christ. And unfortunately, many of the beliefs we have held about ourselves have been taught to us in church and through our religious catechism. We have been programmed to believe, “I am a sinner” instead of believing, “I am a beloved child of God.”
Truth be told, we still all struggle with sin. If our identity were based on our performance alone, the statement “I am a sinner”, would be completely true. Yet, there is a higher and greater truth about who we are in Christ that I would like to explain through an analogy.
In my home I have an unfinished basement. Now let’s imagine that you were going to visit my house for the first time. Before getting there, you were blindfolded, driven to my home and then led down into the basement before seeing any other part of my home – the exterior, the foyer, the kitchen, etc. You are now standing in my basement and the blindfolds are removed from your eyes. What do you see?
You see the cement walls of my unfinished basement. So based on the knowledge you have, you believe that my house is made of cement. The blindfolds go back on, you are kindly escorted from my home and asked the simple question, “What is Pierre’s house made of?” You respond based only on what you have seen. “Pierre lives in a cement house.” Now that does not sound so appealing, does it?
But here is the higher truth. If you were to see the outside of my home, you would realize that it is not really made of cement. It is actually sided with cedar wood. It is not unpainted and unfurnished like my basement; it is painted and fully furnished. My home is a beautiful gift from God to me and my family. Thank you, Lord!
In the same way, many of us are so focused on who we are in ourselves that we have not stepped back to see and recognize the beautiful identity we have from God in Christ. The basement of our lives says, “We are sinners.” And to some degree, this is true. Yet, the greater and higher truth is that in Christ we are complete and whole. Jesus’ death on the cross, not only removed the guilt and shame of sin, it also removed the stain of our sins before the Father.
It is a matter of focus. Are you focused on the basement of your past life before Christ or on your new identity in Christ? The Father who has purchased you back from your debt of sin does not look upon you as a sinner. He looks upon you as a completely righteous child of God because of the great and complete work Jesus accomplished for us on the cross.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”(1 John 3:1a) Child of God, take hold of the truth of what God says about you in Christ and repeat and rehearse these words over and over again until they are embedded into your soul like the words of a popular song that you just can’t get out of your head. “I am unconditionally loved and accepted by God.”
This article is an excerpt from my book, Our Good Father. Our Good Father is a study of Jesus’ words to help us understand the true nature of God the Father. If you want to grow deeper in your relationship with God and see yourself in a whole new light, grab a copy of this book.