Do you live each day in your identity in Christ? How can you find your identity in Christ? In this week’s podcast, we talk about three ways to practically live this out. Get more tips for living a life in Christ in this week’s podcast.
Note: Below is a transcription of this Walking Our Talk podcast. Please excuse any grammatical or punctuation flaws, as the transcription is a written version of our fluid conversation.
Pauly [00:00:07] Welcome to Walking Our Talk with Alan and Pauly Heller. Join our conversation as we discuss practical ways to apply spiritual principles to your everyday life and help you walk your talk. One step at a time.
Alan [00:00:28] Welcome to walking our talk with Alan and Pauly Heller. Hi, Pauly.
Pauly [00:00:33] Hi, Alan.
Alan [00:00:34] So today we’re gonna be talking about our identity in Christ Christ as our life. And I always think of Galatians 2:20 that it’s no longer I who live the Christ who lives in me, the not the life I now live. I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. We’re gonna start out when Christ who is our life. You also will be revealed in glory. Our destination is heaven where he will be. First Corinthians 13 says for now we see in a mirror dimly but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I’ll know fully, just as I have been fully known. So Colossians at one point memorized Colossians three says that your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And so you’re dead to sin and alive to God. What will you see in your life? If that’s true.
Pauly [00:01:33] OK. There’s so much to what you are talking about, this passage of scripture is the key to freedom. It’s like being a bird who’s caged by perfectionism and having to think that you have to perform in order to be acceptable to God, in order to be good enough for God when the reality is that when Christ died on the cross, you died. I died along with him. That’s what Alan was saying. I’ve been crucified with Christ. That’s from Galatians. And it is no longer I who live. But Christ lives in me. And then Colossians goes on to say, if then you have been raised up with Christ. Raised up with Christ. Yeah. I thought I was dead. Yeah. You are dead. You died with Christ. And you also are raised with him. And that fact that it’s not just some concept or idea. The truth is that the good news of the gospel is that when Jesus died on the cross for our sins. That wasn’t just a defeat, like, oh, the enemy has won Christ. It has died for our sins. And your sins are now buried with him. But he rose. He rose from the dead, which means that in him we have also been raised from the dead. And so we’re not living in defeat. We’re living in victory. Having been raised up with Christ.
Alan [00:03:28] So that means what is your real life in God? What is that look like? And so it looks like you are a saint. Not a sinner.
Pauly [00:03:38] Right.
Alan [00:03:39] One of the things that many people do is spend so much time talking about the fact that they’re a worm and they’re so bad. And I mean, one of my professors that I listened to was Howard Hendricks, and he used to say if you want to know how significant you are. Stick your finger in a glass of water and pull it out in the hole that is left is how significant you are. So take that by faith.
Pauly [00:04:05] Well, right.
Alan [00:04:05] And you are the righteousness of God in Christ is what Corinthians says. And you are loved by an infinite God and you are to set your mind on Him and who you are in him rather than who you are in yourself.
Pauly [00:04:23] Right. So the significance of this is that we have victory over our sin. And that doesn’t mean that we don’t still struggle with our habits and whatever it is that we wrestle with, whether it’s impatience or a bad temper or some addictive type of behavior where we whatever that is. And you know, I just have to shop to feel good about myself. I have to spend money to feel good about myself. I have to gamble. I have to drink alcohol. I have to use drugs, whatever that behavior is. Your flesh is always going to have the tendency to want to do that because that’s where your sin is, your sin dwells in your flesh. But you are not your flesh because your flesh was crucified with Christ and you are no longer, that sin no longer has power over you.
Alan [00:05:28] Righ, so as a believer who understands their identity in Christ. We learn that we don’t have to sin. We will for what they did. Well, but first, John says, if you say that you have no sin, you call God a liar. So he knows you’re going to sin. But we have an advocate and Christ sees us as totally in him.
Pauly [00:05:51] That’s right. When God looks at us, he sees the blood of Christ. Just like that when the children of Israel were escaping from Egypt. The angel of death saw the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of the houses of the children of Israel and passed over their houses so that they weren’t hit with the final price. This the slaying of the firstborn. So when God looks at us, he sees the blood of Jesus covering us and that is covering our sin. And that is giving us the life of Christ.
Alan [00:06:34] So Romans chapter six in verse four says, therefore, we have been buried with him through baptism, into death in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the father. So we too might walk in newness of life. So you have newness of life because of him, not because of what we do for if we’ve become united with him in the likeness of our of his death. Certainly, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was past tense, crucified with him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. So we don’t have to sin. We can choose now. Whereas the natural man who doesn’t know Christ has no choice. He is in prison.
Pauly [00:07:27] That’s right. So going back to that illustration of a bird inside a cage, that door to the cage has been opened. But the bird can choose to stay in the cage or the bird can fly out the door.
Alan [00:07:44] We did the illustration of the big elephants that were tied with a chain around them. And they had a big post that was in the ground. And so they’d pull they’d feel that chain. And then later they would be trained so much that when they felt that around their leg, that when they tied just a little rope around the leg, they’d feel that and they’d think it’s the chain and they would stay there.
Pauly [00:08:06] Right. And they were trained that way as babies and so, yeah, when they weren’t strong enough to actually pull that thing, that’s stakeout of the ground. But as an adult elephant, certainly, they have the strength to do it. But they don’t know they can do it.
Alan [00:08:22] So verse seven in Romans six says for he who has died is freed from sin. So if we had died with Christ, we believe that we should also live with him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again. Death no longer has master over him for the death that he died. He died to sin once for all. But the life that he lives, he lives to die. And that’s really the truth about us. We are to live for God, not for ourselves. We don’t have to be chained anymore.
Pauly [00:09:01] That’s right. That’s the good news of the gospel, is that we have been freed from sin and death.
Alan [00:09:07] So practically, how do we set our mind? Well, the three things I think we need to do is, one, we need to choose to do it. We need to practice choosing. And we need to discipline our minds. And think about when I was in gymnastics, I would have to learn a back handspring. I would have to learn to be in an uncomfortable off-balance position in order to bend my knees, spring back, and go over the top and be able to not land on my head. And I know that you’ve thought that many problems have come from the fact that I did not choose the right way to do those back handsprings and ended up on my head many times. But first, we have to choose. In order to choose, you have you know, the will is the key. We used to have a diagram that, you know, it’s it’s really tied back to the verse in Galatians that says if we walk by this spirit we won’t carry out the desires of the flesh and so learning. We need to learn to choose truth over feelings over the way. We have so many people that say, you know, my mom was this, my dad was this. And that’s why I do this now at 50 years old. And I’m thinking, when was the last time you were in your house, in your family’s house with your family?
[00:10:32] And I mean, so we learn we see in our formative years’ certain things that are habit patterns that we take into our adult years. But we need to choose. Christ-life rather than death. And even Satan schemes, he is a liar. He is the father of lies. And so we need to choose truth and then we need to practice choosing. So sometimes we just think it’s supposed to be you know, we wave a magic wand and everything. Turns out the word says discipline yourself unto godliness. So there is discipline to choose truth to practice choosing that truth over and over again till that’s the habit of my life, rather than just doing what comes naturally, doing what comes naturally. You know, there is a way that seems right to a man, but its way leads to death. So doing what comes naturally will lead to death, doing what comes supernaturally learning that my real life is hidden with Christ in God, that my old life is dead, that I’m a new creature in Christ. Said Corinthians 5:17. That I’m a new creature and I need to walk in that new newness and practice that. And then I need to discipline my mind. I need to. In gymnastics, I had to overcome the feeling of pain in order to gain the move or the trick that I wanted to get in the gym. And so I had to discipline my mind to sort of blocked out the pain for the first few times that it would happen or a hundred times that I had. And then eventually one, there’d be routine after routine. And finally, I’d get it. I guess it was the cumulation of learning or whatever. But there were times where I spent hours and days in the gym and just wouldn’t get the move. And then one time it clicked. And many times that’s what goes on in the spiritual realm. We need to learn to discipline and do the right thing, even if we don’t feel like it. If I don’t feel good, doesn’t mean I don’t do the truth or what God tells me to do well.
Pauly [00:12:49] And it is a daily choice. It those are moment by moment decisions. I often will tell people that no matter how spiritual I am, no matter how much praying I have done in the evening, no matter how much focus I have had on the Lord before, I’ve gone to bed. When I wake up in the morning, I am right back in my flesh. I don’t know if that happens to you that way, but I know that every morning when I wake up, the first thing I think about is myself, how tired I am, how I don’t want to get out of bed, or how I have all of these things to do. And all I’m. I didn’t have a good night’s sleep when or whatever it is, I’m absorbed in myself and I need to make a conscious decision that this day belongs to God, that I have to choose to let Christ be my life today, that if I want to do anything of spiritual significance as his child, I need to give myself over to him. I need to ask him to take control. I need to remember that I died on the cross with Christ and that I am raised up with Christ and that my life is hidden with Christ and God, and that he has given me the victory. And this is not something that takes hours to do. It can happen in just a few moments of recognition of these facts. But it’s a daily practice. It’s something that I need to do to set my mind on him, to die to myself, to allow his life to fill me, to invite the Holy Spirit, to take over and guide me and empower me throughout the day for the things that God has for me.
Alan [00:14:50] So we’re raised up with Christ. And the keyword here is to keep seeking the things above. Jeremiah, 29:13, says, you will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. You will seek me and find me when you search for me. With all your heart. So it does take turning our heart over to the Lord, Matthew 6:33 says, but seek first the kingdom, his kingdom, and His righteousness, and then all the other things will be added to you. So seeking his kingdom and who he is and his righteousness. And then Philippians, says, Finally, brethren, what? Paul is talking to the Philippians while he’s in jail and says, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure. Whatever is lovely. Whatever is of good repute, if there’s any excellence and if anything worthy of praise dwell on these things.
Pauly [00:15:51] Well, you’re right. And that goes back to choosing and practicing, choosing, and disciplining your mind. You have to make a conscious decision to seek God, to look for him, to find what he wants for you. And every situation that you face throughout the day and also to be aware of the kinds of thoughts that are running through your mind. What? Where am I going with this? Am I getting absorbed in myself or my allowing myself to fall back into old patterns of thinking? Am I feeling sorry for myself? Am I feeling upset and angry over something that happened? Am I dwelling on things that are not pleasing to God or am I disciplining my mind to think about? Is Philippians 4:8 says whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is of is pure or lovely or of good repute or excellent or worthy of praise, which all has to do with God himself and his word. Dwell on these things. Think about these things. Allow these things to fill your mind rather than letting your mind run away with itself.
Alan [00:17:07] I think it’s like a thoroughbred in a horse race. I mean, he has a bit, a bridle, a jockey. The guy has a crop. Some people would say, oh, that’s so bad that you have that. But in order for that thoroughbred to go straight down the track and not cause havoc with the other. I mean, in the Kentucky Derby last year, the horse went into the wrong lane. And almost people who are in the know and jockeys who are in the know just said there could have been a pile-up of three or four horses and could have broken their legs or killed them or whatever.
Alan [00:17:43] So the importance is having that bridle helps keep the horse in check to be able to go down the path. And the word talks about he is a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path, and that as we identify with Christ and understand our real life is hidden with him in God and fill our heart and heads with that, we seek him with all our heart and then we do things that look like him.
Pauly [00:18:17] That’s so true. And the picture of a little jockey, I mean, they’re just little guys. And that’s part of being a jockey is being a certain weight that’s very light and easy for this powerful racehorse to carry. So you’ve got this animal that has all of this power that’s being guided by, you know, a really small person sitting on its back. And we have all the power of God and all the Holy Spirit and all the power of the creative force that brought the universe into existence at our disposal. And we’re just that small person who has the ability to say, yes, God, fill me, use me, or to say now today, I’m gonna just tough it out. I’m going to do it my way. And it’s our choice. And we need to choose to recognize that we died with him, were raised up with him, and we want him to fill us and use us the way he wants to.
Alan [00:19:29] So I think next time we’ll talk a little bit more about our identity in Christ and how we walk this life out. Colossians 3:1-4 says, therefore if you’ve been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on Earth for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life is revealed. Then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
Alan [00:20:01] This is Alan and Pauly Heller asking you to keep walking your talk.
Pauly [00:20:08] This has been Walking Our Talk with Alan and Pauly Heller, where we put into action those principles. We know from God’s word one step at a time. You can find more help at our website: walkandtalk.org