BY PASTOR T.O. BANSO
We read in the Bible about so many questions. One of them is the phrase, “Who are you?” Genesis 27:18 records the first occurrence of this question when Jacob appeared before his father to deceive him in order to take the blessing of his brother, Esau. “So he went to his father and said, ‘My father.’ And he said, ‘Here I am. Who are you, my son?’ Jacob said to his father, ‘I am Esau your firstborn; I have done just as you told me; please arise, sit and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me’” (Genesis 27:18-19 NKJV).
Please notice that he didn’t just lie that he was Esau, he added that phrase “your firstborn” – that was the real determinant of who received the blessing at stake. His father had some doubts in his mind about his claim but still went ahead to bless him.
The second occurrence of the question, “Who are you?” is found in the same chapter of the Bible when Esau eventually returned with the venison his father had asked him to prepare for him to eat and bless him. “Now it happened, as soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. He also had made savory food, and brought it to his father, and said to his father, ‘Let my father arise and eat of his son’s game, that your soul may bless me.’ And his father Isaac said to him, ‘Who are you?’ So he said, ‘I am your son, your firstborn, Esau’” (Genesis 27:30-32 NKJV).
Again, take note of whom Jacob called himself – “your firstborn, Esau.” He didn’t just call himself Esau but stated that the fact that he was his firstborn. He knew who he was but it was too late for him to get the firstborn blessing. The father wept; he wept too. The father eventually gave him a blessing but Jacob went away with the blessing.
Who are you in Christ? You should know who you are for you to enjoy the Christian life. You must not allow situations and circumstances or other people to describe you. Know who God says you are, believe it, and act as if it is true because it is true.
Who am I that I should…?
When God called Moses and told him he wanted to send him back to Egypt from where he had run away about forty years earlier and go to deliver the Israelites, he didn’t believe he had what it took to deliver them.. Moses didn’t see himself as a deliverer – the same mission he had tried to accomplish in his strength some years earlier. Exodus 3:11 says, “But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?’” (NKJV).
The rejection of the past must have made him doubt his identity. He had wanted to make peace between two Israelites, but one of them yelled at him.“Then he said, ‘Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?’” (Exodus 2:14 NKJV) Acts 7: 27 & 35 also refers to this incident. That statement must have hunted Moses as he took care of Jethro’s sheep. Nevertheless, forty years after his escape from Egypt for fear that Pharaoh might kill him should he hear of the murder he committed, God came for him. But Moses was reluctant to step forward to fulfill his destiny.
Who are you in Christ? What you’re going through can never invalidate or cancel the truth about who you are in Christ. However, ignorance, misinformation will cheat you.
Here are some more instances where the question “Who are you?” came up in the Bible.
1.The sailors and Jonah. The sailors in the ship with run-away Prophet Jonah asked him who he was as they were battling to survive the raging storm on the high sea. “‘Who are you?’ and he answered them. ‘What have you done to bring this awful storm down on us?’ they demanded. ‘Who are you? What is your line of work? What country are you from? What is your nationality?’ And Jonah answered, ‘I am a Hebrew, and I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land’” (Jonah 1:8-9 NLT). Did you see that? He was running away on the sea from the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land! What a futile action! Notwithstanding that, Jonah knew who he was.
2. The priests and the temple assistants and John the Baptist. The Jewish religious leaders sent the priests and the temple assistants to ask for the identity of John the Baptist. They kept guessing who he was, but John wasn’t confused about his identity. “This was the testimony of John when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John whether he claimed to be the Messiah. He flatly denied it. ‘I am not the Messiah,’ he said. ‘Well then, who are you?’ they asked. ‘Are you Elijah?’ ‘No,’ he replied. ‘Are you the Prophet?’ ‘No.’ ‘Then who are you? Tell us, so we can give an answer to those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?’” (NLT).
3. Saul of Tarsus (Paul) and Jesus Christ. Saul of Tarsus, who later became Paul, asked Christ, “Who are you?” during his encounter on the way to Damascus, and he got an answer. “‘Who are you, sir?’ Saul asked. And the voice replied, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you are to do’” (Acts 9:5-6 NLT). Paul makes more reference to this incident in Acts 19.
4. An evil spirit and seven sons of Sceva. An evil spirit challenged the seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, who were using incantation to cast out devils. The demon asked them, “Who are you?” Unfortunately, they couldn’t answer. They knew they were mere name droppers, and had no relationship with Jesus whose name they were using, and neither did they believe in Christ as preached by Paul whose message they were relying on to cast out the devil. The evil spirit overpowered them and their clothes were torn – they ran away naked. “A team of Jews who were traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus. The incantation they used was this: ‘I command you by Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!’ Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. But when they tried it on a man possessed by an evil spirit, the spirit replied, ‘I know Jesus, and I know Paul. But who are you?’ And he leaped on them and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and badly injured. The story of what happened spread quickly all through Ephesus, to Jews and Greeks alike. A solemn fear descended on the city, and the name of the Lord Jesus was greatly honored” (Acts 19:13-17 NLT).
As it’s often said, “Knowledge is power.” However, this is truer when it is correct knowledge. Knowing who you are in Christ is power. Ignorance is disastrous.
Who you are in Christ
1.You are forgiven. After man fell in the Garden of Eden, sin separated man from God. Man died! Man couldn’t deliver himself from sin hence Jesus came to deliver us from sin. “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21 NKJV).
The justice of God says the soul who sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:20). But Jesus secured forgiveness for sinners including you by bearing the sin of sinners on the cross and dying in their place. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22).
When you come to God, repent and confess of your sins and accept Jesus into your life, you are forgiven. “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:13-15 NKJV).
Knowing that you’re forgiven is key to enjoying your new life in Christ Jesus. That’s what makes you sure of your salvation. The devil will try to remind you of your sins thereby making you have a guilty conscience, but your knowledge of the truth that you’re forgiven will make you established and unmovable by the devil.
You don’t have to keep asking for forgiveness of the same sins concerning which you’ve already received forgiveness from God. If you bring it up before God again, He’ll ask you “Which sin are you talking about?” This is because God can’t remember. Once He forgives you, He forgets. Hallelujah! Psalm 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (NKJV). The question is: How far is the east from the west? If you’re going to the east, you can never meet the west, and vice-versa! That means the distance between the east and the west is un-ending. You can never meet your sins that God has forgiven you. You’re forgiven but just as Jesus told that woman caught in adultery and he saved from being stoned to death, “Go, and sin no more” (John 8:11).
2. You are redeemed. The Greek word translated redeemed is exagorazo (pronounced ex-ag-or-ad’-zo) meaning to buy up, i.e. ransom; figuratively, to rescue from loss (improve opportunity). Salvation is free but is not cheap because it cost Jesus his life. To buy sinners from the slave market of sin, Jesus exchanged his life – he gave his life a ransom. Galatians 3:13-14 says, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (NKJV). Instead of the word redeemed, the New Living Translation uses the word “rescued” – “But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law” (Galatians 3:13 NLT).
You need to appreciate what Jesus did for you on the cross – the supreme price He paid. Know that you’re redeemed, and value it by not continuing living in sin that you’ve been redeemed from.
3. You are justified and reconciled. In the New Testament, justification means being made right with God, being made acceptable to Him. It means acquittal from sin for Christ’s sake. It is not self-justification; it is not justification by personal efforts or because of keeping some religious rules. It is justification through faith in Jesus and His work on the cross. Galatians 2:15-16 says, “We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified” (NKJV).
No one is justified by the law in the sight of God but by faith (Galatians 3:11). Because of justification, it is just as if the sinners who came to God for forgiveness never sinned – God has forgiven their sins, and therefore, there is no record of sins against them. The Bible says Jesus was delivered up because of our offences and was raised because of our justification (Romans 4:25). “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1-2 NKJV).
Verse 9 says, “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (NKJV). Glory to God! That means anyone not justified by the blood of Jesus will face God’s wrath. That underscores the foolishness of rejecting God’s offer of salvation through Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18 NKJV).
If you’ve accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you should be established in the knowledge that you’re justified. “Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Romans 8:30 NKJV). There’s, therefore, no more condemnation to you if you’re in Christ Jesus for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made you free from the law of sin and of death (Romans 8:2). You’re justified.
You are not just justified; you are also reconciled with God. That means you have been brought back again to God. You are no longer far away from Him; the enmity between you and God is over. “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked, works, yet now He has reconciled” (Colossians 1:21 NKJV).
This was made possible by the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation” (Romans 5:8-11 NKJV).
Without God’s desire to reconcile us to Himself, nobody could be reconciled. God did it through His Son, Jesus Christ. Verses 18-19 of Romans 5 say, “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (NKJV). The gospel is a message of reconciliation, which we must preach for all to believe.
4. You are sanctified. 1 Corinthians 6:11 says, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (NKJV). From this scripture, we see that believers are both sanctified and justified. I’ve earlier talked about being justified. To sanctify means to set apart for special use or purpose – to make holy. Therefore, another word for sanctification is holiness.
In the Old Testament, people, places, and things were sanctified, set apart for holy use or God’s service. (Exodus 19:10, 14, 23; Genesis 2:3). In the New Testament, there are two sides to sanctification – God’s role through Christ Jesus and believers’ role. God’s role has to do with positional sanctification, which means that in aone-time process, the believer in Jesus Christ is sanctified. If you’ve given your life to Jesus, you are sanctified in Christ (1 Corinthians 1:2). Jesus is the sanctifier and you are the sanctified (Hebrews 2:11).
However, sanctification is also a continuous process throughout the believers’ lives (Hebrews 10:14). This is an offshoot of positional sanctification. Without positional sanctification, believers cannot purpose to live a holy, sanctified life. Sanctification is based on the sacrificial death of Christ.
It is true you’re sanctified by faith in Jesus (Acts 26:18), but you have a role to play to, with the help of the Holy Spirit, put to death the evil deeds of the body after you’ve given your life to Christ. Romans 8:13 says, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (NKJV). These deeds of the body are also called the works of the flesh, and you must get rid of them from your life. “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV).
Instead of doing the works of the flesh, walk in the Spirit, and cooperate with the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit of the Spirit in you. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another” (Galatians 5:22-26 NKJV).
1 Thessalonians 4:3 says that sanctification or holiness is God’s will for the believers. He has set us apart for holiness just as He set apart the nation of Israel (Ezekiel 27:28). Moreover, the Bible mentions the following agents of sanctification:
(i) God the Father. He sanctifies those who accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour and preserves them in Jesus Christ (Jude 1).
(ii) Jesus. He sanctifies us through His shed blood and faith in Him (Acts 26:18; Hebrews 2:11; 9:13-14).
(iii) The truth, which is the Word of God sanctifies us (John 17:17; 1 Timothy 4:5).
(iv) The Holy Spirit sanctifies us (Romans 15:16).
5. You are a new creation. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV). If you are born again, you are not a refurbished person; you’re a brand new person. God wipes away your past and gives you a new slate to start a new life. Therefore, you shouldn’t allow the devil to accuse you of any of your past wrongdoings and making you feel guilty. You should walk in the consciousness of your new birth and get rid of the old things that have passed away.
Put off the old man, and put on the new man. “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” (Colossians 3:8-10 NKJV).
Ephesians 4:20-24 also talks about the old man and the new man. “But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (NKJV).
You have been crucified with Christ. Legally, the old nature (sinful desires) is gone; it’s been nailed to the cross with Jesus. You have a responsibility to live a new life in Christ Jesus. Paul puts it this way: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20-21 NKJV).
6. You are a child of God. John 1:12-13 says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (NKJV). Everyone who has accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, anyone born again, is a child of God. God confers this right on anyone who believes in His Son as stated in the last scripture. Therefore, if you are born again, you have been born into the family of God. God has adopted you into His family through Christ Jesus. Before the foundation of the world, God had predestined you and every other child of God to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself (Ephesians 1:5). God is your Father; you are His child.
As a child of God, you have both rights and responsibilities. God will take care of His own side; you should take care of your own side. You should not only know that you’re a child of God; you should walk in the consciousness of it. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:1-3 NKJV).
Sons of God always live to please their Father. Jesus, the Son of God, said He always did things that pleased God (John 8:29). You should emulate Jesus. You should cooperate with God to do what pleases Him. The Bible says, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:13 NLT). Let God lead you. Listen to His voice – not the voice of strangers (John 10:5).
7. You are a joint-heir with Christ. “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Romans 8:16-17 NKJV). Having been born into the family of God, believers and Jesus Christ have God as their Father. Jesus is our elder brother. Hebrews 2:11 says, “So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters” (NLT). Those referred to in this scripture as being made holy or sanctified are those who have become children of God – those who are born again.
All heirs are entitled to their fathers’ inheritance. Therefore, by virtue of adoption into the family of God, you are entitled, as an heir, to the spiritual inheritance of your Father. In law, an adopted child has the same legal status as the biological son. They both enjoy the same privileges. You are a full member of the family of God as Jesus and other believers are because you’re an heir of God and joint-heirs with Christ.
There is a measure of the inheritance available to believers in the present dispensation. God expects you to appropriate and enjoy this inheritance. 2 Peter 1:2-4 says, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (NKJV). You are a partaker of God’s nature, and, therefore, you should allow that life of God to manifest in you on this earth. His rich and wonderful promises are also yours, and you should claim them for yourself here on earth.
The Bible also tells us that there is the inheritance that is yours but not meant for this dispensation. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5 NKJV).
Therefore, we have inheritance both now and in the future. You should not miss either. While you should enjoy all the inheritance available to you now, you should always look forward to your future inheritance. “So Jesus answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time — houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions — and in the age to come, eternal life” (Mark 10:29-31 NKJV). Luke 18:29-30 says a similar thing.
However, it is good to point out that, as joint-heirs with Jesus, Christians owe it a duty to be responsible brothers and sisters of Christ. Love and loyalty are some of the qualities expected among members of any family towards one another. That was why Jesus could die on the cross to save the world. As stated earlier in Romans 8:16-17, as an heir of God and joint-heir with Christ, you should be prepared to suffer with Him. That scripture says if we suffer with Him, we shall be glorified together. “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12 NKJV). You should rejoice that you partake of Christ’s sufferings that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy (1 Peter 4:13).
8. You’re part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation and God’s own special people. Therefore, you have to live not lower than this exalted status. 1 Peter 2:9-10 says, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (NKJV).
That is similar to what God called the children of Israel and related to them as such. “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6a NKJV). God has not changed. He wants you to obey Him. Jesus said, “If you love me, obey my commandments” (John 14:15 NLT).
9. You are an ambassador for Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God” (NKJV).
Who is an ambassador? An ambassador is “an official envoy, especially a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment” (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ambassador).
Part of your responsibilities as an ambassador of Christ is to represent Jesus Christ well everywhere. Though an ambassador enjoys diplomatic immunity, he is also expected to conduct himself in a manner that doesn’t embarrass his home country. You’re an ambassador of (for) Christ, and therefore you should be faithful to Christ, who is your sending authority.
In addition, part of your responsibility as an ambassador of Christ is to speak for the Kingdom of God and proclaim the message of salvation, including healing and deliverance. “I am in chains now for preaching this message as God’s ambassador. But pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should” (Ephesians 6:20 NLT). That was Paul talking about himself. You should not be ashamed of the Good News about Christ because it is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes — Jews first and also Gentiles (Romans 1:16).
10. You are the righteousness of God in Christ. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV). So if you know you’re the righteousness of God, what are you doing with sin – unrighteousness? 2 Corinthians 6:14 asks, “For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (NKJV). The answer is certainly none.
If you’ve been washed clean by the blood of Jesus Christ, what are you doing with iniquities? “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:1-4 NKJV).
What is that newness of life in reference in this passage? It is righteousness. This is not self-righteousness but the righteousness that Jesus has conferred on us. “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NKJV).
Take note that the Bible says the unrighteous shall not enter the Kingdom of God. Moreover, there is no way you can call yourself righteous and you’ll be practising the sins listed in that passage or other sins. Those who are righteous run away from sin. 1 John 3:9 says, “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God” (NKJV). That means the righteous cannot keep on sinning because they have been born of God. Their new nature abhors sin. That is why if by mistake they sin, they quickly ask for forgiveness and forsake it. They don’t keep toying with sin; they don’t practice sin; they don’t sin willfully.
1 Peter 2:1-3 says, “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious” (NKJV). The Bible also says, “But cowards who turn away from me, and unbelievers, and the corrupt, and murderers, and the immoral, and those who practice witchcraft, and idol worshipers, and all liars — their doom is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death” (Revelation 21:8 NLT).
The proof that you’re righteous is not that you only keep talking about it but you more importantly keep practising righteousness. “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:10 NKJV). Righteousness is of God, and whoever doesn’t practise righteousness is not of God. Righteousness is having the right relationship with God and living right.
11. You are blessed. “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin” (Romans 4:7-8 NKJV). When God forgave you your sins, He also blessed you. It is not money or material things that determine that you’re blessed. You are already blessed. Ephesians 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (NKJV).
It is too late for you to start asking God to bless you; you are already blessed! Even when you’re going through trials, negative circumstances, hardship, and the like, you’re still blessed. 1 Peter 3:13-14 says, “And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. ‘And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled’” (NKJV).
You’re blessed – all you need to do to activate the blessing of God upon your life. In addition, one major way to activate the blessing is obedience. “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 28:1-2 NKJV). Up to verse 14, God pronounced the blessings that will follow obedience while from verses 15-68 He pronounced the curses that will be the consequences of disobedience. In addition, the blessings of obedience are recorded in Leviticus 26:1-13 and Deuteronomy 7:12-24 while the curses are recorded in Leviticus 26:14-44.
Isaiah 1:19-20 says, “If you will only obey me and let me help you, then you will have plenty to eat. But if you keep turning away and refusing to listen, you will be destroyed by your enemies. I, the LORD, have spoken!” (NLT).
12. You are healed. 1 Peter 2:24 says, “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed” (NKJV). Peter was referring to the prophecy in Isaiah 53:5, which says, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (NKJV).
Divine health is your portion though the devil will want to attack your health. You also must avoid abusing your body thereby exposing yourself to illness. You must defend what God has given you – divine health. Anytime the devil tries to attack your health with sickness, always have this mindset that you’re not a sick person trying to get healed; you’re a healed person Satan is trying to steal his health. You are healed. Believe it, and confess it.
Conclusion: Let me close by reiterating what I said in the early portion of this message. You should know who you are in Christ for you to enjoy the Christian life. You must not allow situations and circumstances or other people to describe you. Don’t let Satan give you a distorted image of who you are in Christ. Know who God says you are, believe it, and act as if it is true because it is true.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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