Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come2 Cor. 5:17
I have met many anxious Christians. I don’t mean these are Christians who struggle with anxiety in life. What I mean is they are anxious about their salvation. At the same time, I have met many Christians who do not acknowledge they are anxious about the security of their salvation, except that the words they speak and the lives they live evidence they are insecure about their salvation.
In other words, both the one who acknowledges they are insecure about their salvation and the one who does not acknowledge it struggle with one central issue: their “Identity IN Christ”. Do you know how these feelings of insecurity show up? They show up in one, Habitual sin, and/or two, Excessive good works. Both habitual sin and excessive good works stem from the same root: Neither one knows or believes the TRUTH about who they are IN Christ.
From everything I read in the New Testament about our salvation it explains it most simply as a “transfer of Identity”. Those in Christ are transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light; they are transferred from this world into the Kingdom of God; they once were born of Adam now they are born of God; they were of the earth, now they are of heaven. Once they were a child of the devil, now they are a child of God. Once they did not carry the Holy Spirit in their bodies and now they do, etc. I could go on but I trust you get my point. So, in the scriptures, there are only two people groups which are called “chosen, elect, known, and beloved” by God. One is the Nation of Israel, and the other is all who are IN Christ. And if you pay close attention to the Apostle Paul, and also Peter’s letters, you will see that the saints, faithful, and beloved are not saved because they are “Holier” than another, or do more works than another, or never screw up. They are “chosen and beloved” by God BECAUSE they are IN Christ. This is the central issue of eternal security. Anyone IN Christ IS a NEW creation because they bear the Seed of God: the “Word and Spirit” in their physical temples (bodies). For a moment think about the Tabernacle or Temple in the Old Testament with me (where God dwelt). This “Holy” place was Holy because God dwelt there both by His Word (the ark of the covenant with the ten commandments) and His Spirit (the Shekinah glory). Also, anyone who was IN that Tabernacle/Temple was Holy, for they could not enter unless they were Holy. But now Jesus is the new Temple and just as Jesus said, “If My Word abides in you … and you abide in Me, you are truly my disciples…” and as He said, “No one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again (or born of God, born of the Spirit, born from heaven). Both the Spirit and the Word are the Seed that dwells inside the eternally secure individual. Since Jesus, Himself, is the Chosen, Anointed, beloved, and Holy One of God, ALL who are IN HIM are chosen, beloved, and holy also. So, if you dwell in the “Holy Place” the Temple of God (Jesus Christ) you are IN Him. Also, this is the key to understanding the concept of election.
Allow me to use a couple examples of what I mean when I say our identity IN Christ stems from resting IN Jesus. First, Jesus Christ completed the “law of works” when He suffered for our sins, including the command regarding the “Sabbath” rest. What I mean is that Jesus Christ is our Sabbath rest. He “rested” in death in the tomb on Saturday (Sabbath) therefore fulfilling the Sabbath law. And now anyone who is IN Christ (meaning they died both to the Law of Moses and to a life of sin, with Christ) has also rested from their works, as Jesus did from His (you might recognize that statement from Hebrews). Salvation means to rest IN Jesus’ work fulfilled on the cross. And one more example here. Say Jesus is a chair and you are exhausted from standing all day long. So you go over to that chair to rest in it but you hesitate, unsure whether this chair will support your weight. As you begin to sit you choose to put half your weight in the chair and half your weight on your feet and thighs, which is very uncomfortable by the way. Now, are you resting in and depending upon that chair to support you, or are you doubtful whether it will truly hold you up? This individual is unsure of their security in Christ and therefore insecure regarding their identity in Christ, as they should be. But the one who rests in the chair, putting their full weight in it to support them, is exhibiting trust or faith, in that chair (Jesus Christ) to support them. Jesus has both released us from the “Law of works” and become our “Sabbath rest” when we abide IN Him.
Lastly, this identity in Christ does not mean we do not struggle against sin or with our flesh. We still have to live in these bodies but we are being sanctified, or becoming more and more like Jesus, as we rest in Him and allow Him His way in our lives, not resisting the Holy Spirit. But since we are now born of God, we strive by His power, or grace, to overcome our struggles with sin. And the more we renew our minds (Romans 12:1-2) with the truth of who we are IN Christ, the more we will live out our identity as beloved children of God, who carry the very Spirit within us which raised Jesus Christ from death and which now gives us resurrection power each and every day that we live on this earth. All this is very good news! Now rest in Jesus.