In the last installment, we looked at all that we had in Adam. (Read it here: https://www.rforh.com/resources/know-it/know-it-featured/care-genesis-says.)
Truly we had it all with Adam and Eve, but their sin changed everything. When Adam and Eve sinned, Satan won. Their bodies started to decay and die, and their wonderful relationship with their Creator was severed. They were no longer in the family of God. They were now slaves in an evil kingdom under the power of an evil master who hated them with a passion. All that was left was hopelessness, fear and guilt. We have all inherited this same fate.
Today most people don’t know that ultimate peace and fulfillment only comes from knowing our true value as image bearers and having fellowship with our Creator who loves us dearly. Fulfillment in life is an elusive dream. People seek fulfillment in many directions, like drugs, alcohol, sexual perversions, but those only destroy. Sports, entertainment and materialism are like the things the Roman emperors used to pacify the people of the Roman Empire. Black Friday is an example of materialism gone wild. Thanksgiving is the day when we should reflect on all of our blessings from above, yet the day after has become the new holiday that epitomizes the lust for more things. People will fight and trample one another just to get the latest thing for a few dollars less. There must be a better way.
We are all born into the kingdom and family of Satan. He offers illusion that never satisfies, so how do we break free. The only solution is for us to be born into a new family, given new life, a new identity, a new relationship and a new hope for the future. The whole race of Adam can be restored back to what God gave us at the beginning.
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heal. – Genesis 3:15
How could sinners, enemies of God, ever be accepted back and born back into God’s family. We either have to receive our eternal judgement or there would have to be a substitute, someone to take our place. But who could take the place of those who deserve eternal death?
Only an infinite perfect God could take the punishment that the race of Adam deserved. Adam’s sin brought death to the whole human race and only the death and resurrection of the perfect substitute could be the remedy. God promised that those who would trust in Christ would be born again and restored back to the way it was at the beginning.
What do we gain back when we trust in Christ?
We gain back life.
We gain back our eternal physical life, although not right away. We need to be given new bodies that will never die. That is exactly what God promised will happen when Christ returns.
And you hath he quickened, who were dead…
We gain back our eternal spiritual life. Once again, our soul is united with God. We can have fellowship with God. The ultimate fulfillment of this will be when we have perfect fellowship when Christ returns.
We gain back our identity.
When we receive Christ, God takes us out of Satan’s family and adopts us as His children. He changes who we are. We have been placed back into the family of God, and He calls us His children again.
According as he has chosen us… unto the adoption of children…
Hold on here, we must ask the obvious question. If Adam and Eve lost their position as children of God when they sinned, why don’t we lose our salvation when we sin?
This question is huge! We have to get this right or we miss the whole point of why Jesus came. Adam and Eve were perfect because they had not sinned. They were created perfect, and they were holy ones or saints because they had not sinned. But when they sinned they ceased to be holy ones, they became sinners. However, God’s plan in Christ, would guarantee that He would never lose any of His Children again.
What did Christ do for us? Jesus, the perfect God Himself, became human flesh so He could be our substitute. Our sins were placed on Him and He took our place. When He died, He took all of our sins, past, present, and future. When He rose from the dead, He broke the power of sin, death and Satan. When we trust in Christ and confess our sins, God does the miracle. God changes who we are, gives us a new identity, and places us in His family. He now calls us Holy ones and saints, not because we deserve it because we still sin sometimes, but God has changed our identity. We are now made holy because we are in Christ and He is Holy.
There is now no need to be afraid, anxious, or feel guilty or ashamed. Even when we sin, it does not change our identity. He sees us as forgiven through the blood of Christ. When we sin, we should waste no time at all, but burst into the throne room and receive forgiveness and renewed intimacy. We now strive to live sinless lives, not so we won’t be kicked out of God’s family, but because our identity has been changed and we seek to act accordingly.
We gain back our dominion.
So we have gained back eternal physical life and eternal spiritual life. We have gained back our position as children of God. We have gained back our identity as saints, but that is not all. He has given us back our dominion. Satan was judged at the cross and his final sentence will be carried out when Christ returns. Until that time, we still live in Satan’s territory. After all, he is the god of this world. But because of who we are, we can have the confidence to walk in Satan’s domain and know that he can’t touch us.
…the wicked one toucheth him not.
I John 5:18
Eph. 2:6 says that we share in Christ’s inheritance. God “made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” As part of being in Christ, our birthright has been restored. We share in Christ’s authority over the evil one.
However, we are admonished to be very careful, for we have an adversary who still wants to kill us and take and destroy everything good in our life. We don’t have to stand and listen to him like Adam and Eve did. We too have the authority to tell this lion to leave us alone and he has to obey.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he many devour: Whom resist steadfast.
I Peter 5:8-9
In I Peter 5:8-9 we are to resist the devil. Being in Christ, we have the badge of authority to tell Satan to leave just like Jesus did.
We can resist the devil, not in our power but in Christ’s authority, for He has the power.
If all this is true, why are there so many defeated Christians? I believe it is because they are not confident in their new identity in Christ. There are too many Christians who still perceive themselves to be sinners and not saints, so they act like the person they think they are – sinners. Christians far too often stand and listen to Satan who has effectively disguised himself. They don’t know it is him; and even if they did, they do not exercise their authority to tell him to leave. People just stand there and listen to Satan say, “Who do you think you are? You’re just a sinner, see you just sinned again. Look at everything you have done in the past. You don’t deserve to be in the presence of God.” The following story will explain what we need to do as children of the King.
In a kingdom far away, there lived a young prince who sat at the right hand of his father the king. He wore kingly cloths, and he had authority in the kingdom under his father. Then one day an evil lord from another kingdom crept into the castle and stole the prince. The boy was taken back to the evil lord’s kingdom where he was raised and treated as a peasant worker. As time passed, the boy began to think of himself as just a peasant. He would hang his head and tell himself, “I’m just a peasant.”
One day someone from his father’s kingdom found him and quickly brought him back and stood him before the throne. The boy had forgotten who he was and stood there cowering in fear before the king. His father ordered him to be cleaned up and given kingly cloths to wear and had him sit and eat at his table. The boy didn’t think he deserved to be there and he felt very uncomfortable in those cloth. To make matters worse, his old evil master would creep back into the castle and find the boy in kingly cloths and say, “Who do you think you are? You’re just a peasant boy. You deserve to be in the dungeon wearing your peasant cloths.”
Much to his father’s disappointment, that is exactly where he would find him. His father would continue to tell him that he didn’t deserve to be there, that he was the son of the king of the entire kingdom. The trouble is, just when the prince began to think and act like a prince, the evil lord would come back and say, “Who do you think you are?” and back he would go, down to the dungeon where he thought he belonged.
After a while the father realized what this evil lord was doing. The king told the boy that the next time that evil lord came in, he should stand and tell him that he was the son of the king and under the king’s authority, command him to leave. Sure enough the evil lord came back to taunt the prince; only this time when the evil lord said, “Who do you think you are?” the prince stood straight and tall and said, “I am the son of the King, and under his authority I command you to leave. The next thing we see is the evil lord running and screaming, “Oh No! He knows who he is, He knows who he is.”
Are you like the prince who forgot who he was? There is only one solution and it starts by believing what God has said about us. We must embrace our new identity as saints, stand with confidence and exercise that authority we have in Christ and tell Satan to leave us alone. We can start right now by reminding ourselves who we are in Christ.
Who am I? What is my true identity in Christ?
(For an expanded list see Neil Anderson, The Bondage Breaker.)
About the Author (Bob Gillespie):
Bob and his wife Lois graduated from Cedarville University in Ohio. Bob went on to receive his masters degree at Clark’s Summit Seminary in PA. They both spent 14 years teaching in Christian schools in Ohio and another 10 years teaching missionary kids in West Africa.
Bob taught science, history and Bible, always emphasizing why his students can believe the whole Bible. Coming back from Africa, God called Bob to expand his apologetics teaching to adults as well. He was with Answers in Genesis for 7 years, speaking in camps and schools, and holding apologetics conferences in over 350 locations all over the US.
Today, Bob and Lois still travel together with Reasons for Hope. He likes to communicate the message of why believing in Genesis as literal history is important, how to answer the questions that convince so many that they can’t believe the Bible, and how to reach a generation that thinks the Bible is a myth.