“Having a slave’s mentality is a dangerous thing to a son…”
This is a very touchy subject! Say the word “slavery” anymore and people jump to conclusions… I will eliminate any confusion now, at the beginning of this post, I speak of bondage to sin and the previous condition of the flesh and not of the world’s standard of slavery. If we are going to approach this, let us approach it in spiritual maturity and understanding!
There are easily several dozen scriptures that could be used to get this point across, both Old Testament (OT) and New Testament (NT)— however, I would like to maintain focus without overwhelming you with a profusion of references when a few will suffice— and there is certainly no shortage! I encourage you to seek them out for yourself, even along with what references I will use in this article!
Now, to the point! I have been going through quite a strong season of self-awareness lately as Holy Spirit reveals new things to me about identity, reveals new things to me about my identity, and so elegantly intertwines the revelation of Christ’s identity into my heart! I am, of course, not new to this walk of the faith but I fully believe that every day we learn new things that draw us ever closer to our heavenly Father in an intimate and interpersonal relationship; not neglecting to peer within ourselves and openly accept what is Him and deny what is not!
This doesn’t mean that any of us are perfect, at least not yet, rather that we should press toward it passionately! As the Apostle Paul said, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” To say that I am a sinner is to deny the very thing for which Christ Jesus took hold of us! I am a child of the God of Creation and, as Ephesians 5:8 so beautifully puts it, saying “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light,” a child of light! We are no longer bound by the darkness that once lived in us!
As we approach Christ with an honest heart, and the reason we can approach Him boldly is because of His great and unfailing love for us, we are opened up to a new reality; no longer of the natural, but of Him! I love how Peter says this in 1 Peter 2:4, confirming for us that “As you come to Him, the living Stone— rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to Him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” Peter refers to us here in the likeness of the One Who came for us, not saying that Christ alone is a living stone but that in Him we also are living stones; we are as He is because He is in us!
We are not Christ, but “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” When we move into a new home we have a tendency to fill that home with things that belong to us, likewise when Christ resides in us those things that are His reside in us as well! If we claim that Christ has taken up residence in our home (heart), then we must also believe that He brought all of His things with Him; indeed, new things, better things than filled the home before!
I am not saying that you are perfect at this very moment, but then again our very definition seems to have been corrupted. Our own definition of perfect tends to be ourselves, which opens us up to all sorts of trouble. Let me explain that with an example! I recently, as recently as today even was in a class that teaches leadership development skills and the Instructor said something that caught my attention. He said, and I am paraphrasing here, that “it is dangerous to try to force perfection on others because of our definition of what we think perfection looks like tends to come from ourselves.” In other words, when we are complaining because our coworkers are not doing the perfect job, our children aren’t cleaning their rooms to perfection, or any other use of the word it tends to come from a position of what we think is perfect.
This is wrong, of course, but not because we aren’t perfect! It is wrong because the true definition of perfection is found in the person of Jesus Christ! I hope you’re still with me, I don’t want to lose you in this! What I do want is for you to understand that if Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lives in you then the fullness of the perfection of God lives in you! You don’t have to strive for your own perfection, just to be more aware of His!
It is not from ourselves that we obtain salvation, “for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith— and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast,” (Ephesians 2:9) but as this scripture explains it is by the grace of God! Likewise, it is not of ourselves that obtain perfection but in Christ Who is the righteousness of God! We don’t perform righteous works so we can be perfect, rather we perform righteous works because He is perfection in us!
The truth is that we are sons and daughters of God, heavenly royalty! All of creation looks upon us with more reverence than we could ever muster to look upon the royalty of this world! All of creation testifies of Him, as Psalm 19:1-6 says, “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun. It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race. The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat.”
All of creation, though silent, testifies of Him more loudly than we could dare to dream and yet that very creation “waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.” (Romans 8:19) There will be a day, a glorious day, when God reveals who His sons and daughters really are and the very same creation that testifies of Him waits eagerly for the revelation of the children of God! I know that this may not be what this scripture is saying, but my heart receives from this statement, how sad it is that the things which have no voice and no soul testify more loudly of our position and inheritance than we often tend to!
We need to have a greater understanding of who we are, which is something that we cannot have without an intimate understanding of Who He is! We speak of Him as God, yet when we say things like “we’re all sinners,” we live as though He is incapable of fully delivering us from sin! Of course, there is the argument that “we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God..” but that is not what that scripture is even really saying… Paul is very clear in his teaching to the Romans concerning this and if we overlook the context we put ourselves in a dangerous position! What he is saying is that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” This does not mean that we are all sinners, it means that we have all sinned; a past tense statement that is followed by this present truth, “all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:24) We are not sinners! We were sinners and by His grace, we are free from that sin to which we were once in bondage!
We were sinners, but because of Christ Jesus we are now “are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9) We are the representatives of the kingdom of heaven on this earth, as Paul says in his second letter to the Corinthians, “we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”
If you are unfamiliar with WHAT an ambassador does, I present you with this definition:
an accredited diplomat sent by a country as its official representative to a foreign country.“the French ambassador to Portugal”
synonyms: envoy, plenipotentiary, emissary, (papal) nuncio, representative, high commissioner, consul, consul general, diplomat;archaiclegate“the American ambassador”
a person who acts as a representative or promoter of a specified activity.“he is a good ambassador for the industry”
synonyms: campaigner, representative, promoter, champion, supporter, backer, booster“a great ambassador for the sport”
We are not only the children of God but ambassadors, by which the world is made aware of His presence and His glory! We are called to more than falling back on the things that we once knew, in fact, we should cast those things off for the task that God has set before us! Paul also confirmed this truth to the Hebrews, saying that “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and the perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2) I want to point out that word perfecter because, as I previously stated in this article, our definition of perfection is found in the person of Jesus Christ and not from ourselves; though it is within us because He lives in us!
If we are truly the sons and daughters of God then our words should not only reflect that, but our lives should as well! We should not be caught up in double-mindedness, claiming to still be a part of the very sin that He died to free us from! Should we, as ambassadors of the kingdom of heaven, be living as representatives of the world? As Paul would say, certainly not! We do need to be careful because what we speak over ourselves is what we will believe, or rather what we speak over ourselves is what we believe! If Christ says I am free from sin, if Paul was so adamant about the fact that we are dead to sin, then there must be something to those statements! I firmly believe that Jesus knew exactly what He was saying when He spoke the words “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect,” (Matthew 5:48) and that we should in no way lessen the gravity of those words!
The instruction which comes from God is not futile, nor is it empty! “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11) God, our Father, has made it more than clear to us that what He speaks will not return void!
Beloved, I am not here to convince you of a ton of facts, I simply want you to understand that living in the mindsets that we lived in before we knew Christ is dangerous because they are no longer pertinent to the new life that we live in Him! Who we are now is a reflection of Who He is, and He is not so cruel that He would only open us up to a small portion of His will and glory; rather as He said in Luke 11:11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?” He wants to open us up to the fullness of the revelation of Who He is and what that means for us, and He is faithful to do just that if only we seek Him for it! Let’s not forget that He said: “Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)
It is my prayer that this article blesses you in some way and that you continue to grow in intimate relationship with your heavenly Father; Who so cherishes you, and desires to lavish you with love and affection, separating you from what you once were so that by His Spirit He can mold you into who He has created you to be! God bless you all!