Many Christians are quite familiar with their identity in Christ in terms of being “sons and daughters of God.” They know this and are confident in it. But where many of those Christians lose their ground is in acknowledging that their identity also includes them being the temple of God –by the reason of the Holy Spirit in them. In fact, there would have been no talk about identity in Christ if not for the Holy Spirit, for He is the Spirit of adoption. He is the one that brands us with the mark of sonship. (Romans 8:14-15; Galatians 4:6)
Therefore, this blog post serves as a reminder to those who have forgotten, or as an eye-opener to those who never knew this: Your identity in Christ also includes you being the habitation of the Holy Spirit.
My mentor said (paraphrased) that “it is a downgrade for a believer to lie because kings don’t lie, in fact, they don’t need to,” and I couldn’t agree less with him. The average believer is unaware of his identity in Christ and so often downgrades himself or herself from the God-nature (by the reason of the Holy Spirit in Him) to the sin-nature (by calling himself or herself a sinner or living as one).
A very important part of our identity is that we are the habitation of the Spirit of God. As in, the Holy Spirit dwells in us. (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19). What exactly does this mean? First, it means we have life dwelling in us. Since the Holy Spirit is the Power that raised Jesus from the dead, He is also life. (John 6:63; Romans 8:11). Therefore, when a Christian submits to sin, he downgrades himself from the position of one who has life in him, to one who is held hostage by death. Little wonder why the Bible says walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. It is because the more we remain conscious of the presence and leading of the Holy Spirit in us, the less attraction we would feel towards sin –because life and death cannot co-habit (Galatians 5:16-17) (Romans 8:2; Galatians 6:8).
Many Christians live as slaves to sin, negative emotions, and even condemnation and oppression from the devil. Again, this is an identity crisis. 2 Corinthians 3:17 lets us know that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Since we are clear that the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of God, lives in us then it means that we ought to live in the freedom made available by the same Spirit. That means we are not held bound by negative emotions, neither are we slaves to sin nor are we to live under condemnation. (Romans 8:1 KJV)
Formerly, before coming to Christ, we could say that we found it hard to show love, but not anymore. The Holy Spirit who was given to us is the evidence of God’s love poured into our hearts (Romans 5:5). That is why love is part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Whatever difficulty we had showing love to people around us –whether friend or foe, believer or unbeliever—is destroyed by the fruit that the Holy Spirit causes us to bear through intimacy with Him. It is in your new identity to love because God is love and as He is, so are we on earth (1 John 4:8 & 17). Christians would find themselves walking out of love when they are not in check with the Holy Spirit in them.
Redemption could mean “the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil”. It could also mean “the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment or clearing a debt.” The spiritual implication of the first meaning above has been previously explained so the focus now is on the second meaning. The Holy Spirit is a seal of redemption for every believer. (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30)
We were once in the possession of Satan; he was our lord, and we were his servants because we were deep and lost in sin. However, upon salvation brought by grace through faith, we were redeemed. Jesus gave His life in exchange for ours and cleared the debt of our sins by His blood. The Holy Spirit is the seal of this great exchange. But some believers still live their lives as though they are still under the possession of Satan. They live in fear, ignorance, and guilt: the very weapons of the devil. Whereas the Scripture tells us God hasn’t given us the spirit of fear. Again, we are informed that Holy Spirit is there to teach us all things and that we are not under condemnation in Christ Jesus if we walk by the Spirit and not in the flesh. (2 Timothy 1:7; Romans 8:15; John 14:26; Romans 8:1)
It is only when a believer is ignorant of the seal of the Holy Spirit as evidence of his redemption that he continues to act as if he is under the ownership of Satan.
Daily, believers must renew their minds to their newfound identity in Christ. The more we are in line with our new nature, the less we would conform to the standard of the world. And the standard of the world doesn’t mean sin alone. It means anything contrary to the new life and nature we have received to live.
“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.”Romans 8:9