Identity Matters Tract
Father Of The Term: “Exchanged Life”
"... God made me a new man! God has made me a new man!"
Do you know, I now think that this striving, longing, hoping for better days to come is not the true way to holiness, happiness or usefulness. It is better, no doubt, far better than being satisfied with poor attainments, but not the best way after all. I have been struck with a passage from a book... entitled “Christ is All” - “The Lord Jesus received is holiness begun; the Lord Jesus cherished is holiness advancing; the Lord Jesus counted upon as never absent would be holiness complete. He is most holy who has most of Christ within, and joys most fully in the finished work..."
How then to have our faith increased? Only by thinking of all that Jesus is and all He is for us: His life, His death, His work, He Himself as revealed to us in the Word, to be the subject of our constant thoughts. Not a striving to have faith... but a looking off to the Faithful One seems all we need; a resting in the Loved One entirely, for time and eternity.
... I looked to Jesus, and when I saw -- oh, how joy flowed!
It was resting in Jesus now, and letting Him do the work -- which makes all the difference. Whenever he spoke in meetings after that, a new power seemed to flow from him, and in the practical things of life a new peace possessed him. Troubles did not worry him as before. He cast everything on God in a new way, and gave more time to prayer.
IT’S ALL ABOUT ME
The Problem: Many of the self-proclaimed “Christians” put their entire Christian experience in the day of their salvation. Once saved, they continue to function by making use of their own mind, will and emotions— the result, “me being me through me.” We call this “Godship.”
Godship: is a simple term to describe what the Word defines as the number one problem in life—man attempting to function as his/her own god in the lives of self, others and even God. You might suffer with divorce, suicide, eating problems, depression or any other common problem with the self-life and most of the time, it falls under the category of Godship—finding ways to fix the fix that God has fixed on you to stop fixing life through self-effort. Our ministry has learned that the act of “playing God” helps us to identify the real problem in each of the lives we reach out to. We have also learned that the most common consequence of Godship is that of Rejection. (Gen. 3:5)
Rejection: is withholding love from self, others and God. There are two types of rejection: overt and covert. Overt rejection is “obvious or known” rejection—for example, I hate you! Covert rejection is “subtle or unknown” rejection—for example, smiling on the outside while judging on the inside. Both of these forms of rejection are consequences of Godship applied, either by self or from others. Without question we believe that rejection leads to individuals attempting to find life Externally. (Romans 15:7)
Me Diagram: This illustration reveals an Indwelt Christian who walks after their own mind, will and emotions—resulting in selfish & fleshly behavior. Christ maintains His position of staying on the throne in one’s life but the Christian blocks the flow of the mind of Christ through active rebellion or ignorance.
External/Internal: is an individual attempting to gain love, acceptance and significance from external resources—idolatry. Since Godship sets up “self-rule,” the individual works to turn negative externals into positive by making use of self-effort.
When a person works to turn negative eternals into positives without making use of the Life of Christ from within—it leads to serious problems in their lives. (Eccl. 2:1-11)
Problems: are direct consequences of self-life efforts. God then uses these problems to bring the believer to the end of their own resources, or self-life, in order to create a dependence on Christ Life from within. We believe that suffering is the key component to learning obedience to Christ Jesus who actually lives in you if you have become born-again. It is these problems that reveal the person’s flesh. (Heb. 5:8)
My Flesh: are patterns, reactions or sinful actions that reveal the individuals self-life—trash left behind by the old nature. It is through these fleshly reactions that lead the believer to Life (Christ) or Death (flesh) decisions. If the believer continues to choose self-life decisions, we believe God will bring this person to the end of themselves through consequences formed by their own flesh. This without question leads the person to Repentance. (Luke 9:23)
Repentance: is the process of confessing one’s sins and turning away from the self-life and returning to a dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ from the inside out. This cannot be done effectively unless the Holy Spirit brings revelation to specific areas of the flesh that rise up against Jesus Christ. Once true repentance has occurred, the indwelt Christian can begin to apply their identity in Christ to all of life’s situations and circumstances. (Psalm 119:59)
Identity Matters: is an experiential embrace and understanding of the believers identification with Christ in His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension—indaily living. This is what we call the Exchanged Life. When an individual has a born-again experience by faith, it means the Life of Christ comes and indwells the believer through the personhood of the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of Christ Jesus. The reality of this transformation allows for a true exchange of our old-nature, or Adamic history, for that of the Nature of God through Christ. In knowing this, we become partakers of all that is true about Christ through His death, burial, resurrection and ascension. Now the believer is in a position to appropriate their true identity in Christ and begin to live out that they are literally the Righteousness of Christ. (Galatians 2:20)
Righteousness: is an indwelt believers expression, function and life-style of releasing the Life of Christ from within. Once a born-again believer begins to appropriate their position in Christ, their condition is soon to change, simply by watching the evidence of His Life be manifested through their mind, will and emotions. That means when life’s circumstances are put before them, they can choose to release the Life of Christ to do the doing through them and this is a perfect set-up for learning how to Extend Forgiveness to others. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Extending Forgiveness: is extending forgiveness before God, in prayer, to anyone who has hurt you. Once an indwelt believer gets to this point, they are usually quick to release all anger and pain before God, extend forgiveness to those that initially hurt them and in many cases ready to Seek Forgiveness form others they have hurt. (Matt. 5:22-24)
Seeking Forgiveness: is the process of going to an individual that you have offended by action or reaction, seek their forgiveness and restore the relationship when possible. Once the believer has extended forgiveness before God on how they were hurt, they usually are released to go and seek the forgiveness for their part in the offense. It is in this process that we detail out for the indwelt believer on just how to do this. We find that when a believer reaches this stage of discipleship, they begin to Rest, Abide and Walk in the Spirit in the truest sense.
Christ Diagram: This illustration reveals an Indwelt Christian who walks after the Spirit from within. As a result, their mind, will and emotions—result in Christ’s behavior operating through them. Christ maintains His position of staying on the throne in one’s life AND the Christian continues to release the flow of the mind of Christ through active decisions of obedience.
Rest, Abide & Walk: is the result of appropriating true forgiveness in all areas of life. It is living in the present through the releasing of the Life of Christ in you to be obedient to His Father through your mind, will & emotions. We an indwelt believer gets to this point of their growth, they are able to confront the self-centered view of life and embrace the challenge of shifting to releasing the mind of Christ from within. Resting in Christ is a perfect place to be in showing the Love Life of Jesus. (Matt. 11:28)
Love Life: is the pinnacle of the Christian Life. Once the appropriation of the above eleven steps, the indwelt believer begins to reveal the two primary commandments Christ spoke of: love the Lord with your whole heart and second, love your neighbor as yourself. The result is when we obey, we have no condemnation and when we have no condemnation, we have confidence toward God—then whatever we ask through Christ, we receive. (John 3:21-22)
Consider Praying: I hereby surrender everything that I am, and have, and ever will be. I take my hands off of my life and release every relationship to You: every habit, every goal, my health, my wealth, and everything that means anything. I surrender it ALL to You. By faith I take my place at the Cross, believing that when the Lord Jesus was crucified, according to Your Word, I was crucified with Him; when He was buried, I was buried; when He was raised from the dead, I was raised with Him. I deny myself the right to rule and reign in my own life and I take up the Cross believing that I was raised from the dead and seated at Your right hand.
I thank You for saving me from my sins and myself. From this moment on I am trusting You to live Your life in me and through me, instead of me, to do what I can't do, quit what I can't quit, start what I can't start, and--most of all--to be what I can't be. I am trusting you to renew my mind and heal damaged emotions in Your time. I thank You now by faith for accepting me in the Lord Jesus, for giving me Your grace, Your freedom, Your joy, Your victory and Your righteousness as my inheritance. Even if I don't feel anything, I know that Your Word is true; I am counting on Your Spirit to do what Your Word says-- to set me free from myself, that Your resurrection life may be lived out through me, and that You may receive all the glory. I thank You and praise You for victory right now in Jesus' name, Amen. Preview Actual Tract