The difference between the first Adam and the last Adam, Jesus Christ, spells the difference between life and death for us. Perhaps it is best stated in scripture:
1 Corinthians 15:22
"For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive."
The phrase "in Christ" is the most critical element of our identity. So let's look a little deeper to see what this really means:
We weren't born "in Christ". We were born into sin, thanks to Adam and his sin in the Garden of Eden. So, what is God's plan to transform us from living like Adam to living like Jesus? When Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus, He told us in John 3:3, "We must be "born-again". Our physical birth brings us only physical life, but Jesus promises us spiritual life, "Zoe" life, through Himself.
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life..."
When we become believers and have that re-birth experience we have our name written the the Lamb's Book of Life.
and nothing unclean and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.
The "lamb's book of life" is literally a list of names of those who have asked Jesus into their hearts as Lord and Savior.
Contrary to what a lot of Christians believe, eternal life is not something you get when you die. We are spiritually alive in Christ right now. We were born again spiritually at our "salvation experience". We take on the "Zoe" life. When we die physically, we will exchange our earthly bodies for another "heavenly" type body. But our spiritual life in Christ will continue on; our spirit will move on to be with Jesus in heaven.
As in the words of the author, "Salvation is not a future addition; it's a present transformation. Eternal life is not something you get when you die. Eternal life is something you possess right now because you're "in Christ"."
Being a Christian is not just a matter of "getting something"; forgiveness of sin, and eternity in heaven with God, but we receive a new nature. Being born-again transformed us into someone who didn't exist before; a saint, a divine masterpiece, a child of God, and a citizen of the Kingdom of God.
It's not what we do as a Christian that determines who we are, but it's who we are that determines what we do.
When we have our identity straight; knowing that we are a child of God, a new creation in Christ, it will affect how we think, our decisions and our outlook on the future. Knowing we are God's child, loved and cherished by Him, we will be raising our heads and feeling hope and optimism, not feeling defeated, unloved, and condemned. Knowing who we are "in Christ" will absolutely change our life.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
1 John 3:1-3
1. See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and [such] we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. 3. And everyone who has this hope [fixed] on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
So leave behind the identity with Adam, and find your true identity "in Christ" with Jesus. Think of yourself as the new creation in Christ. Look over the list of "Who I Am in Christ" from the earlier post of January 28, and start believing them. Believe what God has to say about you, then find your actions and life start changing too.
concepts and ideas from Chapter 2,
Victory Over the Darkness