In Christ Identification | Mark Hankins
Guest minister Mark Hankins taught on the subject of our identification with Christ, or who we are in Christ. He used Galatians 2:20 as his reference: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” When Paul received the revelation of who we are in Christ, it completely revolutionized how Paul saw himself. Pastor Mark expounded on what it means to be “crucified with Christ.” An understanding of this revelation will completely revolutionize the way you see yourself, just like it revolutionized how Paul saw himself.
Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ.” Paul was talking about his inward man, his spirit man. This is our true identity.
The King James Version says, “I am crucified with Christ.” Another translation says, “Christ took me to the cross with him, and I died there with Him.”
Jesus as our substitute, took our condition. Because He took our condition, we were identified with Him. Identification means “to consider or treat as one and the same.”
In other words, if you went to the airport to fly nationally or internationally, they would ask for a legal form of identification. You would give either your driver’s license or your passport. When you pull out your passport, you’re saying “This passport and I are identical. This is who I am.”
As a Christian, you pull out your Bible and you find yourself in Christ, you find yourself in the Word of God and you say, “This scripture right here describes who I am.” Paul says what happened on the cross is that Christ took us to the cross with Him. In other words, everything Jesus did, He did it for us. In doing so, it’s set to the credit of our account like we were there… we were identified with Him.
This revelation of who we are in Christ is the most powerful information in the world. Romans 1:16 says, “…the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God.”
Paul said in 1st Corinthians 15 that the gospel that he preached was that Jesus died, was buried, rose from the dead on the third day. It’s very important for the believer to understand the Bible in light of redemption.
To know what it means to be a Christian, believers need to understand what happened on the cross not just from the way man saw it, but what God saw. The believer must understand what took place in the unseen realm.
The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John talk about the death, burial, resurrection of Christ from the aspect of what man saw. But Paul’s letters tell you what God saw.
The four gospels give you a photograph of redemption. But Paul’s letters gives you an Xray of redemption! A photograph tells you what you look like on the outside. An Xray shows you what is happening on the inside.
Paul’s letters show you what happened in the spirit realm, what God saw. But he also shows you what the devil saw, what every angel saw.
To understand the revelation, every believer must see the same thing God saw… that God did for us in Christ!
When Paul received this revelation, it radically changed him as an individual. It changed him so much, he said, “All things have passed away and all things became new.” Paul’s entire identity changed by Christ.
Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” When we make Jesus the Lord of our lives, we are now “in Christ.” This verse says, “if any man”… that means it works the same for every person. If anyone is “in Christ,” he becomes a new creature.
The word “new” means “new in kind, new in quality.” You’re not just a new person… you’re now a new “kind” of person. God has produced a new species, a new kind of human.
You can no longer say, “I’m only human” because you are now a partaker of the divine nature. You have the life of God on the inside of you. You are a new creature in Christ Jesus.
Read About It
Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
1st Corinthians 15:1–4 “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
2nd 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.”
What does it mean to be “in Christ”?
Can you summarize the difference between what redemption looks like from man’s perspective and God’s perspective?
What is your understanding of what it means to be a new creature in Christ?