Friday, January 13, 2017

Identification with Christ

When you become a disciple of Christ you have total and complete union with him. You now identify with Him in every way -- those that are pleasant and those that are painful. Let's look at some of those here now.

Identification According to Jesus
The Lord Jesus told His disciples how they would identify with Him when He said:

"Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.” (Joh 15:20)

"If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” (Joh 15:18)

"The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me." (Luk 10:16)

"He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” (Mat 10:40)

"Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. (Mat 10:14)

"The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'  (Mat 25:40)

"Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' (Mat 25:45)

"Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven." (Mat 10:32-33)

"For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." (Luk 9:26)

"And He was saying to them all, 'If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.'" (Luk 9:23)

“He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father…” (Rev 2:26-27)

"He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne." (Rev 3:21)

Let's go back now and review the ways the Lord said we identify with Him in the preceding verses:

  • If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.
  • If the world hates you, it has hated Me before it hated you.
  • The one who rejects you rejects Me.
  • If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
  • The one who listens to you listens to Me.
  • If they do not listen to you, they do not listen to Me.
  • If you are doing My work, then those who receive you receive Me.
  • Whatever they do to any one of you, they do it to Me.
  • Whatever they do not do to any one of you, they do not do to Me.
  • Everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father.
  • Whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father.
  • Whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, I will be ashamed of him when I come.
  • If I denied Myself and carried My cross,
  • You must deny yourself and take up your cross daily.

This means that if we are seeking to live godly in Christ, we can expect the world to persecute us, hate us, and reject us. If Jesus went through those things, then we certainly can’t escape experiencing them. But if we teach what Jesus did, speak the truth, and testify of Him, we can also expect those who are on the side of truth to receive us, listen to us, keep our word, and love us. If we confess Christ before men, He will confess us before the Father. But if we deny Him before men, He will also deny us before the Father. If we are ashamed of Him and His Words, He will be ashamed of us when He comes. Since He denied Himself and carried His cross, we must deny ourselves and take up our cross. If we overcome and keep His deeds to the end, He will give us authority over the nations, just as He received authority from the Father. He will grant to us to sit down with Him on His throne, as He also overcame and sat down with the Father on His throne. This is what it means to identify with Christ in every way.

Identification with Christ According to Paul
The apostle Paul also taught us how we have become identified with Christ, too. He said:

"Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life." (Rom 6:4)

"For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection," (Rom 6:5)

"It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us;" (2Ti 2:11-12)

"Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus..." (Php 2:5)

“For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1Co 2:16)

"I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead." (Phil 3:10, NIV)

"And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it." (1Co 12:26-27)

  • If one member of Christ's body suffers, He suffers with it.
  • If you follow Christ, you must have the same attitude that was in Him.
  • If you have been buried with Him into death,
  • You have been raised with Him in newness of life.
  • If you have become united with Him in the likeness of His death,
  • You shall be united with Him in the likeness of His resurrection.
  • If you participate in His sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
  • You will know the power of his resurrection, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
  • If we died with Him, we will also live with Him.
  • If we endure, we will also reign with Him.
  • If we deny Him, He also will deny us.

As disciples of Christ, we are united with Him in every way. This means we should seek to and expect to know Christ in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, being made like Him in His death, so that somehow we attain to the resurrection of the dead and reign with Him. We should pray earnestly and ask for total and complete union with Him, so that we would have the mind of Christ, the attitude of Christ, and the will of Christ in our lives. I hope this has encouraged you to do so today.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Author's note: I recommend reading the following articles: Covenant Prayer,  All Things Handed Over to Jesus ChristSupernatural Power for All Disciples, An Incomparable InheritanceThe Cost of Discipleship, Persecuted or Popular?, The Priesthood of All Believers, and The Highest Form of Slavery. I also invite you to read my daughter's poems, called "The Cost" and "Mirror of Christ." You can also find my complete collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

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