Everyone likes to give good news.
Imagine being the angel who announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds, "I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all the people" (Luke 2:10). It had to feel good to deliver that message! We know how this feels. We all like to bring good news to others, to be the cause of their rejoicing. We also like to receive good news. Luke tells us that the shepherds were so astounded by the good news that they hurried off to find Jesus. We are never neutral to good news.
So, I'm excited to share good news with you today.
I have this message to share with you because others have shared it with me. Many remarkable men and women of the faith have been part of my understanding of this good news, and it's the best news- news I needed to hear and news of which I need continual reminding. Being "in Christ" changes us at our core. We really are "new creations" (2 Corinthians 5:17). Here are five ways that Christ has made us new. This is good news about our identity "in Christ" that I hope brings you great joy, whether you're hearing it for the first time or just need to be reminded of who you are today.
We are Saints
We were sinners "in Adam" but are saints "in Christ." The good news is that "God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners", but we aren't sinners anymore (Romans 5:8). The Bible refers to us as "saints" or "holy ones." In Ephesians 1:4, Pauls writes, "Before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes." "In Christ" we are no longer identified as sinners but as saints.
We are Children of God
We were children of wrath "in Adam" but are children of God "in Christ." John 1:12 says, "To all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God." Paul also refers to us as "children of God" in Romans 8:14. Being "in Christ" means we are part of a new family. We are no longer identified with Adam's family but are identified as sons and daughters of God. We've been taken out of Adam's spiritual bloodline and have been placed into Christ's spiritual bloodline. This gives us a whole new history and future inheritance.
We are Forgiven
We were condemned "in Adam" but are forgiven "in Christ." The good news is that "Christ's one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone" (Romans 5:18). The Scriptures affirm that Adam's one act of disobedience brought condemnation for everyone, but Christ's one act of obedience is bringing many sons and daughters into a right relationship with God. Adam's sin brought catastrophic consequence, but "even greater is God's wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness" (Romans 5:15).
We are Alive
We were dead "in Adam" but are alive "in Christ." The good news is that "because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions- it is by grace you have been saved" (Ephesians 2:4-5). We were once spiritually dead, but Christ has made us spiritually alive. As such, we should consider ourselves to be "dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Jesus Christ" (Romans 6:11).
We are Free to Live
We were slaves to sin "in Adam" but are free to live "in Christ." Because we belong to Jesus, "the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed us from the power of sin that leads to death" (Romans 8:2). Since we are no longer dead, we consider our aliveness and live out of our new identities "in Christ." We are no longer controlled by our flesh but by the Spirit. We were once slaves to sin and flesh, but now we are free to live by the power of the Spirit who lives inside us.
If you are "in Christ", you are a forgiven, alive, free and holy child of God. Now, that's good news to live from today!