“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” II Cor. 5:17 NKJV
To illustrate the change that happens when becoming a new creation in Christ, think of the transformation that takes place when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. You might hear, “I was a caterpillar, but now I am a butterfly. Since I am a butterfly, I am not just a converted caterpillar, for I am truly a butterfly with a whole new life and a new diet.” (see video below!)
The spirit has had a complete transformation. The believer is not just a converted sinner, but a born-again child of God. Illustrated here in the butterfly. You will never refer to it as a converted caterpillar. It has a new identity.
Christ has come to live within us so that He can express Himself through us. This is so that we can BE LIKE Christ, not just ACT LIKE Him. God has not given us the power to imitate Him! He has made us partakers of His divine nature (II Peter 1:4), so that we can actually BE LIKE HIM! You do not become a Christian by acting like one. You have a completely new birth,
Our behavior is directly affected by how we view our identity. People who are in deep spiritual conflict have one thine in common: They do not know who they are in Christ, and usually question their salvation and God’s love for them.
Those experiencing the understanding of grace and going through the Steps to Freedom mention that they remember the emphasis on knowing the truth, believing the truth and walking in the truth.
Each person is encouraged to ask the following two questions and immediately answer them:
1. Who am I?
- I’m a child of God! John 1:12; Rom. 8:16; I John 3:1,2
- I’m a joint-heir with Jesus Christ! Rom. 8:17
- I’m a temple of the Holy Spirit! I Cor. 3:16,17; 6:19
- I’m a citizen of Heaven! Phil. 3:20
2. What is the Truth?
- I have been forgiven of all my sins. Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14
- I am totally and unconditionally accepted in Christ. Eph. 1:3-6; I Pet. 2:9
- I am loved as much as Christ is loved. John 15:9; 17:23
- I am worth enough for God to give His Son. John 3:16; Rom. 8:32
Christ desires to live His life through us by the Holy Spirit; and Satan tries to feed our mind with lies and deception. He operates through the power of sin in the members of our body and the flesh patterns in our brain. Though our spirit is joined to God in Christ and we have become a new creation (a new person in Christ); when Satan gets us to believe his lie, he gains control over us, which results in the works of the flesh.
When Christ is allowed to live His life through us, the result is the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy and peace). This is accomplished by the mind being renewed by truth.
The graphic (below) shows how God (yellow) wants us to become more and more like Christ, by giving Him access to more and more of us. It also shows our three enemies: the world, the flesh and the devil. It shows how the Holy Spirit is able to overcome them as we allow Him to have his way.
The real issue is not whether Satan can possess us or suppress us, it is all a matter of control. Christ is our life, and the Holy Spirit is ready and willing to make us victorious.
It is not a power struggle; it is a truth encounter. Satan cannot stand the truth, and that’s our weapon. We find that our need is not trying harder and harder to measure up to God’s standard, but to acknowledge our own inability and bow before this God of grace and accept His provision. Jesus said to become My disciple, you must deny self, take up your cross and follow Me. We must experience Gal. 2:20, like Paul the Apostle. “I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; the life and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith….”
Our life becomes a desire to please Him. This God of grace is worthy of our complete devotion and the surrendering of all our rights. It then becomes not just doing right, but allowing Him to have the complete control, which results in doing His will and obeying Him.