“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
There is no doubt about the fact that we live within the framework of our perceptions. Whatever we truly believe in our heart determines the boundaries in which we live. A man might be bright, intelligent, and creative, but if he has believed the lie that he is dull, unimaginative, and useless, it is likely that he will go through life behaving as though he had nothing to contribute to the lives of others. Though in reality he could have many friends and be surrounded by a loving community of people, he will likely live as a loner, fearing rejection and assuming that others see him as he sees himself.
As we said in the previous article: If Satan can control what we think, he can control what we believe. If he can control what we believe, he can control how we behave. If he controls what we believe and how we behave, he can control us.
Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44), and he wants to build up strongholds of deception in our minds to keep us from living out the abundant life Christ purchased for us. But the fact is, Satan does not have the last word on what we think, what we believe, or how we behave! The Bible tells us that WE are responsible to steward our thought life, think on God’s thoughts, and build strongholds of truth in our minds that will enable us to walk in the freedom of our redemption.
In other words, if God’s Word is what we think on, then God’s Word will be what we believe! If God’s Word is what we believe, it will determine how we behave! If God’s Word is determining what we believe and how we behave, we will be mature disciples of Christ and express the life and liberty He came to bring us!
How we behave is determined by what we believe. If we believe what God says about us, that faith will give expression to the life and power of God within us. Too much of the time we’re merely trying to “reform” our actions, rather than changing the underlying belief systems that inform our behavior in the first place. Notice how the apostle Paul puts it in his epistle to the Romans:
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
Notice that we will be transformed and prove the will of God as our minds are renewed. The word translated “transformed” in this verse is from the Greek word, metamorphoō, which is where we get our word metamorphosis, the word most commonly associated with the transformation of the caterpillar to the butterfly. This verse is not talking about the lost, but about believers who still need to be transformed outwardly.
Everything in that butterfly is already in the caterpillar, but it still has to go through this amazing transformation in order for what is locked inside it to be put on display! Likewise, when we are born again, the life and nature of God is imparted into our spirits, but we must “work out” that salvation so that what is in us can be expressed through us so others can see the transformation! As Paul says, this transformation is accomplished through the “renewing of our mind.” This is not referring to a superficial knowledge of God’s Word, but a complete overhaul of our thought patterns and belief systems. “For as (a man) thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). It’s only as our convictions are changed, and we truly believe God’s Word, that our minds are renewed to a new way of thinking and living.
Before we were born again, we were fallen creatures with a sin nature. This we inherited from our father, Adam (see Romans 5:12). We were all “in him” as it were. His fallen nature was passed down to us and our thought patterns and lives were an extension and expression of that sin nature. We were dominated by Satan, the “prince of the power of the air,” who controls the world through the lusts of the flesh (see Ephesians 2:1-3).
However, when we were born again through faith in Christ, we were given a new identity. We are no longer sinners with a fallen nature. Now we are a new creation with the life and nature of God. We are not just “sinners saved by grace,” but saints (holy ones) who have a new heart that delights to do the will of God! We are no longer “in Adam,” but now we are “in Christ!”
What Satan seeks to do, however, is to keep us identifying with our old self. We still have the flesh to contend with, and we will still feel the pull of this world. He will endeavor to keep us living by “sight” rather than by faith in who we are in Christ. If he can keep us identifying with the old man rather than who we are in the light of our redemption, he can keep us from living in the reality of the abundant life and victory that Christ secured for us.
Throughout the New Testament, particularly in the epistles, we see phrases like “in Christ,” “through Christ,” “in Him,” and “through Him.” These phrases are clues to our new identity in Christ. If we will meditate in these verses and renew our minds to who we are “in Him,” we will begin to live out the reality of our redemption in our daily lives. This is how we are transformed!
We must begin to declare these redemptive realities over our lives every day. Words of faith have great power (see Mark 11:23), and as we confess the truth of God’s Word over our lives, we’ll begin to rise into the reality of that victorious new life Christ purchased for us.
While we can only cover a few of these verses here, I recommend that you search the scriptures and find all the “in Him” verses you can and begin to daily declare these truths over your life! Here are a few examples:
- 2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
- Confession: I am a new creature in Christ. My past has been washed away by the blood of Jesus! God has given me a new identity in Christ, and his life and nature are in me! I’m a brand new man!
- 2 Corinthians 5:21
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
- Confession: Jesus bore my sin on the cross and paid my debt before God. Now I am forgiven and made RIGHT in God’s sight through what Jesus has done for me! I am not condemned but accepted “in the beloved.”
- Ephesians 2:10
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
- Confession: God has uniquely designed and equipped me for His purpose. He has called me to a significant and fruitful life in Christ!
- Philippians 4:13
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
- Confession: There is nothing that God has called me to do that I cannot accomplish through His strength that is within me through Christ Jesus!
There are approximately 140 of these verses by which you can renew your mind to the reality of who God has made you in Christ.
(For more on this subject, I recommend Kenneth E. Hagin’s book entitled In Him, and Victory Over the Darkness by Neil T. Anderson)