“I’m just a sinner saved by grace”, the young man stated mockingly from behind the pulpit. He wasn’t the first I heard who said it in such a degrading tone. Popular preachers in the late 1970’s started this narrative within the charismatic circles, and it cascaded down through the ranks of the wannabe famous preachers.
As a young person I sat there feeling so confused. I felt like a sinner saved by grace, but since the young man mocked those who felt that way, there was no freedom to ask what he meant by that statement. Instead of mocking, why didn’t he educate people to why feeling that way is something to laugh off?
What was missing in my understanding of the Good News of the Kingdom of God? What did this young man understand that I didn’t? Maybe he didn’t truly understand it as was proof by so many contradicting messages I heard within my sphere of Christianity. Sadly, messages that brought feelings of not measuring up, of me not able to become that elusive Christian I was taught I needed to be in order to please God.
Another statement that haunted me for decades: “If you are caught in sin when the rapture happens you will be left behind!” This sent me into a life of bondage to legalism.
Nearly thirty years later, I discovered the power of the Gospel! How sad is that? The mixture of grace and law that I sat under for too many decades left me crippled in my spiritual walk.
Discovering my true identity in Jesus Christ and seeing who I truly am through His eyes broke the chains of bondage from “trying” and “striving” to be that perfect person, an impossible goal for a human to obtain.
It was at a time in my life when all human abilities to do anything were pulled out from under me. I could no longer grit my teeth and do something for my Lord. I experienced a complete physical break down, caused by an accident and prolong stress. There is no rest for the legalist. It was the first time in my life that I voiced questions that were dormant within me for decades. I was forced to push aside all the man-made indoctrinations’ and seek God for truth. I wanted to know what the Gospel really was and I wanted to be taught by the Holy Spirit. It was essential that I truly understand once and for all what this Good News really is and how it is the power of God unto salvation.
It was in the blood covenant that this became a reality to me. In the ritual that takes place within a covenant, the exchange of the robe and what that signified opened the eyes of my heart that I could finally see the shocking gospel message, shocking in the sense that it went against all human logic!
In the historical account of David and Jonathan, they entered into a binding covenant. Jonathan initiated it. He was the son of Israel’s very first king. Jonathan took off his robe and handed it to David. Within covenant this is saying, “All that I am, I am giving to you.” Covenant partners shared all assets and debts. They became one with one another (not a physical union as in marriage). They lived for their covenant partner.
This is what our Covenant representative, Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Man did for us. He took on our identity and nailed it to the cross, once and for all. He put that old man to death and buried him. This is done on the behalf of all humans. He gave us His identity. We were resurrected in Him to new life!
2 Corinthians 5:21 AMP
He made Christ who knew no sin to [judicially] be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we would become the righteousness of God [that is, we would be made acceptable to Him and placed in a right relationship with Him by His gracious lovingkindness].
Hebrews 10:14 NASB
For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
Colossians 1:21-22 NASB
And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—
2 Peter 1:4 NASB
For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
Galatians 2:20 NASB
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
These are just a few aspects of our new identity. This became my focus, not on self trying to make flesh conform. Bottom line is we could never make ourselves right with God. Because of His love for us, Jesus brought salvation to us. God became a man in order to bring us in to a blood covenant union with our Creator! We are one with Him! Christ in us! No more shame. No more feelings of not measuring up. He made us perfect in Christ! I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. This is my focus now.
I believe that the mixture of grace and law that is taught within so many different gatherings is detrimental to the body of Christ. Instead of walking in victory, people walk in defeat. Instead of focusing on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, they focus on man-made formulas and self-improvement.
So who am I? That is the question. My identity is no longer “sinner”. I am the beloved daughter of my Heavenly Father! I don’t have to jump through religious hoops for Him to love me. I am always on His mind! He accepts me! It is a great shame in covenant cultures for anyone to break a covenant bond. My Lord initiated the New Covenant and He is not a man that he should lie. He is the covenant keeping God, signed in the sacred oath of His very own blood!
“The Power of the Blood Covenant” by Malcolm Smith
“God’s Astounding Opinion of You” by Ralph Harris