Our Personal Identity — we are new creatures created in Messiah Jesus.
Our God ordained Purpose — do good works, in which God long ago planned for us to live.
In Ephesians 2:1-10, Paul Paul sums up both our former and our God given Personal Identity and Purpose.
Spiritually dead :
“1You were made alive when you were dead in transgressions and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience. 3 We also all once lived among them in the lusts of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.”
God made us alive :
“4 But God, being rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Messiah — by grace you have been saved — 6 and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places in Messiah Yeshua, 7 that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Messiah Yeshua; 8 for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, that no one would boast.”
We are His workmanship :
“10 For we are his workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:1-10
Our former personal identity was in accord
“to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience.”
That is the sorry state of natural, carnal, mankind. No matter how nice a carnal man or woman is or the good they do, they are the devils captives.
By the grace of God, it is past tense in our lives. We were spiritually dead, doing what our flesh and mind wanted to do. God had what it took to make us spiritually alive.
God brought to spiritual life when we were dead to God in our transgressions and sins and walked in accord with our dead to God state until He saved us.
God has given us new personal identity and purpose in Messiah Jesus.
By His grace, God gave us the faith to trust in Jesus, saved us, made us dead to sin and new creatures alive unto Himself. He has made us what we are, creating us in Messiah Jesus to do good works, in which God long ago planned for us to live.
As Paul tells us: We are baptized into Jesus’ death, buried with him and united with him in His death and resurrection. (Romans 6:1-11).
“14 For the love of Messiah compels us; because we judge thus: that one died for all, therefore all died. 15 He died for all, that those who live should no longer live to themselves, but to him who for their sakes died and rose again.
16 Therefore we know no one according to the flesh from now on. Even though we have known Messiah according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no more. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-17.
God rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of His Son.
“9 For this cause, we also, since the day we heard this, don’t cease praying and making requests for you, that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 that you may walk worthily of the Lord, to please him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God, 11 strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, for all endurance and perseverance with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the holy ones in light, 13 who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love, 14 in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins.” Colossians 1:9-14.
Jesus set us free from the fear of death by by His death, thus rendering the devil powerless.
“14 Since then the children have shared in flesh and blood, he also himself in the same way partook of the same, that through death he might bring to nothing him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might deliver all of them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For most certainly, he doesn’t give help to angels, but he gives help to the offspring‡ of Abraham. 17 Therefore he was obligated in all things to be made like his brothers, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.” Hebrews 2:14-18.
Beginning at Ephesians 4:1 and continuing in the remainder of his letter Paul shows us how to live in accord with God’s calling through the spiritual blessings He has blessed us with in Messiah Jesus.
Doing what God wants us to do, working in us through Messiah Jesus, fulfills our deepest longings to be useful and productive in the noble things of eternal importance.
Plus, we get to live and walk in the mutually supportive environment God creates as we walk in the marvelous light of His kingdom.
“…you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellence of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.In the past, you were not a people, but now are God’s people, who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10.
All Scripture quoted if from the World Messianic Bible.
~ Bill Bremer