Identity in Christ


Identity in Christ: Discovering Who We Truly Are – Pastor Lawson Perdue

I believe that understanding who we are in Christ is a major milestone in going where God wants us to go and accomplishing what He wants us to do. A new identity is required for a new destiny.

I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in 1978 at the age of eight. I had grown up in a traditional church and was taught from the scriptures regularly in both Sunday School and in Sunday morning services. My life did change nominally when I received Jesus as my Savior. I remember telling the neighborhood children about Christ and bringing friends with me to Sunday School and church.

However, in 1978, when I was 14 years old my mom took me to a Bible Study in Lamar, Colorado. The Bible study was taught by Andrew Wommack. The first night that I heard Andrew speak, the thing that really came home to me was that we have a Bible full of promises that we can believe. It was like the Holy Spirit was saying to me that I don’t have to be sick, poor and defeated by the devil. I can believe God’s promises and receive what He says.

After attending these Bible studies for a few weeks, two things happened that were transitional in my life. First, I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Second, I began to understand who we are in Christ. I began to understand that I had a brand new identity in Christ.

In Paul’s letters, he uses the terms in Him, in whom, by whom, for whom and in Christ over 130 times. When you get a hold of these truths of who I am in Christ and begin to know who you are in Christ, it will begin to transform you from the inside out. I remember one of the first affirmations of who I am in Christ that came to me is that I am the righteousness of God in Christ.

This truth is used over and over again in the letters of Paul. In fact, I now teach a class as an adjunct instructor at Charis Bible College in Woodland Park, Colorado on Romans, the Revelation of Righteousness. I have been teaching that class for over a decade now and wrote a book with that title. I have free teaching on it available free on our website at

I was a pretty ornery child. I had a revelation of sin. There was no question in my mind when my Sunday School teachers taught me as a child that I needed Jesus. I knew it was true; it was so evident. Just like Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” I knew that was true. That’s one thing I understood early on at the young age of 8. But I did not know the rest of the story.

Romans 3:25-26 goes on to tell us that God sent Jesus to be a propitiation, atoning sacrifice or covering, through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. In other words, God knew that we would sin, but sent Jesus to pay for it anyway. God had a plan for our salvation, our forgiveness and our righteousness before we ever sinned. Verse 26 goes on to say that Jesus came to declare his righteousness that he might be just and the justifier of him who believes in Jesus.

When we believe in Jesus, when we believe that He is the Son of God, that He died for our sins and that God raised Him from the dead, we are declared righteous. In fact, that is a major aspect of what Paul defines as our new identity in Christ throughout the New Testament.

Here are a few of those in Christ affirmations in the verses of the book of Romans. Chapter 1:17 says that the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith. Chapter 4 declares that righteousness is received by faith and not by works. Chapter 5:17 shows that when we believe Jesus, we receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness. We actually leave the reign of sin and death and enter the reign of grace and righteousness by faith in Jesus. Chapter 6 says that we are dead to sin and we live unto righteousness. Chapter 8 verse 4 shows that the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (totally trust Jesus). Chapters 9-11 shows God’s plan for righteousness for the Jews and the Gentiles: faith in Jesus Christ.

In Romans 10:8-10 Paul brings the message of who we are in Christ concerning righteousness when he shares that the Word is near us, in our hearts and in our mouths, that is the word of faith that we preach, that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, man believes in righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.

The fact is that righteous actions do not bring the righteous life, but the righteous life brings righteous action. We are not righteous because of what we do. We are righteous because we believe in Jesus. But since we believe in Jesus, He makes us righteous. Since we have received this new righteous identity in Christ, we begin to live the righteous life.

Our understanding of righteousness is foundational to Christian life and living. There is only one way to receive the right standing with God: faith in Jesus Christ. Once we receive the righteousness of God by faith in Christ, righteousness becomes a foundation to receive all of God’s promises.

A scripture that I love that talks about this new identity in Christ concerning righteousness is
2 Corinthians 5:21 where Paul summarizes, for God made Him to be sin (a sin offering) for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. One author declared, the only righteousness that we will ever really have is the righteousness of Jesus, and the only sin that He ever had was our sin.

Thank God that I received this revelation of righteousness at a young age. This revelation began to revolutionize my life. Knowing who I am in Christ changes the way that I live my life. I began to understand that God saw me through the light of the cross. In the light of the death and resurrection of Christ, God declared me righteous. But that is just the beginning.

I learned other verses about who I am in Christ. One that stands out so clearly is 1 Corinthians 1:30, But of Him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption. This is an amazing verse. Every believer in Jesus has been made wise, righteous, sanctified and redeemed. This is the New Covenant reality of redemption. This is who God says we are in the Spirit.

Every one of those things is immediately reality in the Spirit when a person is born of God. John had this revelation and wrote about it in 1 John 3:6-10. Many people don’t understand these New Testament realities, but when we begin to understand them, our lives will begin to be transformed. We need to renew our minds to the reality of these in Christ affirmations.

1 Corinthians 1:30 was one of John Wesley’s favorite verses. It helped him lead a major revival in the realm of sanctification. Sanctification begins in the realm of the Spirit when we become a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). But it does not end there. Sanctification continues as we renew our mind in the Word of God (John 17:17). It will also affect how we live in our body (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4).

These truths of who we are in Christ need to become our new identity as believers. When they do, it will change the way we live. Righteousness, Wisdom, Sanctification and Redemption are all part of who God says that we really are. These are part of our new identity.

But there are many more scriptures. I love Ephesians 1:3-7 where Paul begins his letter of the victorious church with those who I am in Christ affirmations. In Christ, we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places. In Christ, we are chosen, holy and blameless. We are predestined to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself. I like to say that we are predestined to succeed. We are accepted in the beloved, and we are redeemed from every curse and forgiven for every sin.

Paul goes on in Colossians 1:12-14 and shares that we are sufficient to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. One translation says that we are qualified for God’s best blessings. We have been delivered (freed) from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of the sons of His love. Again, Paul declares that we are redeemed and forgiven.

In Romans 8:37 Paul says that we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. We need to get rid of victim thinking and get a hold of victory thinking. Understanding the reality of who we are in Christ will help us think like victors. 1 John 4:4 says, Greater is He who is in us than he that is in the world. God in us is greater than the devil in this world. Philippians 4:13 says that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Philippians 2:13 says that God works in us to will and to do His good pleasure.

Life just can’t be so bad when we realize the undefeated Lord of the universe has come to live on the inside of us. 1 John 5:4 declares, Whoever is born of God overcomes the world and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Verse 5 goes on to say, Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. We were made world overcomers the moment that we believed in Jesus.

The goal of Christianity is not to overcome sin and to overcome Satan. The goal of Christianity is to get to know the reality of the Victorious One who has taken up residence in you. Paul shares the amazing truth, Christ in you the hope of glory in Colossians 1:27. He says this is the mystery that has been hidden from ages and generations and is now made known to the saints. Then he goes on to say in verse 29 I labor according to His working which works in me mightily.

Jesus Christ the victorious one lives in us as believers. As we get to know Him and the reality of His identity in us, we will begin to walk in the victory that He has already won. One writer wrote, I am not fighting to gain a place of victory; I am fighting my victory to defend.

Knowing Jesus makes us victorious in the realm of the spirit. Getting a revelation of it helps us to begin to walk that victory out in this world. Thanks for taking the time to read this today; it is my prayer that these “in Christ realities”will release the positive change in your life that they have released in mine. I invite you to download our free teachings and confession cards with these truths on our website at

In His Grace,
Pastor Lawson Perdue


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