You’re not the old you anymore – 15 descriptions of a Christian’s new identity in Jesus

Many Christians, describe themselves this way: “I’m just a sinner saved by grace.”

This is true, and good to remember. Some, genuinely seeking to be humble say, “I’m the worst of sinners,” referring to Paul’s statement in 1 TI 1:15 about being the foremost of sinners. When Paul said that he was referring to Christ’s mission to come into this world to save sinners, even someone like him who persecuted the church. But Paul didn’t mean that he continued to be the worst of sinners. That was in the past. It was good to remember in order to be grateful, but he didn’t continue to be the worst of sinners.

After Christ saves us, though we still sin and must fight daily to put it to death, our PRIMARY IDENTITY is NOT sinners. In 1 CO 6 Paul says the unrighteous won’t inherit the kingdom – the immoral, adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, drunks, etc, but in verse 11 he says:

“And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Did you catch that? Such WERE some of you! Yes, we WERE unrighteous sinners. But now in Christ, we have a NEW IDENTITY. God counts us righteous in Christ. So rather than identifying ourselves as the worst of sinners, we should think of ourselves as the New Testament describes those Christ has saved. Think about these amazing truths. We are:

New creations

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 CO 5.17

Children of God

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God JN 1.12

Co-heirs with Christ

and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. RO 8.17

Created after the likeness of God

and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. EPH 4.24

No longer slaves of sin

We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. RO 6.6

Welcomed in Christ

Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. RO 15.7

Joined to Jesus and one spirit with him

But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 1 CO 6.17

Clothed with Christ

for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. GA 3.27 (NIV)

Adopted as sons

he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will EPH 1.5

Citizens of heaven

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ PHP 3.20

Loved by Jesus

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. JN 15.9

Loved by the Father

for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. JN 16.27

Chosen, royal priests, holy, God’s own possession, proclaimers of his excellencies

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 PE 2.9

Raised with Christ

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. CO 3.1

Temples of the Holy Spirit

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own… 1 CO 6.19

This is who we are now in Christ. Yes, we WERE unrighteous, vile sinners. But NOW we have new fundamental identities. Reflect on these things. Meditate on them and rejoice. If it would help you, print this out and put in on your fridge or save it so you can reflect on these verses again. And remember, though you must still fight sin, the old you has passed away and the new has come.

Mark Altrogge

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.