The Bible has a lot to say about us as children of God. We are new creations, royal priests, set free from sin, partakers of Christ’s divine nature, and co-heirs with Christ. It even tells us that we are currently seated with Christ in heavenly places! But when we look around at this world, it can be difficult to claim this truth. We see ourselves still struggling with sin, and we face tragedies and hardships. We don’t feel like new creations. Many things still feel old.
So what’s the truth?
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Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ. – Colossians 3:3-4 (MSG)
As a child of God, you have been given the Holy Spirit. You were reborn on the day of your salvation. The old life is gone, and the new life has begun. On the outside, however, you look exactly the same. Walking down the street, no one would know that you are now an adopted son or daughter of the Creator. They can’t visibly see the Holy Spirit living inside of you.
But I’d like to pose an important question:
Which is truer – who you are in our earthly, physical realm or who you are in Christ?
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. – Colossians 1:15-17
It’s hard to imagine the unseen world, but the Bible describes it as a created place with “thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities.” Honestly, my first thought while reading this passage was that this realm must be pretty massive if it contains entire kingdoms!
Jesus was God in the flesh. We could see Him in our physical realm. But to the world, He was just a man. He looked just like everyone else. The Bible says there was nothing attractive about Him, nothing that screamed, “It’s me! I’m the Messiah!” But that wasn’t the truth. He wasn’t just an ordinary man. He was the Son of God. His reality, His truth, was unseen.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us …raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. – Ephesians 2:4, 6-7
God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord. – Ephesians 3:10-11 (NIV)
Our truth, our reality in Christ, is unseen.
We may look the same as everyone else in this physical world, but we are not the same. We are alive! And not only are we alive, but we are living out our God-given purpose through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our Father is using us to display His wisdom and grace to the unseen world. (That’s quite a calling!)
Your reality is not bound by this physical world. You were born of the Spirit.
And what is true in the Spirit is far more real than what is true in the natural.
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison. – 2 Corinthians 4:16-17
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*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.