Most of us would agree that we are not perfect. We know that even though we’ve been saved by Jesus, we are still a work in progress. We are still learning how to walk in who God created us to be. And unfortunately, we have an enemy who is hard at work trying to keep us from growing spiritually. One of his methods to steal our new identities is by making us believe the old ones are still true. As Believers, we need to be armed and ready with the truth. Today, let’s take a look at who we used to be before Christ so that we can fully understand and embrace who we are now in Him.
*This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
You were once spiritually dead…
As harsh as this sounds, the Bible says it’s true. Before Christ, you were dead in your sin. Obviously, you weren’t dead in a physical sense, but spiritually speaking…. you were. But here’s the truth: The spiritually dead are unfortunately heading towards physical death and separation from God. But those who are spiritually alive will experience life everlasting with Christ Jesus.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. – Ephesians 2:1-2 (NIV)
You were once a slave to sin…
Slaves have no choices. They aren’t allowed to say no to whomever or whatever they serve. Slaves have very few rights or freedoms. They own very little and are often looked down upon. It is for these reasons (and so much more) that slavery is such a terrible crime. We all know this fundamental truth deep down. Why? Because God’s intention for us has always been freedom, not slavery. He made this truth abundantly clear when He rescued the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.” – John 8:34
You were once an orphan…
There is a common misconception in today’s culture regarding the phrase “children of God.” I cannot tell you how many times I have heard it said that we are ALL God’s children… the whole earth and everyone in it. Now, I would love for that to be true, but this false “truth” is in no way taught in the Bible. A child of God is one who has received Christ.
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. – John 1:12-13 (NIV, emphasis added)
You were once lost…
In the gospel of Luke, Jesus tells a familiar parable about a lost sheep…
So He told them this parable, saying, “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?” – Luke 15:4
I have heard it many times that God is mean. Those who don’t understand the whole story and what happened on the cross, often view God as a power in the sky who sends people to hell who don’t serve Him. But this is NOT the heart of God towards mankind! This is made evident in this parable of Jesus. Before we were born again, we were lost. And Jesus came after us when He laid down His life on the cross to save us.
You were once unclean…
Throughout the Mosaic Law, we find the concept of clean and unclean. Certain actions, events, illnesses, and even certain foods could make a person unclean. But Jesus changed the game when He told the Pharisees that it’s not what enters into the mouth that defiles a person, but rather what proceeds out of the mouth. In other words, a person is clean or unclean based upon what is in their heart. And since Jesus alone can make a person clean, apart from Him we are unclean.
For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. – Isaiah 64:6
You have always been loved and forgiven…
Now it may seem odd to see “loved and forgiven” on a list like this. After all, aren’t we talking about our lives BEFORE Christ? The truth is that even those who are lost… even those who are still slaves to sin… for God so loved the world. Jesus died on the cross for all of mankind while we were still in our sin.
And His gift of forgiveness extends to all who would receive Him.
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. – 1 John 2:2 (NIV)
We need to fully grasp who we once were before Jesus in order to gain an understanding of who we are now in Him.
Click here for a full list of posts in this 31-day series!
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.