Temptation and Spiritual Identity

April 5, 2022 | Tracy Troxel

One important spiritual discipline is to consider who we are because of Jesus Christ. Romans 6:11 says, “So you must also consider yourselves dead to sin and live to God in Christ Jesus.” “Consider” means to calculate completely and accurately who you are in Christ. This identity has been given to you by grace. You receive this identity because of what Christ has done for you. You don’t earn it or perform for this new identity. This identity in Christ cannot be taken from you.

This is the heart of Satan’s temptation of Jesus. Satan affirms that Jesus is the Son of God but attempts to entice Jesus to not live out of His identity as the Suffering Servant. He tempts Jesus to bypass suffering and the cross in order to achieve His mission to redeem the world. Satan’s attempt to dissuade Jesus from His true identity is similar to our own temptations.  We are invited to live contrary to who we are in Christ.

One way to ‘consider’ this new identity is to spend time reflecting on what Christ has done for you and how you are now a new person because of Christ.  The following realities of the gospel have helped re-center my life in Jesus and have aided me in my spiritual battle.

  • I am God’s child by grace. (John 1:12)
  • I have been declared to be as righteous as Jesus Christ. (Romans 5)
  • I am free forever from condemnation. (Romans 8:1)
  • I cannot be separated from the love of God in Christ. (Romans 8:31-39)
  • I am God’s temple and the Holy Spirit dwells within me. (1 Corinthians 3:16)
  • I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms.  In other words I share in the power of the ascended Christ. (Ephesians 2:6)

These are just a few of the gospel realities that frame us in Christ.  When I stop to reflect on these truths, it enables me to refocus my thoughts, my heart and my emotions back into Jesus.  And when my functional identity is rooted more solidly in Christ, I am less prone to allow my circumstances or other people’s opinions define my perspective.

Let me encourage to reflect on and be reminded of what Christ has done for you by mediating on the above identity statements and what the gospel has accomplished in you. I trust that you would add other gospel identity statements to this list and allow those truths to define you in real time according to Jesus plus nothing else.

Believe who Jesus has already made you to be.

In His Grace,
Pastor Tracy