February 28 Behavior to Match Your Identity

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1

Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 7:1

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

An American on business in the Far East is not very likely to assimilate Asian culture. Quite the contrary. The food is different; there is a language barrier; the wardrobes are distinct. He is constantly reminded of the dissimilarities. His identity as an American is well established. He acts and thinks like an American precisely because he is one. Understanding your identity in Christ is a pivotal principle for success in combating the world’s influence.

A dramatic transformation occurred when you were saved. You became a “new creature” in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17 nasb). You became a citizen of God’s kingdom. You still live in your indigenous culture, with all of its allures, trials, temptations, and charms; but you are no longer the same man or woman.

Living holy or separately from the impulses of the world is possible only as you realize the amazing metamorphosis that has transpired within. You are quite obviously still “in the world,” but you are now not “of the world.”

The rationale for rejecting the waywardness of the world is that it doesn’t fit your new identity anymore. You don’t act like an unregenerate person because you are a new person in Christ.

Learning who you are in Christ takes time, complete with failure, for your behavior to match your identity; but you have a lifelong, resident Teacher, the Holy Spirit, to help you along the way.

Precious heavenly Father, You brought me out of the “Egypt” of sin and set my feet on the road to Your promised land. As I continue on this spiritual journey, help me match my behavior with my new identity.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 61). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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