Day 287 – Principles of Spiritual Growth – Identification
Wisdom-Trek / Creating a Legacy
Welcome to Day 287 of our Wisdom-Trek, and thank you for joining me.
This is Guthrie Chamberlain, Your Guide to Wisdom
Principles of Spiritual Growth – Identification
Thank you for joining us for our 7 days a week, 7 minutes of wisdom podcast. This is Day 287 of our trek. Yesterday we hiked on the 7th trail of this trek, which was the Trail of Appropriation. Today our hike takes us to the Trail of Identification.
There is a total of 18 trails on the trek we call the Principles of Spiritual Growth, which is adapted from a short book written by Miles J. Stanford. These practical lessons were instrumental in my spiritual growth as a young man seeking to create and live my legacy. As we continue on each trail of our overall trek, I trust that you will also find this information valuable in your own life, regardless of where you happen to be on your faith trek. Each of the trails that we hike builds on the previous one, so if you miss any of our Wisdom-Trek, please go to Wisdom-Trek.com to listen to them and read the daily journal.
We are recording our podcast from our studio at Home2 in Charlotte, North Carolina. This weekend is focused on finalizing some company tax work and preparing returns for family members. Once we finish those up, we will be able to focus on our personal return. We did make further progress on business planning projects that we set aside because of our heavy workload.
For so many of us, our identity of who we are is tied to the work that we do. I fall victim to this thinking and have to continually remind myself that we should consider our work as the platform for which we create and live our legacy. The positive impact that we have on others’ lives is most important. With that, we did take a break from our work for a great nephew’s birthday party on Saturday, and we do plan to worship with our local congregation at church on Sunday. We may also get outdoors on Sunday for a nice long walk.
As we consider our identity, as Christ followers, our identity should be in Christ, which is why today on our hike on the Trail of Identification we will explore the various aspects of how we are to identify with Christ. This will give us a focus of what to consider and how this applies to our spiritual lives. This is the 8th of 18 trails, which makes up the trek we call…
Principles of Spiritual Growth – Identification
As we head out on our hike for today, our direction moves from the core truths of our new birth in Christ to the discovery of what we would call the growth truths. The primary passage to understand our identification with Christ is Romans 6. We will dig for the nuggets of wisdom that are found in that passage.
The very foundation of Christianity is Christ in us. The Christian life is Christ living His life in and through the believer. The life of Christ is reproduced in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it is a new life with new relationships. When Christ resided in a physical body while on earth, he was restricted by the limitations of that physical body. This is why after his ascension into heaven he sent the Spirit of Truth that could reside in all believers at once, allowing His impact to be much greater found in John 16:13-14, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me.”
Our identification with Christ is such a crucial element for a believer. Today we will barely scratch the surface of what this means. There are four essential ways that we have our identification in Christ. Those are:
We are identified with Christ in His Crucifixion.
We are identified with Christ in His Burial.
We are identified with Christ in His Resurrection.
We are identified with Christ in His Ascension.
While I could write a lot about each of these points, all four of these points are covered in Romans 6:1-11, so I will read it first and then wrap it up with a few comments,
Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. 6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. 8 And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. 9 We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him.10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.
There is a lot that is contained in these 11 verses. It would do us all well to meditate on all that is there. But, let’s look briefly at the four points.
All of our needs as sinners have been fully provided for in the cross of Jesus. Christ paid our sin debt. He died to set us free from our spiritual death. When Christ died, we died with Him. We are identified with His death. When did we die to sin? Romans 6:2 is past tense. We died to sin when we put our faith in Christ as our personal Savior.
We who have died with Christ have also been buried with Christ. Our burial with Christ is beautifully pictured in the ordinance of baptism. In Romans 6:4, the baptism that is referred to here is not water baptism. It is the baptism of the Holy Spirit by which we were made part of the body of Christ. Water baptism is a sign or symbol of that, but the essential thing here is the baptism of the Spirit. We become united with Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Believers have been resurrected to new life with Christ. Because of our co-resurrection with Christ we walk in a new kind of life. Our relationship to Christ is symbolized by the union of marriage in scripture. By His death, we were liberated, and by the co-resurrection, we produce righteousness unto God. Romans 6:5 says that “Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was.”
God’s solution to our sin problem was to put us to death with Christ. He put us in the grave with Christ to remove us from the old realm in which we operated. He raised us out of the grave with Christ to bring us into a new kind of life. We have been co-crucified, co-buried and co-resurrected with Christ in order to walk in the newness of life with Christ. Christ lives His life in us.
On our trekPrinciples for Spiritual Growth, today we just barely scratched the surface of the riches that are found on the Trail of Identification. For today it is sufficient that we grasp that since we are identified with Christ, we should no longer act as if we are not.
Tomorrow we will begin a new hike on the Trail of Consecration. Every trail that we hike will help us to create and live our legacy each day. So, encourage your friends and family to join us, and then come along tomorrow for another day of our Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.
That will finish our podcast for today. As you enjoy your daily dose of wisdom, we ask you to help us grow Wisdom-Trek by sharing with your family and friends through email, Facebook, Twitter, or in person so they can come along with us each day.
Thank you for allowing me to be your guide, mentor, and most of all your friend as I serve you through the Wisdom-Trek podcast and journal each day.
As we take this trek together, let us always:
Live Abundantly (Fully)
Lend to others Generously
Lead with Integrity
Leave a Living Legacy Each Day
This is Guthrie Chamberlain reminding you to Keep Moving Forward, Enjoy Your Journey, and Create a Great Day Every Day!See you tomorrow!