Can a Christian be a liar?
Can a Christian be a thief?
Can a Christian be an alcoholic?
Can a Christian be a drug addict?
Can a Christian be a homosexual?
Can a Christian be a sinner?
These are tough questions, but your answers reveal what you believe about God, the gospel, and your view of yourself. It may surprise you that the answer to each question is “no.” As a Christian, you cannot be a liar, thief, alcoholic, drug addict, homosexual, sinner, and so on. That doesn’t mean Christians don’t lie, steal, get drunk, or sin. My point is that God does not define you by your behavior.
Look carefully with me at this change of identity 1 Corinthians 6:9–11 states so beautifully for every Christian. (The bracketed insertions are mine to help define the preceding words.)
Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed [forgiven], you were sanctified [made holy], you were justified [made righteous] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Did you notice the amazing shift in identity from who we once were in Adam to who we are now in Christ by the phrase “And that is what some of you were”?
This truth reveals one aspect of the best-kept secret about being a Christian: God does not determine who you are by what you do; he determines who you are according to your “birth.” I know this idea may seem a little confusing at first …but I know it has the power to change your life, because I’ve seen it happen over and over to thousands of Christians!
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