God’s word describes the life of a disciple of Jesus as one that is new and transformed. Once we are united in Jesus by faith in His death, burial, and resurrection, we become one with Him. We take on His identity and His life. That means that the person we were before trusting Jesus is gone and a new person now lives. The new person we become now lives by the power of the Holy Spirit and is being conformed into the image of Jesus daily. There are times during the journey of our new life of discipleship when we wrestle with tendencies from our old nature. But we have confidence and we fight those battles FROM our new nature and identity in Jesus. Because Jesus has made us new, we no longer have to be captive to sin and an old way of thinking; therefore, we can be free to live in righteousness.
Read Galatians 2:20.
Discuss: What is true about our lives as followers of Jesus?
Read Ephesians 4:24.
Discuss: What way has our "new self" been created?
God’s word teaches that when we repent from our sins and place our trust in Jesus, we are given the very identify of Jesus. His life and righteousness are imputed to us. This means that God sees us as He sees Jesus, so that our identity in Jesus is now holy and justified in God's sight. (Romans 5:1)
As we walk in a new life of discipleship, we live FROM our identity, not FOR our identity.
Discuss: What does this mean as a disciple of Jesus?
Read Hebrews 10:10, 14
Discuss: Our identity in Jesus is both SANCTIFIED and BEING SANCTIFIED. Explain how both of these can be true at the same time.
Before coming to know Jesus, our hearts are fallen, our nature is sinful, and our spiritual lives are dead. (Ephesians 2:1-3) (Colossians 1:21) (Colossians 3:5-7)
After coming to know Jesus and being saved by His grace, He lives in our hearts, He gives us His nature, and He gives us new spiritual life. (2 Corinthians 5:17)(Ephesians 4:24)
As we walk in a new life of discipleship, we are given a heart that wants to obey God’s commands.
Read Romans 6:11.
Discuss: How is the believer in Jesus to consider themselves?
As we read God’s word, the Holy Spirit renews our minds to enable us to focus on God’s will, understanding, motives, and actions. This means we are able to see and believe God's truth, and reject the world's lies that so easily entangle us. (Romans 12:2) (Colossians 3:2-3)
Read Ephesians 4:20-24.
Discuss: What happens as we have our minds renewed?
As we walk in a new life of discipleship, we have our thinking changed from our old sinful thoughts to God's righteous thoughts.
In what ways have you experienced Jesus making you a new person?
What does it mean to live FROM your new identity, instead of FOR an identity?
What are some things in your new life that you are in need of Jesus to renew? Are you willing to ask and allow Him to do that?
What will you DO, in God’s power, to apply these truths?