Our True Identity
Finding our Identity in Y'shua
Every group who seeks to establish another gospel invariantly starts with a failure to understand their identity without and within the body of Messiah, as firlmly established in the scriptures. This article will attempt to show both from the agreement of Tanakh (the Old Testament) and the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) pf who we are by nature and why we need salvation and what the nature of salvation is. This should be obvious to any believer in Messiah but surprisingly, a failure to understand this precept is the core deception behind almost any cult.
Before we can properly understand the our identity in Y'shua we need to understand our identity outside of Y'shua, our fallen nature and why re need redemption.
The Fallen Nature
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin ; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
G-d told Adam that on the day he ate of the fruit of the tree he would surely die. The serpents lie was that he would not die. Obviously Adam did not physically drop dead when he ate of the tree. But just as obviously G-d did not lie and haSatan did not tell the truth. Now those who want to preach a different gospel will invent all sort of machinations to get away from this concept of spiritual death. The most common one is that a thousand years with the L-rd is as a day and Adam lived for over 900 years. There are numerous problems with this... the obvious one is it makes haSatan to be a truth sayer and we know that he is the father of lies.
So if Adam died on the very day he sinned, what was it in him that died? Obviously not his body. Adam was made in the image of G-d and the scriptures tell us plainly that G-d is Spirit. But Adam had a body of flesh and blood, he also had Nephesh or breath, which is a soul. His phyical body did not die that day. His breathe did not cease, therefore the only part of Adam which could have died was his Spirit.
1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Adam was made as a Nephech Chayee - a living soul, but he was made in the image of G-d who is Ruach (Spirit). When something is quickened it is made alive again from the dead. Therefore we can only assume that that men after Adam were spiritually dead and that the work of Y'shua was to bring that dead Spirit to life within them. Is it any wonder that he told Nicodemus that "ye must be born again"?
So the fallen nature of man is spiritual death. Man being born of Adam has a living body, a living soul, and a dead spirit. All born dead in Adam.
2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all , then were all dead:
The Nature of Salvation
Y'shua said "Ye must be born again", but how can a man born dead be born again to life?
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
It is a common misconception perpetrated by the psuedo-messianic cults and the antimissionaries, that Original Sin is not found in the Scriptures. That this foundational doctrine is a creation of Roman Catholicism. Yet as we can plainly see from Sha'uls Epistle to the Romans this was a concept that far predates Constantine. The precept is not a purely Pauline one either. For Isaiah tells us "We all like sheep have gone astray, every one to his own way, but G-d has laid the iniquity ('Avon or sin nature) of us all on Him." So we all have sinned and we are all dead in sin. If this was the message of the gospel then we would be the sorriest of men. But Rabbi Shaul tells us that there is more to this.
Romans 5:14-15 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
Though the context here is the failure of the law to provide salvation, the gem hidden within this passage is that if by this one man Adam, death and sin entered into the world, so then also by one man's obedience sin was atoned.
But could any man have atoned for all sin?
Since the sin nature or 'Avon is passed from Adam to his descendants then all men who are of Adam are stained by sin and born with a dead spirit. This is why the concept of the virgin birth is so important and so scorned by many of the cults. Y'shua was not born of the union between a man and a woman. He was the seed of the Woman, born of a virgin overshadowed by Ruach haKodesh. He did not inherit the original sin nature of Adam, and so was able to fulfill the promise and become an atoning sacrifice for sin.
Hebrews 9:13-14 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. The sin of a perfect man, made in the image of G-d brought sin and death into the world and the blood of a sinless man atoned for that sin. but how does this fit into the nature of our identity?
In Messiah we are no longer Sons of Adam, we have become the sons of G-d.
Romans 8:14-1 6 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.or ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
The Spirit of Adoption is the key to understanding this. When a son is adopted he gains all the rights and responsibilities of a natural son. He must agree to respect and obey the new father and that father must agree to protect and disciple his new son. The Covenant of Y'shua is a covenant of adoption... which is by faith.
Psalms 98:2 The LORD hath made known his salvation : his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.
G-d always had a plan for salvation and that plan was always by faith in the work of Y'shua. No one gets into the kingdom based on family or tribe or even race. Y'shua is the only way.
Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness ; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation .
What was is that Avraham believed in Bersehit (Genesis 15? He believed the promise that through his seed all the families of the earth would be blessed. If Righteousness is of faith then it must be of a faith in that which saves. Doctrine can not save you... Only Y'shua saves and by him we have been grafted in to salvation and been made sons of G-d!
Genesis 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness
Believing the promise of G-d is thus the heart of righteousness. Righteousness