What does the nature of Christ in the incarnation have to do with our identity? I believe Christ had taken on humanity's 4000 years of degradation yet He came to earth with the divinity He had in Heaven. He was perfect “agape” even as a baby because of His divinity and please note I am not talking about divine powers but His character. “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”(Luke 1:35) Agape is simply an attribute of divinity and is not subject to outside sources or knowledge to exist. If it was the Christ child would have to of had a superior intelligence from birth in order communicate on an equal level with others. “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” (Luke 2:52) This shows us that Christ being sinless as a baby has nothing to do with His knowledge, so the question is are we falling into a trap in thinking knowledge is the key to a perfect character?
If Christ was born as a human with inherited divinity, does this mean He had some type of advantage over us? It depends on your value system and what you think is expected of you for salvation. If you believe that the amount of knowledge you have has something to do with your salvation and your knowledge relates to you having a perfect character then you will see what I am saying through a performance based lens which equates in your mind as an “advantage” over us. On the other hand if you recognize that upon truly submitting to Christ He puts His divine “agape” Spirit in you making you a child of God regardless of any other factors then there is no advantage. You have become a child of God showing that your identity is in Christ. Nothing outside of the person of Christ can add value to what He has already given you which is sonship. You may be full of error and doing much that is wrong but the Spirit of Christ prevents you from knowingly doing what’s wrong. “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1 John 3:9)
Are we as believers in the only true God and His only begotten Son focused on obtaining “knowledge” in the thought that this will perfect our characters? Could this be an identity trap? If you read 1 Cor 13 you will see nothing is as important as having agape. “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not agape, I am nothing.” (1 Cor 13:2) Since I became a Christian just over three years ago I can see that my primary focus has been “knowledge” and in my case I believe at the neglect of focusing on agape. Don’t get me wrong, Christ has done a wonderful work in me and I’m thankful for what I have learned, but for me I believe my identity has been wrapped up in “knowledge” rather than inherited sonship of God.
What is dangerous about having “knowledge” as our identity? We should be mindful of this warning: “Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but agape edifieth.” (1Cor 8:1) Knowledge has a tendency to make us proud and can be seen in our witness to others. When someone doesn’t believe like we do we may often say; “you’re wrong” “you don’t know what you’re talking about” “that’s stupid” “you’re ridiculous” “that’s pagan” amongst a ton of other possibilities. Now if our identity has nothing to do with “knowledge” but simply having the agape of Christ in us how much damage are we doing when we respond to people in such sharp mannerisms? Do you see the lack of faith in sonship when we speak this way? Do we not do this because of a false value system built up in our minds making “knowledge” the key issue? This is a performance based value system inherent in the kingdom of Satan. We must not forget this when witnessing to others which means our focus needs to be letting others see the agape of Christ rather than us focusing on them receiving our “knowledge” we have to offer.
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”(John 17:3) If knowing God and Christ makes us sons upon accepting Them into our lives the natural outcome will be a desire in knowing Christ’s Father. “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” (Gal 4:6) Over time Christ can remove the evil seeds that have built up in us so long as He continues to dwell in us. A continued relationship with God and Christ if true will naturally produce a correct “knowledge” of Them but this makes you no greater than the person who has just accepted Christ and has very little knowledge and much error. How often might we because of our “knowledge” show a lack of agape towards a brother who has much error but may just as well be a child of God? “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21And this commandment have we from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”(1 John 4:20-21) “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth Him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of Him. 2By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments.(1 John 5:1-2)
How then is doctrinal error a salvational issue if knowledge isn’t the key factor in salvation? “And God spake all these words, saying, 2I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” (Ex 20:1-2) Once a person has the indwelling Spirit of Christ the above verse can be said to have happened for him and his identity is set as a child of God. God has brought the person out of bondage and simple faith in Christ (John 3:16) is all that is needed to remain out of bondage as He will supply you with the needed Spirit of agape. If our identity is in Christ we will naturally approach His word with eagerness and joy to learn about Him and His Father along with finding out what He has already given us victory over and not what we must do to appease Him or exalt ourselves. Unfortunately the human mind is stained with performance based ideas that are self-seeking. This leads to desiring “knowledge” in order: to gain authority over others, money, material objects, and drawing of love from mankind. All of these things and more is what our nature craves to draw our identity from but at the end of the day without Christ these things are all meaningless as you will perish back to the dust you came from.
What does this have to do with believing doctrinal error? If your identity is in Christ your decisions will not be effected by things like “gaining authority over others, money, material objects, and drawing of love from mankind.” When these things have value to you they become “other gods” or “idols” and you return to Egypt and the house of bondage as they have no life to give you. Your mind becomes subject to other sources outside of Christ though you think you are only subject to Christ and will continue to profess to be a follower of Him. You are deceived into drawing identity from sources outside of Christ which have no life in them. Mankind often looks to others as their “teacher” because of the “knowledge” they have usually from some form of higher education. In reality the “knowledge” of another person should have no impact on why you believe what you believe because a child of God receives no added value in “knowledge”. “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 11But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. (Matt 23:8-12) We must all learn from each other but let us not place anyone in the position of Christ. Only the agape of Christ dwelling in you can save you.
Your identity is in your relationship with God and Christ and They give you the ability to agape others. You seek Them to give to others rather than seeking “other gods” and “idols” for comfort or personal gain. We should all search our hearts to see how we would react if our husband or wife left us, children or parents wanted nothing to do with us, lost our job, or had to sell everything we have and give it away. A correct value system would let all of these go for the agape of Christ. This all shows us that doctrinal errors are not the root problem in salvation but if salvation has truly been obtained in Christ, we cannot remain in doctrinal error otherwise we are in bondage to false value sources trying to achieve identity in things outside of Christ. The continual believing in error when exposed to the truth is a rejection of believing in God’s word do to having value in a source outside of Christ. We fear accepting truth because of the cross it carries and we see that our “idols” or “other gods” would have to be sacrificed. These “other gods” maybe your husband or wife, pastor, church family, church denomination, job, parents, or a plethora of other “idols”. This is why the Bible says “fear” God and not man as the one you “fear” is the one you have your mind focused on for your identity.
Thus we should recognize that knowledge cannot give us identity but is only a natural consequence of following Christ. He wants to give us the same divinity He has but we need to fully accept that this divinity is the agape needed that expresses our sonship. We must meditate on Christ and pray earnestly with our God to have false values revealed to us as they are often nearly impossible to recognize do to our pride. We must ever be careful of condemning those who do not believe as we do as this shows that our identity is in the knowledge that we possess. I think this is one of the greatest hidden sins amongst us. Let us learn to help others see what they are placing value in and once corrected with a proper identity on Christ the natural outcome will be the truth setting them free. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)