The Devil’s Greatest Lie that Leads to Your Greatest Defeat
You’re not a mere “sinner saved by grace.” Discover the transformation that declaring your identity in Christ brings!
If you follow many of my articles, you likely recognize that my perspective on spiritual warfare largely centers around knowing who you are and what you have in Christ. I call this “identity-based warfare.” This concept was shaped by a word from God, in which He told me: “Spiritual warfare isn’t about fighting a devil that’s defeated, but it’s about standing in the victory of the One who defeated him.” In other words, your victory over Satan’s attacks isn’t all about methods and models, but standing in confidence of what God’s Word says you have because of the finished work of Christ.
The Foundation of Who You Are
Victory over Satan’s attacks is about standing in confidence of what God’s Word says about you.
The foundation of your new identity in Christ is illustrated in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away. Look, all things have become new.” How this happens is explained just four verses later: “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” These two verses describe a spiritual metamorphosis that’s incomprehensible. There are no if, ands or buts about it; as a Christian, you are brand new and made right!
Satan’s Greatest Lie
Of course, we know that the devil seeks to oppose whatever God declares. And therefore, it stands to reason that his greatest goal against a Christian is to erode his or her confidence in the foundation of their identity. Primarily, he does this through accusation. To convince that you aren’t new, he brings back haunting reminders of the past. To incite questions about your status before God, he shames you with your sins, struggles and weaknesses. Then, he whispers possibly his greatest lie: “You’re just the same ole sinner!”
The deception in what he says is that it seems true. Certainly, we all continue to sin after we’re saved. But herein lies Satan’s strategy. He cleverly seeks to get you to equate your identity with your actions. Instead of simply admitting, “I sinned,” and then moving on, he wants you to confess this as who you are: “I’m just a sinner (saved by grace).”
The Danger of Confessing a Lie
Believing you’re a sinner, after the Lord declared you new, will leave you enslaved to a lifestyle from which Jesus died to set you free.
Perhaps you’ve said this before. I have. In fact, I’ve even heard some of the most respected men and women of the faith say something similar. I know that people mean well; it sounds humble and unassuming. But you must understand that to acknowledge something like this is to swallow Satan’s greatest lie, which can produce a life of defeat.
As I expound upon in my book, Silence Satan, the devil knows that you only rise to the level of who you believe you are. That is, if you continue to believe you’re a sinner, well after the Lord declared you a new person, then you’re almost certain to remain enslaved to a lifestyle from which Jesus died to set you free. And while nobody means this, ultimately, it says to Jesus: “Your blood, wounds and death weren’t enough. I have to pay for my sin with negative talk and self-pity.”
Beliefs Influence Actions
When you agree with God’s Word about your genuine identity in Christ, then you’ll begin to rise to the level of who you believe you are.
Be sure not to misconstrue this message as license for sin. This is far from that! You can’t purposefully live like the world while arrogantly holding to an identity that you obviously don’t respect. But at the same time, know that identity isn’t determined by actions, but rather, actions are determined by identity. This is why scientists instruct that your beliefs about yourself trickle down to influence your actions, which eventually shape your habits, character and destiny.
My message to you is this: Stop perpetuating the devil’s greatest lie with your own mouth. You’re not a mere “sinner saved by grace.” You are the righteousness of God in Christ! When you start to agree with God’s Word about your genuine identity in Christ, then you’ll begin to rise to the level of who you believe you are. And consequently, many of the “spiritual warfare” issues you face will diminish.