Do you remember the first job you had? I do. I wish I didn’t, but I do. My first job was working at the Subway inside of our local Walmart. I worked there for two years, and the best thing that came out of it was the title it gave me. After working there, I was no longer just Ian Crosby. I was Ian Crosby the Sandwich Artist. And I wore that title with pride.
We, as people, tend to take what we do and turn it into a defining statement about ourselves. I’m an accountant. I’m a pastor. I’m a waitress. I’m a designer. I’m a student. We do it with things we are proud of, but we also do it with things we are ashamed of. We do it with the those things that we are reluctant to talk to others about. We take things we’ve done and label ourselves. I’m a liar. I’m a thief. I’m an adulterer. I’m an addict. I’m a failure. We have this habit of taking what we’ve done, or maybe failed to do, and using it as a label for who we are. We take hold of it as our identities.
The problem with that is, as Christians, nothing could be further from the truth. If you have laid down your life to follow Jesus, you aren’t the sum of what you have or haven’t done. You aren’t your past.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
— 1 Corinthians 5:17
This verse tells us that we aren’t what we have done. It says that the old has passed away. Very literally, who we were — our past, what we’ve done, our entire lives up to the point of salvation — has died. It’s no longer here. It’s passed on.
We have been given a new life.
A few verses later, in verse 21, we learn that the new creation that we are is the righteousness of Christ. Our old, sinful, dirty, shameful past has been put to death and the new life we have is the very righteousness and holiness of God.
Don’t let Satan use your past against you. If you’re a Christian, your past has passed. You are the righteousness of God, which is something that you can never lose or have taken away.
Today, live in the righteousness that has been given to you through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.