Identification With Christ

Identification with Christ refers to the fact God declares that when Christ was condemned, was crucified, died, was buried, was resurrected, ascended into heaven and was seated at the Father’s right hand, believers in Him participated in these events. God regards Jesus Christ as being the representative head and source of all believers in these things.

Jesus Christ is the representative head because He is the new Adam of the new humanity in Him. Adam is the representative head of the old sinful fallen human race. Christ is the representative head of those humans who individually are new creations in Him and collectively are the new humanity in Him.

Believers in Christ participate in all aspects of Jesus’ death, resurrection, ascension and so on because of their spiritual union with Him. God is not limited by time. So in eternity past, He regarded every human who would come into union with Christ as being in Him participating in His death, resurrection and so on. This even applies to Old Testament believers who only came into full union with Christ after their physical death.

Before time began, God graciously purposed that believers would be in union with Christ. 2 Timothy 1:9 says: “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.” Identification with Christ refers to the fact God the Father declares that as believers in union with Christ, we:


         died when He died (see Romans 6:6 and Galatians 2:20).

         died to sin and its associated due punishments when He died (see Romans 6:2-7).

         died to the sinful passions and desires of the flesh when He died (see Galatians 5:24).

         died to the world when He was crucified (see Galatians 6:14).

         were condemned, were crucified and died when He died. God declares that because believers are “in Christ”, we therefore participated in all aspects of His crucifixion and death.

         were buried with Christ when He was buried (see Romans 6:4).

         were resurrected with Christ when He was resurrected (see Colossians 2:12 and 3:1). (Note the bodily aspect of our resurrection is future though.)

         ascended into God’s Presence (see Ephesians 2:6 and Hebrews 6:19-20) when Jesus ascended into heaven. (We have access to God’s Presence already, but our full ascending into heaven is future.)

         were seated in heavenly places in Christ above all Satanic and other powers and authorities (see Ephesians 2:6) when Jesus was seated in heaven on the right hand of God the Father (see Ephesians 1:18-23).


We do not have to earn or deserve any of these things. All these aspects of our identification are paid for by Jesus’ death and given to us by God’s undeserved grace. The New Testament uses the figurative expressions of the vine and the branches (see John 15:1-8), the head and the body (see Romans 12:4, Ephesians 4:15-16) and the collective aspects of the new man (or new humanity) in Christ to refer to some features of our identification with or participation in Christ.

Bible Study Questions


1.       Describe in simple terms what identification with Christ means.

2.       Explain the relevance of 2 Timothy 1:9 to our identification with Christ.

3.       What are the various aspects of our identification with Christ? An example is we died when He died.



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