Our personal identity is we are new creatures created in Christ Jesus. Our purpose is to do good works, in which God long ago planned for us to live. Paul in sums that up in the first 10 verses of Ephesians 2. He is addressing the saints in Ephesus and begins by reminding them of their sorry state prior to their salvation. Then he shows them and us what God has made us. As we read in context, we see that not a one of us had what it took to become alive unto God or to please Him. By nature, we were people with whom God was angry. But, God saved us. By His grace and His gift of faith in Jesus as our Savior, He saved us.. Then, He, created us in Christ Jesus and gave us good work to do.
We were dead to God, following the ways of the world
You too were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you once followed the ways of this present world and the ruler whose power is in the air, the spirit who is now working in the people who disobey. Among them all of us once lived in our fleshly lusts, doing what our flesh and mind wanted to do, and by nature we, like the others, were people with whom God was angry. Ephesians 2:1-3
That is the sorry state of natural mankind, man or woman, no matter how nice they are or the good they do. By the grace of God, it is past tense in our lives. We were spiritually dead, doing what our flesh and mind wanted to do. God had what it took to make us alive.
God has given us new personal identity in Messiah Jesus
God has made us what we are, creating us in Christ Jesus. By His grace, God gave us the faith to trust in Jesus, saved us and made us alive unto Himself. He raised us from our deadness to God. And since we are in Christ Jesus, He raised us with Him and had us sit with Him in heaven. and seated us in heaven with Christ Jesus. He has made us what we are, creating us in Christ Jesus to do good works, in which God long ago planned for us to live
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love for us even when we were dead because of our offenses, made us alive together with the Messiah (by grace you have been saved) raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavenly realm in the Messiah Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might display the limitless riches of his grace that comes to us through his kindness in the Messiah Jesus. For by such grace you have been saved through faith. This does not come from you; it is the gift of God and not the result of actions, to put a stop to all boasting. For we are God’s masterpiece, created in the Messiah Jesus to perform good actions that God prepared long ago to be our way of life. Ephesians 2:4-10 ISV
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath made us alive together with Christ and has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Through His masterpiece of workmanship, God has made us born again new beings with new personal identity in Christ Jesus, born of the Spirit. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God (Jn 1:12-13 NASB).
The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit (John 3:8 NASB).
God creating us in Christ Jesus is called regeneration. In His letter to Titus, Paul explains our regeneration as God gives us new birth, our again genesis for life in the kingdom that is (Titus 3:4-7).
As God creates us in Christ Jesus, we are baptized into His death, buried with Him, united with Him in His death and resurrection. In this spiritual action of God’s grace, we die to sin and are made alive to God in Christ Jesus (Ro 6:1-11). Water baptism is a prophetic sign of this spiritual union with Christ Jesus.
The ultimate power of darkness is death. Jesus set us free from the fear of death by by His death, thus rendering the devil powerless.
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. Hebrews 2:14-18 ISV
God rescued us from the power of darkness and brought into the kingdom of His Son
You are being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might, so that you might patiently endure everything with joy and might thank the Father, who has enabled us to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. God has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of the Son whom he loves, through whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:11-14 ISV
God our Father did all of that and more for us, creating us in Messiah Jesus, born of the Holy Spirit, making us new creatures, Paul tells us; “For the love of Christ compels us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor 5:14-17 KJV).
Thus God made us new creatures with a new beginning the moment we believed in Jesus.
God ordained purpose
In the previous scripture, we see our God ordained purpose. “One died for all and so all have died. He died for all that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died and rose for them” (2 Cor 5:14-15). We can live for Jesus because God gives us us what we need to do what He wants us to do.
The God of peace brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, who by His blood made and everlasting covenant, to become the great Shepherd of the sheep-may He give you every good thing you need, to do what He wants you to do, working in us through Jesus Christ what pleases Him. To Him be glory forever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21 AAT
Doing what God wants us to do, working in us through Jesus Christ what pleases Him. fulfills our deepest longings to be useful and productive in the noble things of eternal importance. Plus, we get to live and walk in the mutually supportive environment created as we do what pleases God. Something as simple as changing a diaper is a good thing done for the baby as well as for those in the vicinity.
May our God “make you worth of His calling and by His power accomplish every good thing you decide to do and every work of faith, so as to glorify the name of our Lord Jesus among you, and you in Him, according to the love of our God and Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
Ephesians series 1 Grace and peace to Gods holy ones 2 God has a plan for all who trust in Jesus 3 Our Personal Identity and Purpose 4 Jews and Gentiles made one in Christ 5 Growing up to work in the body of Christ 6 Walking as God’s dear children 7 Godly family and work relationships 8 Let the Lord make you strong