Women received their dead raised to life again. – Hebrews 11:35

To believe in Jesus, to have saving faith, to trust Christ can be summed up in this way – it is to have been raised from the dead to walk in newness of life. When we believe Him we have put off the old man and put on the new man created for us by God in righteousness and holiness (Eph 4:22-24).

It is not simply a change in the way we think, talk, and live. It is not merely a reform that occurs in our habits and lifestyle. It is that we who were dead in trespasses and sins have been called to new life in Christ, regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit, and “delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Col 1:13).

What does it mean then to live and walk as citizens of the Kingdom of God?

There is a quote from a popular super hero movie where the hero is explaining who he is under his mask. Like many comic book super heroes he has a secret identity, a dual life. And as he is explaining who he is he says, “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”

In saying this he is making the claim that who we really are deep down inside of us does not matter. For whoever or whatever we are, that doesn’t define us. What defines us is what we do. That is a very good summary statement for legalism, isn’t it? If we do the right things on the outside then it matters not what we are on the inside.

Here is the truth, as citizens of the Kingdom of God, what we do matters, but what we are is even more important. Who we are is determined by two things. First it is determined by who and what we believe; secondly, it si determined by what we say and do. But here is the catch, ultimately who and what we believe works its way out in what we say and do.

Now listen to this, if what we claim to believe is the opposite of how we live, then what we do really does define who we are! It reveals what we really believe. It shows us who we really are deep down inside where no one else can see. No one but God.

To suggest that what we are and what we do can be different is to claim that bad trees can bear good fruit. But Jesus assures us that this is simply not possible.