No, that’s not the day I was saved.
August 11, 2000 is the day I learned my true identity in Christ.
It’s the day I started allowing Jesus to live His life in me, through me and as me to bring glory to God.
It’s the moment in my spiritual walk I understood what true surrender meant (not that I surrendered my entire life to Him right then and there).
It’s the moment I read these words on page 90 of Dan Stone’s life-changing book, The Rest of the Gospel, when the partial Gospel has worn you out:
“The realm of the spirit, the singular realm, is eternal reality. God settled that at the cross for us (italics mine). That is where our spirit being lives, and where our true identity is settled forever. The realm of appearance, the “world”, the “flesh”, how things look and what we do (italics mine), although we must live in it here and now, is false as far as our identity goes. All of life depends on which realm is ultimate reality to you; the realm of spirit or the realm of appearances. That’s what will determine what you believe and how you live.”¹
Reading this book and studying the lessons in my Bible study class led by Dr. Al Scardino at First Baptist Atlanta that year changed my life and my entire approach to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and my life in relationship to Him. Two scriptures became cornerstones for knowing, understanding and living out of my true identity in Christ.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV).
At the cross I became a new creation. The old life I had in Adam was gone. Christ made me into something new. He did not retool me or refurbish me. He made me brand new. Being a new creation is a pretty cool thing. In his book, Dan Stone explains what it means to be a new creation.
¹The Rest of the Gospel; by Dan Stone and Greg Smith; © 2000 by One Press; P.O. Box 832442, Richardson, Tx, 85403