Second Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." When we come to Jesus for salvation, we are made completely new. We are said to be "in" Christ. We are reconciled with God and counted as righteous before Him (1 Corinthians 5:17–21). Rather than seeing our sinfulness, God sees the righteousness of His Son. He does not hold our sins against us, but, having justified us, He invites us into active relationship with Him. He sees us as people who have been redeemed, and also as so much more.
In Christ, how does God see me?
Ephesians 1:3–14 is an excellent list, if you will, of some of the ways God sees us in Christ. We find that God "has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 1:3). In Christ we have been equipped with all we need. Second Peter 1:3–4 echoes this truth. We also see that we are chosen "that we should be holy and blameless before [God]" (Ephesians 1:4). We are counted as holy and blameless because we are in Christ, and we are also being made holy through the process of sanctification. Second Corinthians 3:18 tells us we are being transformed into the image of Christ.
Ephesians 1:5 tells us that we have been predestined "for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ." God sees us as His children. John 1:12–13 says, "But to all who did receive [Jesus], who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." This is "to the praise of [God's] glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6). Here we see that God has blessed us—or "freely bestowed" in other versions—with His grace. We are objects of God's love and His abundant gifts, to His glory. Ephesians 1:8 tells us that God "lavished upon us" the "riches of his grace." This is from the redemption and forgiveness of sins we have in Christ (Ephesians 1:7).
Ephesians 1:9 tells us that God has made "known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ." We are people God desires to reveal Himself to, and to whom He has made known His will. Ephesians 1:11 tells us we have an inheritance in Christ. Romans 8:17 tells us that we are children and "heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ." God sees us as His own, even to the extent that we are co-heirs with Christ. Ephesians 1:13–14 describes how we have been sealed with the Holy Spirit as a "guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory." God not only sees us as His children, but has marked us as such.
The Bible is filled with many more descriptions of how God sees us in Christ. Psalm 139 talks about the way we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Jesus talked about calling His disciples friends in John 15. In John 17 He talked about His desire for His followers to be with Him. It is evident throughout the Bible that, in Christ, God sees us as His "chosen ones, holy and beloved" (Colossians 3:12). This is not to say that God wears rose-colored glasses or that we are without sin. Psalm 103:14 tells us, "For [God] knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust." But it is to say that God has chosen to lavish us with grace and mercy, making a way for us to be counted as righteous. And He works in our hearts to actively make us more like Him, all because of His love. God "remembers our sin no more", makes us His children, and then treats us as such. He lavishes us with His love, equips us for all we need, calls us to obedience (John 15), disciplines us that we may walk alright (Hebrews 12:6–11), and teaches us to live holy and pleasing lives, all that we may someday be with Him.
"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 1:3).
Who are we in Christ?
How should our identity in Christ affect the way we live?
How is a Christian a new creation? What does 2 Corinthians 5:17 mean?
Are Christians saints or sinners? Or both?
Does God love me?
Truth about the Christian Life