To be born again is to begin the new creation as the real you. This is the end of our Adamic life and the start of Christ our life. Some of the best teaching on identity comes from the work of Richard Rohr who has some insightful things to say on the false self and the real self.
You could live from the law all your life and never become your real self, be aware that you are not your best self or have eyes to see that the new and living way is Christ your life. Our real self is us as a manifestation of Christ. You can manifest as a Christian and not be you. You can be the expression of Jesus and be the real you and a son/daughter of God.
The real self is who we are by incarnation. The false self is who we are in the letter; separation from God. The sincere Believer has a degree of authenticity as herself even if an old covenant law prisoner for two reasons. God’s grace and God’s truth. Your inheritance is real even if you have not possessed it.
Or we might say, God is real even if we are not.
GRACED TO SONSHIP
But grace is not a reason to live in error and delusion. Grace is the Door – the dynamic opportunity to advance in the adventure of truth in this life in order to become sons and daughters in spirit and in truth.
You can be a son notionally. You can be a daughter in generality. You are a son/daughter in spirit and in truth when Christ is your life, which is to say when Christ is you. The Greek word for this is perichoresis in which we are one with God yet emerging continually as more fully ourselves.
When Rohr talks of leaving the first part of life to enter life in the fullness of our true self he is talking of the new birth.* We are not reborn until we cease living from ourselves and enter that reality called ‘Christ our life.’ In religion we are not re-born. When Christ is our life we are sons of God in spirit and in truth.
The mystics call this ‘oneness’ and Jesus calls it ‘you are in me and I am in you’. They are talking incarnation – the interwoveness of the trinity in you and you in the trinity.
C. S. Lewis used the words, ‘Till we have faces.’ Our true face is revealed in the mirror of Christ and as Christ our life.
LIE OF THE LAW
Tied to the law we remain a ghost of our true selves – tied to the letter we imprison ourselves as a figment of our true selves. We can live our entire lives as a husk of who we actually are – as our false selves. We are sons in spirit and in truth when we agree with Christ that He is our life and that He is becoming us resulting in our ever increasing glory.
Without incarnation we will not be true to ourselves, only a shadow of the sons we could be. We will tend to a suffocated relationship with the Spirit and define life in the Spirit in terms of the law. Legalism is a convoluted and subtle deception of the knowledge of good and evil.
Jesus began the Church of the Firstborn. In Him you become ‘the you’ of the re-born. Your life in Adam is dead and your life in Jesus is you.