Spiritual Identity Fraud
No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:8-11 NKJV
When you assume, take, or steal someone’s person information or identity and use it without permission: that is identity fraud. In the above foundation scripture text, Apostle Paul admonishes Corinthian believers not to sue at law another believer. He teaches that if there’s a matter against a brother and you go to law before the unjust and not the saints, you defraud your brother. Why? Because you have cheated your brother of an opportunity to reflect the image and glory of God in resolving the dispute; you have cheated your brother of God’s judgment and justice; and, you have cheated your brother from experiencing God’s reconciliation and restoration—to do so, is behavior consistent with identifying with the “old man” and fallen nature rather than identifying with the new man in Christ Jesus.
If a brother defrauds another believer, he’s also capable of defrauding himself. Anytime a believer’s thinking, speaking, or conduct is consistent with the “old life” prior to coming to Christ, this is a manifestation of spiritual identity fraud because he is assuming un-Christ-like identity of the “old man” without permission.
How does a believer get snared in this spiritual identity trap? The book of Roman says that they are suppressing the truth of God in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:21-22). Suppressing who you are, whose you are, and where you are can lead to confusion about your new identity in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:10). You can’t be your new self in Christ if you’re identifying with the old self. This is the spiritual identity trap (Matt. 7:21; Luke 6:46).
The Kingdom of God is a no-fraud zone (1 Cor. 6:9-11). Regardless of what you use to be—you’re no longer that lost sinful person without an identity in Christ. You are now perfect and complete in Christ, lacking nothing. All that is required is that you boldly act on the fact of this new identity—accepting the gospel truth that in Christ you died to the “old man.” Only the righteousness inherits the Kingdom of God (Matt, 25:34; 1 Cor. 6:9). It’s time to put off the old identity and put on the new! (see Eph. 4:22-24)