Maulding writes about the identity stolen from us in the Fall and how our identity is restored to us when we believe in Jesus for salvation. Satan would like to destroy us with lies about our identity but our new self is the deepest core of who and what we are. (Loc 868/3218)
He writes about the fallacy of the civil war within, the “two self” teaching, a cunning ploy of the devil. “...[T]he Bible says our 'old self' is no longer in play after we become Christians.” (Loc 868/3218) He references Romans 6:6, 2 Corinthians 5:17, and Galatians 2:20. The old self is gone and there is only the new person in Christ.
He does distinguish the old self and the flesh. “The word flesh represents all the ways people have learned to cope with life's challenges apart from dependence on Christ.” (Loc 940/3218) We can still live independently of God, living according to the “flesh.”
He also writes that we must know we are righteous to grow spiritually mature. That righteousness is our identity in Christ. “We truly live our lives in a manner consistent with who we believe we are in our hearts.” (Loc 1269/3218) Jesus has done everything so that we are forgiven, accepted by God and we have rest in Him. That may be new to those who were taught that God sees us through Jesus or that God sees us as if we are righteous.
Maulding realizes that living in the new identity we have in Christ may take time. It takes work to change ingrained thinking. He provides suggestions for training our mind to believe the truth. We may have to take authority over Satan's lies and he helps us with that too.
My favorite part of the book was when Maulding reminded readers that the gospels contain ministry under the Old Covenant. Most of what Jesus taught was to Jewish people under the law. It wasn't until Jesus died and rose again that everything changed and there was a fundamental difference as to how God relates to us and we to Him. (Loc 1703/3218) He also has a very good section on suffering and brokenness.
This book is reminiscent of “exchanged life” books, such as those by Major W. Ian Thomas of the 1980s and the works of Hudson Taylor a century earlier. The concept of the exchanged life is somewhat controversial. Many theologians would not agree with all that Maulding writes. He attacks many sacred cows. I think this book contains important truth for every Christian.
You can find out more about the book at https://www.godsbestkeptsecret.com/.
You can watch a message from the author about the book here.
You can download an excerpt and watch a book trailer here.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Mark Maulding is founder of Grace Life International, one of the largest Christian counseling and teaching ministries in America. A speaker, counselor, and leadership coach, Maulding is a regular blogger. He and his wife have four adult children and live near Charlotte, North Carolina. You can follow his blog here.
Baker Books, 224 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.