Thursday, January 15, 2015

Our Identity – Part 1

There are three priorities for the children of God.  
1.  Jesus Christ is Lord
2.  The Word of God is our sole authority for truth and practice.
3.  We are people of prayer

Brother Michael has a message on "whose we are". A year of renewal starts with reviewing the fundamentals. Priorities in life are defined by the basics. God is not concerned about busyness. He's concerned about our heart, for out of the heart are the issues of life. Christians in our society are confused about the role of men and women in the darkness of our culture. They feel that they have been ineffectual, eviscerated, and lost in a world of darkness. However, God has called his children with a purpose...  a high and mighty calling to be holy and without blame before Him in love. He has empowered us, having called us unto a new identity in Christ that we may walk in the newness of life.

People of this world are identified by what they do today; by their performance and by their accomplishments. However, Jesus Christ said to look not on the things of the world, for everything that is of the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world – 1 John 2:16.  Our identity is not in our busyness. To paraphrase what Jesus said, "Do you not know that we must be about our Father's business."  We are the salt of the earth...  Salt means truth.  Men and women professing to be wise in their own conceits become foolish. The foolish things confound those who profess to be wise in this world. Foolish means to be "un-salty" or “unsavory”.  Children of God have been called as salt and light in an “unsavory world of darkness”. For we preach not ourselves, but Jesus Christ and him crucified...  to those who are perishing, the stench of death unto death, but unto them who are saved, the sweet smelling fragrance of life unto life – 2 Corinthians 2:15-16.  He has not called us to deliver the message, but to be the message lived out daily in faith. Metaphorically, you may be the only Bible that many people will ever read.  Do you know, O’ Christian you're a sermon in shoes? 

Some find their identity in the deceitfulness of riches – Mark 4:19.  We realize that we're living in a materialistic and hedonistic culture. However, we are deceived when we think that we are above the battle. When we, like Abraham's nephew Lot, live near the gates of Sodom, the culture of the Sodomites wears off on us. Our profession must be according to Philippians 1:21.  Paul said, "for me to live is Christ, to die is gain."  I must die to self to live for Christ.  In Isaiah 55:8-9 God says, "My ways are not thy ways...  for as high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my thoughts than your thoughts and my ways than your ways." Life is about reciprocity, about giving and receiving. In God's economy, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The balance of God's righteous justice is the law of equity. God provided a way to balance, to reconcile the scales of God's justice, for we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God – Romans 3:23 .  We are all weighed in the balance and found wanting. To reconcile the scales of his righteous judgment, God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life – John 3:16.  He who knew no sin became the perfect sin sacrifice for us that we may be made the righteousness of God in him – 2 Corinthians 5:21.

We'll finish Michael message on "our identity" tomorrow. Blessings.
In Christ, Brian


Susan said...

The basics are never old and still so profound, aren't they Brian? It is good to savor the truth, to be that salt in our corner of Sodom/Gomorrah. And always for God's glory so His name is praised in all the earth.

Brian Ray Todd said...

Excellent point Susan. And the foundational "basic" is "God", and in a world where the created (in unbelief) is on the throne of life and where pridefully anything goes, God and holiness is a profound contrast, while in the kingdom of Believers, Creator God is profound truth. Sitting in the gates of Sodom/Gomorrah was a place of authority and influence as everyone had to enter through that gate to the fortified walled city from the crossroads of the world. Being "salt & light" in ministry and witness of the gospel of Jesus Christ is a mission of the love, mercy and grace of our profound God for forgiveness and salvation. "Glory" is a beautiful word to express the emotion of the soul towards God. May His name be praised in all the earth! Amen. Thank you for writing Susan. Blessings.