Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Our Identity – Part One

Galatians 2:20 “I was crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

This week, Michael writes how our identity truly is in Christ. Most people's identity is in what they do and the roles that they play. Many so-called Christians go through the motions to keep try and keep the Ten Commandments. They go to church and they try not to sin. However, it's not sin that condemns us. We all are condemned already. Jesus said in John 3:16-18, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” So rather, it's failure to accept the Savior from sin. When we confessed "Jesus is Lord" we not only received a Savior, but also a new Lord and Master. Our identity is no longer "who we are" but rather "whose we are."  

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "If any man is in Christ, he's a new creature, old things are passed away, all things are become new."  To be in Christ means that we have become a new creation in Christ. He makes all things new.  David's prayer in Psalm 51:1-2 was, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.” Verse 10 says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”

We need to remember our identity relative to Proverbs 29:18 "Where there is no vision the people run wild."  Why are we here? and Where are we going as Christians and as the people of God?  The answers to these questions will keep us on the narrow way, for Jesus Christ himself is the Way, the Truth and the Life. In the midst of the crisis and in the heat of the spiritual battle, we need to be convinced of our mission and our purpose. We need to see ourselves and others, not as we are, but spiritually as God sees us. Ephesians says that from God's perspective we are seated in heavenly places. God sees us not as we are, but as we will be at the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:14 says that the love of God compels us to action. What is the reason for your action?  Why do you do what you do? What motivates you? If the motive isn't the love of Christ then why are you here? “For the love of Christ constrains (compels) us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” – vs.15.

During a recent congressional appointment, one congressman did not approve a Christian's appointment. The congressman argued that the Christian was "intolerant" and too "exclusive."  He believed that the Christian could not relate or empathize with others outside of his faith. The Christian was rejected for the appointment simply because he identified with his Lord Jesus Christ. We're constantly being evaluated by the world if we profess to be Christians. It matters whether we're living for this life or the next life. If we compromise our Christian values found in God’s Holy Word and try to make a peace treaty with the devil (who is the god of this world), then we are not "sanctified" according to the truth of the Word of God. Sanctified starts with "discrimination.", which is the act of distinguishing; the act of making or observing a difference; distinction; as the discrimination between right and wrong. It means to be set apart ... separated to the distinction of holiness for which our Creator designed us. If we truly know our Lord Jesus Christ, we'll allow the Word of God to rebuke and correct us and to restore us to an upright position before the Lord. The purpose is so that we will walk in fellowship with our Heavenly Father. The narrow way is the only way to Heaven. 

Let’s continue Michael’s message on our godly identify in the next post.

In Christ, Brian

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