Sunday, December 12, 2010

(Pt.3) Your Identity Continued

A person has no identity apart from a relationship with someone or something else. That is why we latch on to practically anything in our desperate need to discover who we are. We determine our identity through our appearance, occupation, abilities, family relationships, friends, denominational affiliation -- The list is absolutely endless.


As a born again Christian, God is the Potter 
of your vessel and everything about you... 
IF you'll let Him.

Identity, however, is a "spiritual" need. Who we truly are is determined by our relationshipwith Jesus Christ. This is the only way you will find out who you really are - through the One who created you! When we are identified with Him, we have an identity that cannot be shaken or taken away. It's an identity that is more wonderful than we could ever imagine.

Unfortunately, the tragedy of "Modern-Day Christianity" is our utter ignorance of who we are in Christ! As a result, many Christians struggle, wondering if God really loves them, if God ever did love them, or if God "still" loves them. The believers identity in Christ is not a side issue; it is central to experiencing the "Real" Christian life!

1 Corinthians 15:22 says, "22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive."

Where does the road you walk go? 
Into death with Adam? 
Or eternal life in Christ?
From God's point of view, there are only two kinds of people in this world. Their identities are determined by whom they are identified with. According to the verse above, we are either identified with Adam, which is "spiritually dead" in relation to our relationship with God and lost in our sin, or we are identified with Christ, which makes us "born-again" unto God spiritually, with the "old self" dead and gone...

To be "in Adam" or "in Christ" may be strange language to us. Biblically, to be "in" someone means that person is our family head. As such, he has left us his name, his nature, an inheritance, and a destiny.

The "destiny" for those that are "in Adam", is unbelief and ultimately, separation from God. The destiny for those that are "in Christ", is one of belief in God, and total and eternal acceptance by God, that we may have eternal life. "Eternal life" is our inheritance from God! Magnificent, isn't it?!

Let's face it. Eternal means eternal. If we could lose our relationship with God once He has accepted and forgiven us, God's Word could not have said "eternal" could it? If we had a relationship with God for let's say 10 years, then we think we can "lose" that acceptance, then we've had life for 10 years... There wasn't anything eternal about it, was it?...To think that anyone can "lose" their salvation, is to be ignorant of the "Whole Truth" that God has given us. There is a great deal of what God is trying to tell us that has either been mis-understood, or not realized at all by the born-again believer. The Word of God does say "eternal", doesn't it? That's what it says, and that's what I'm going to believe.

Every human being is born into the world "in Adam". That means we are born with the same nature, inheritance, and destiny that Adam possessed after his fall. Let's take a closer look at the inheritance left to us by Adam.

Romans 5:19 says, "19For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous."

As revealed above, through the disobedience of one man, we were made sinners through our sinful nature. The one man was Adam. Therefore, our identity in Adam is a "sinner", when we are born into this world, depicting the inevitable sinner we will become because of our nature...

Romans 5:12 - "12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned"

Sin entered the world through *one man. This one man was Adam. Death entered the world through sin. As a result of this, *death came to all men. God wasn't speaking of physical death to our bodies. He didn't address that until later. God was speaking of *"spiritual death"! This death was brought upon us because of "sin". Therefore, the *"inheritance" we have been given in Adam, is a sinful nature and spiritual death because of sin.

Ephesians 2:1-3 says, "1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by *nature objects of wrath."
 
In this scripture, our condition before we knew Christ was that we are "dead in our transgressions and sins". We "follow" the ways of this world and the ruler of the "kingdom of the air" (saTan). satan is the "spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient (the sinner). The sinner will seek to gratify the cravings of the sinful nature (within all of us before Christ) and following it's (sinful nature) desires and thoughts. By our very nature in Adam we are nothing more than "objects of God's WRATH"... Not a very pretty picture is it?

So. What type of *nature did Adam pass on to us as our family head? A *sinful nature, we are objects of wrath and we are doomed to a lifestyle of sin... Still want to be "In Adam"?

As we've seen thus far, all of us are *born into the world as unavoidable sinners. We were born totally controlled by our flesh. As a result, we were by nature, objects of wrath. This is the identity Adam passed on to us -- an identity we received through birth. For this identity to change requires a "new birth".

John 3:3-6 states: 3In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."4"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"5Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

As revealed in these scriptures, for a person to see and enter the Kingdom of God we must be "born again". John describes being born of water as "flesh gives birth to flesh". But the kind of birth Jesus refers to when He says, "You must be born again", is a new "spiritual" birth.

Physically, we are born "in Adam" and he (Adam) is our family head. When we are "born again" of the "Spirit" of God, our family head changes. God is then our family head through being "born again" spiritually unto God. Thus we have a "new identity". This new identity is from God Himself.

When Nicodemus heard Jesus say you must be born again, Nicodemus asked, How can this be?" If you think about it, probably every one of us would have asked the same thing. So, how can you be born again? Jesus gives the answer in the famous passage of John 3:16.


16"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."


Jesus paid the price for the sin of the entire WORLD. 
But salvation is not about forgiveness of sin only. 
It is a matter of receiving ETERNAL LIFE instead of 
eternal death! In Christ, you have LIFE! 
That is salvation my friends: LIFE is salvation!

This is absolutely astounding in that God did not "have" to do any of this for us! As revealed in this scripture, God's sole motivation to give His one and only Son as a sacrifice for our sins was His Love for us! If we were to be saved, Jesus was the only sacrifice in all of earth and Heaven that was good enough to pay the price. None other would do.

What must we do, according to this scripture, to receive eternal life? Simple. The answer is so simple, it confounds the wise. We simply need to know we need a Savior, turn to Jesus and "BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST"! Now. To be 'born again", what need we do according to this scripture? Yep. You got it... "Turn to Jesus as our Lord (repent)", and "BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST" (have faith in Him only and His complete work on the cross and resurrection)!

John 1:12-13 – “12Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God! 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

This scripture is also phenomenal when realizing who we are "in Christ". It plainly says when we receive Jesus Christ we get the right to become "children of God"! We receive Christ through believing faith. As a child of God, whom are we born to? God! John distinctly contrasts being born of natural descent and being born of God. I think he does this because he wants us to clearly see the difference and realize what has happened to us!

So. If we believe in Jesus Christ and are "born again", what is your new identity? Simply, we are a "Child of God"...

Romans 8:15-17 -- "15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of son-ship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs. Heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."

Focusing on this scripture, when we are born again of the Spirit of God, we received a "Spirit of sonship"! Paul starkly contrasts this to a "spirit of fear". Evidently, Paul knew that many were and would in the future mis-interpret their relationship with God as one as was under the Old Covenant. But Paul is trying to reveal something new to us!


"Fear is the beginning of Godly knowledge and wisdom. 
But the end result is LOVE, that CASTS out all fear."

In Ephesians 2:3, we learned that "in Adam" we were all, by nature, objects of wrath, and our natural response to God is one of "fear". But in Proverbs's, we are told that the fear of God is the "BEGINNING" of understanding. It said nothing of it (fear) being the end result... Quite the contrary... The Word tells us that "perfect love drives out fear". In light of these things, we can conclude that it is very important for us to understand that when we are born again, we DO NOT receive a spirit that makes us a slave to fear!

Because we have received the Spirit of son-ship, we should be crying out, "ABBA, FATHER!" The Spirit of God should testify to our human spirits that WE ARE GOD'S CHILDREN!!! Because we are children of God, we have become HEIRS! Heirs to God! All that God has is now ours! Because we are children of God, we are "CO-HEIRS" with CHRIST! Good God, Almighty! Co-Heirs with CHRIST!

"We have received an inheritance! An eternal, glorious, unspeakable, Spiritual inheritance! ... From none other than God, Himself!"

In summary of this part, a person's identity is determined by the one he is identified with. From God's vantage point, a person is either identified with *Adam or with Jesus Christ. If you are identified with *Adam, you are a sinner and your identity is eternal separation from God -- death. If you are identified with Jesus Christ, you are a child of God and your destiny is eternal life.

Your identity can change through "new birth". If you are still "*in Adam", are you willing to receive Jesus Christ by believing in His name and experiencing "new birth" in Christ? You can do so by simply asking Jesus to come into your heart.

If you wish to do so right now, here is a suggested prayer:

Please pray with me and receive 
Jesus into your heart now, while 
the reviving power of the Holy 
Spirit is upon your heart!

Lord Jesus? I need You. I recognize that I was born into this world a slave to my sinful nature, spiritually separated from You since my first decision and I am in need of "life in Christ". Thank You for dying for the forgiveness of my sins and then for being raised from the dead so You could come and give me life! I now receive You into my heart! Take control of my life and teach me about Your Love and the inheritance I now have as a child of God! Thank You, God, for coming into my heart and for giving me eternal life... In Your Name Jesus I pray only, as You are the only source of anything which I seek! Amen...

If you prayed to receive Christ, you are now a child of God! You have a new identity, a new nature, and a new destiny. Throughout the rest of this particular series of study, we'll take a closer look at just what it means to be a "child of God" and the eternal inheritance we have as His Children...

Glory To God Only... Amen & Amen...

2 comments:

FresnoJoe said...

Hallelujah!

"Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts." Jeremiah 15:16

Jesus Is Mine!

Matt Thompson said...

PLEASE take notice anew of all this, my Brothers. The words in this writ have not changed... but they hold NEW purpose for you.

I love you All...
Matt