Thursday, April 29, 2010

Our True Identity

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. Ephesians 1:1-4 NASB

I have joined Face Book at the urging of some friends. On the whole I have enjoyed the experience. It has actually helped me to reconnect with friends from my youth who I haven’t seen in many years. Of course I soon discovered that there is a down side that to me seems very juvenile and a huge waste of discretionary time. Call me judgmental, you won’t be the first or the last.

One of the more confounding aspects is how many of my Christian friends take quizzes that help them understand their identity. For those of you not familiar with Face Book I’ll elaborate.

· What flower am I
· What movie villain am I
· What occupation best suits me
· What Vera Bradley Pattern am I
· What is my Indian name
· What Dirty Dancing Character am I (I kid you not, this is hot off the press this morning)

I could go on and on, but you should be able to get the picture even if you aren’t familiar with Face Book. I totally get that they are not taking this seriously, but I think the appeal is based on a real human need.

It is important that we know who we are, whose we are, what our purpose is and where we are going. The Apostle Paul begins all of his epistles telling us who he is and how he got there. Then he begins to tell us who we are. Paul was under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit who knows that we need to know and embrace these things. The first chapter of Ephesians is a treasure trove of revelation for us. Four major revelations, but barely scratching the surface, are:

Chosen by God vs. 4

Holy and blameless


Adopted through Jesus vs.5

Freely bestowed with grace vs.5 (vs. 8 says we are lavished with His grace)

Redeemed through Jesus' blood vs. 7

Trespasses forgiven

We have an inheritance vs. 11

Sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise vs. 13

This is just barely dipping our toes into all that He has done for us.
I would encourage you to read the 1st chapter of Ephesians in its entirety. Make a list of who you are in Christ. Read it back to the Lord and affirm what He says about us and thank Him.
I want to include a quote by John Piper on this subject from a sermon series he preached on 1st Corinthians 1:

A tremendous stability comes into your life when you let the Bible define who you are in relation to God rather than letting the world define who you are in relation to things and groups and your body. To know where you've come from in relation to God, and where you are heading in relation to God, and where you stand now in relation to God, will make you a free agent.

You will not be the lackey of contemporary advertising. You won't be the slave of fads or fashions or trends. When the world attempts to leverage your decision by defining you in terms of a body or car or bank account that you don't have, you will not crumple with insecurity and dissatisfaction and covetousness; but you will stand like an independent free agent knowing who you really are and what your life really means in relation to God.”

Can anyone join me in a strong amen! I want to be a Free agent. Not independent and haughty, God forbid such a thing, but not a slave to society’s evaluations and standards either. Let us with great eagerness search the Scriptures to become the secure in Him and allow Him to give us our definition and value.

MY PRAYER: Lord, thank you for choosing us. Help us to sink our roots deep into who we are in You. Help us to revel in Your love and acceptance.

MY CONFESSION: Lord, thank you for choosing us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before You. I stand on Your Word! Ephesians 1:4

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