Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The Reality of The Resurrection P26 (01-26-22)
Understanding Your Identity – And Church is Not a Man-made Building
There are only two identities from God’s vantage point. One is either in Christ Jesus, saved. Or, in Adam, Lost. Satan has done a job on the lost world by keeping everyone thinking their identities are in other things. We went over that in detail from the past three broadcasts. We encourage you to listen to those other broadcasts. Repetition helps cement things into memory.
So, there are only two types of people. Those that are lost, are in Adam. And, those that are saved are in Christ. And all those that are called in Christ are what is called the invisible church, the ekklesia. And incidentally, the invisible church is different from the visible church today. The visible church is made up lost and saved people. And have pastors that are lost and saved. But God’s true invisible church is born again believers in Christ Jesus. And this is not born again because of any institution here on earth, because that is man-made. But through the identity of the resurrected Christ Jesus.
We talked about various false identities, our professions instead of Christ Jesus. We talked about identities based on physiological stuff instead of Christ Jesus. These have been worldly identities put on you by man. And then we also talked about identities being put on us by denominations and religious affiliations, instead of a child of God. Now a child of God can be practicing medicine, or be in the ministry or something else. And a child of God can even have stinking thinking. Can a child of God be double-minded? Yes. As a child of God can I go to where Baptists meet? Yes. But my identity is not where I go, it is who I am in Christ Jesus.
It is not about boasting about what we do either, or who we are or how much we have, which comes from the world. There is no boasting because there is nothing to boast about. For it all by grace.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
It is by grace that you and I become a child of God, by faith in Jesus Christ who made us that way. It is a gift of God not a result of anything we do or are, except a child of God. So that no one can boast. There is no boasting in that. We didn’t deserve it, we didn’t earn it. It is a gift of God.
I only want to be considered a child of God.
So to be secure in Christ, and in His identity, we need to understand how secure He is.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
In the beginning, where was the Word? With God. Who was the Word? Jesus. And it says in verse 14:
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
It explains that the Word is with God, is God, and that Word became flesh. And He made His dwelling among us. We need to understand that Jesus is exactly who He claims to be. He is God. Some people want to only see Him as the Son of God, but the Son of God is God! We need to understand the deity of Jesus. Jesus is God in flesh.
Listen in as Bob tells the story of a Hindu thinking about God. He was having difficulty understanding God.
God became a man and came down here to be with us.
We need to understand God’s love for us to be dependent on His love. There are three things we need to understand. We need to understand the love of God. And it is not that we loved Him, but that He loved us first. That is faith in His love for us. Faith in His love for us, results in our dependency of His love. And then that results in obedience to God. And it’s in that order. Religion tries to get you obedient, before getting you in love. And many times, we don’t even know who the object of our love is. And until you know the object of your love, God, Jesus, One and the same then your dependency is in a god of your own making, your own straw god. And because it is not based on truth, it will fail you.
Scripture talks about having a zeal for God but not in accordance to knowledge. It is not based on truth but instead on supposition. So when we don’t know who the creator is then we instead make up our own identities contrary to the word of God. And God designed for man to have an identity, and we can’t go without having one. We need to be dependent on Christ for our identity. It’s impossible to live independent from God. Man just thinks he can live independent, yet even there man is dependent on something. He just doesn’t realize it. That’s why people keep going back to their roots.
When our identities are in Christ Jesus, we can’t say so what. Yet when we focus on where we came from, it is, “so what?” What difference does it make where I came from? We need to focus on now being in Christ Jesus. When we realize that He now lives in us (for those in Christ Jesus) then He becomes our identity. Romans 6
As a child of God, we are under the grace of God. And if I think I am still under the law of God, then we don’t know Jesus and the heart of God. We don’t understand what He has done for us. So our identity becomes off.
1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
What shall we say then? Shall we increase in sin? God forbid. Do you not know we have been baptized into Christ Jesus and His death. We identify with Him in His death. For a new covenant could not go into affect until His death.
16 In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, 17 because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living.
We have been baptized into His death. It’s through the law that we die to the law, so we could live in the newness of life.
23 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
Until you came to faith in Christ Jesus we have been freed from the law. Yet there are Christians that are still thinking in their own minds that they are still under the law.
No, we are led by the Holy Spirit of God. The law was put in place to lead us to Christ. The law was also put in place to show us our sinfulness. The law is like a mirror. It shows you how dirty you are. Babies need the law until faith in Him comes and faith in the new covenant.
There was the old covenant that had the day of Atonement where sin was covered and it was ongoing, but it could never be taken away. Now when we are in Christ Jesus we are never under the penalty of the law again. For He fulfilled the old covenant completely and His perfect life was how He fulfilled the law for us, so that He could come and live us, and live through us. And we through faith in Him could become the righteousness of God.
So there was more than a purpose to get your sins forgiven. Under the law the wages of sin is death. But the gift of God is life. And that life came after His death.
He fulfilled the law not based on what he didn’t do, but on what He did do. Love is the fulfillment of the law. And He fulfilled it with perfect love for us.
There was ever only one person that was ever capable of taking the sins of the world upon Himself and forgiving the sins of the world, and that was God Himself. And Jesus became flesh and came down here on earth and took away the sins of the world.
And so we are not saved by our own works, but we are justified by faith in Him. Legalists still have a hard time understanding this because they still think they are under the law.
Stand on the firmness of truth. Don’t keep going back and forth. Thank Him that the forgiveness issue is settled.
Let’s pray together:
- Lord Jesus,
- I thank you for taking away my sins on the cross,
- never ever to see them again.
- Having done that, I now thank you for giving me eternal life,
- through your resurrection.
- I now receive that life.
- And I am going stand in the fact that I am a child of the living God.
- In Jesus Holy name I pray.
All believers are now brothers and sisters in Christ.
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”