Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ P07 (03-28-22)
Place Faith in Jesus and He Gives You Eternal Life
What an exciting study! This is out of our book, our Classic Christianity study series entitled, A Closer Look at your identity in Christ. Now, what does that talking about, your identity in Christ? Well, in other words, it’s answering those questions. Those age-old questions. Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? It’s, if we don’t answer those questions, we’re walking around in confusion for the rest of our lives. We don’t know who we are.
And so folks God made us to have an identity, but when God made man, he made man in such a way whereby God in the man is indispensable to the humanity of the man. You take God out of the man, and what do you have, where you’ve got a man that’s two thirds whole, as a body and a soul, but his spirit is dead? You take God out of a man, what do you have when you’ve got a man on your hands, but he can’t behave like one. He can’t function like a man. That is a man as God intended. Man to function, you can function in accordance with a pitiful character that we have become but not according to the way God intended a man to be.
Now again, how did God intend us to be, obviously as he created Adam before the fall and obviously as Jesus was born into this world called the last Adam. How did God intend man to be? Well, as Adam was before the fall, indwelt by the living God and walked in submission to the living God. In other words, God gave him terrific freedom in the garden. He said of all the trees in this garden you eat all of them, except that one of determining right from wrong and good from evil, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, man, you are not capable of determining right from wrong, good from evil. That is characteristic of God. Only God can do that.
And so you talk about freedom. Man, we had freedom. We were created with that kind of freedom, but it’s freedom to walk in submission to God. It’s freedom to be led by the God who lives in us. Freedom to have intelligence enough to realize that I am a man and that He is God. And if He is God and I’m man, then God knows a little bit more than I do. And therefore, why don’t we walk in submission to him? And in other words when God says something, believe that, and the reason we ought to believe it is because it’s true and that truth He says will set you free. Free to do what? Well, free to be everything that God wants you to be. It’s not free to do my own thing. It’s free to be what God wants me to be. It’s free to walk in the newness of life being led by the spirit of God that lives in us.
So from the day of the fall it was God’s plan to have a way by which he could restore in man, what we had lost in Adam; that being the Spirit of God living in him. And of course folks, that did not occur until the day of Pentecost, when after our Lord’s death burial and resurrection, and that He said I’m going away, but I’m going to send the Holy Spirit to you. In other words, I’m going to put my Spirit back into you man, and I’m going to put my Spirit back into you man differently than I put it into man during original creation. Because in the original creation, my Spirit in man was such that it could be lost through sin the day that you eat thereof you will surely die. Now. I’m not going to recreate that same old creation. If any man is in Christ, he’s going to be a new creation and that’s different from His old creation. Now, His old creation was Adam, alive and all ways bodily soulish and spiritually. Now, but with that human Spirit capable of death. A new creation is going to be one whereby that spiritual death will never be able to take place again. Why? Well, because after the fall, I’m going to deal with the sins of the world back to Adam forward throughout eternity and that one offering I’m going to do that one offering for the entire world. And it’s going to be paid for by the very blood of God himself different from that of the blood of a bull and goat. But from the blood of God himself and by that one offering I’m going to make forever perfect in the sight of God, all of you whom I have made,holy through your faith in the one who is the Holy One.
And so he restored back to man life, a different kind of life. We became a new creation, a creation whereby, I am obviously alive bodily and soulishly. But when I’m born again, and he, when he was born again, is a new creation. I am now indwelt by God, in such a way that that Spirit of God will never ever, ever depart from me again. I’ll never leave you nor forsake you. Now, you see my friends with Adam, when he sinned, the Spirit of God departed from him, leaving his human spirit that was made by God to be indwelt by God. He left it dead to what? Departed from him dead to God, very much alive to the world. It’s not that when it talks about your human spirit being dead that it’s dead to all things. It’s only dead to what departed from it, life. So the life of God. But that human spirit is still terrifically capable to, first of all know that it’s empty as a pork barrel and to know that there’s something more to life than what you’re experiencing and to have that sense that something is missing in my life.
And that is why the statement is very true. That man is absolutely habitually seeking God and he is incurably religious. And that’s why you can go into the most remote parts of the world, and there you will find people in the most remote parts of the world and in their lowest form of human life seeking some kind of a god. It was the thing in your own particular life Bob, and in my own particular life. It kept me going for 36 years knowing that something was missing and not having a clue what it was Christ and for you. And the number of years that you did as well and everybody else who names the name of Christ is experiencing the same sensation that inside, down under the skin, there’s something missing in me and that’s because there’s something missing and that’s the Spirit of God living in us.
So folks, the plan of redemption was whereby God In His infinite wisdom had a plan to restore life to us. That was a life called eternal life that can never be lost again through sin. And the reason for that is because the wages of sin is death. And we are already dead. And the gift of God is life and is a life called eternal life. And that very simply means that for all mankind that to all who have turned to him by faith and become born again, that He has a promise to you, I will never ever leave you nor forsake you. Because the only thing that could cause the Spirit of God to depart from you is sin, and all of your sins are on the cross and behind the back of God, never to see them again. He has dealt with them and He has taken them away. That’s what enabled Him to give you a life, called eternal life.
We’re going to just review for a moment, what we have been talking about over these last couple of weeks together. If Christ came to live within us and give us new life and then called us a child of the living God. In other words, we have been born again by the Spirit of God. Therefore called a child of the living God. Now, that’s my identity. And that’s the identity that God gave you and me is a child of God. And I believe that now I didn’t deserve to be a child of God. I didn’t earn to be a child of God. I merely accepted what Christ Jesus did for me on the cross, recognized my spiritual death and received him as my spiritual life. And as a result of that transaction was adopted into the Son, into the family and called a child of the living God and a joint heir therefore with Jesus Christ. And that is not a bad deal.
Now with that, it says in Romans 12:3. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think of yourself with sober judgment, according to the measure of faith God has given you. In other words. Are you happy to be a child of God? Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m happy. I’m not only happy, I’m joyful about that. But on the other hand, I’m not going to think more highly of myself than I ought, because I had nothing to do to earn that and neither did I do anything to work for it any more than I had anything to do with being my mom and dad’s child. I had nothing to do with that whole deal and so, but I can look back and say, boy, I’m proud to be in their family. But you say, well, did you do anything to earn to be in their family? Well, no, I didn’t do anything to earn to be there. I’m just glad to be there. Now. What is that? Well, it’s over judgment. Now, a lot of people get into a family and let’s say you get into a very wealthy family and you’re just walking around just as proud as a peacock about who you are. But the fact of the matter is, I had nothing to do with that. Not one earthly thing. I’m in the family. I am grateful for being in the family, but I’m not. I have nothing to get cocky old.
Well, that’s looking at things with sober judgment in the measure of faith that God has given, you know, the measure of faith in talking about how big your faith is. It’s talking about, when you’re thinking of things and sober judgment to do it in accordance with the faith God has given you means that your faith is in God and not in you. So the faith that God has given you and me, the measure of faith is the ability to think of things from God’s perspective and walk by faith in God’s perspective rather than man’s perspective. To realize that we’re not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to.
Now we’re going to head to pick up where we left off last week. And that is how therefore do you develop a proper self image? In other words, do o we develop it or do we just literally rest in it? Because if you are in Christ Jesus you already have a proper self image. That’s a child of the living God. But folks, that’s the problem with this is the majority of people including Christians, only have never gotten a hold of this.
And so we say, well what are some of the ways that we do try to develop a proper self image? Well, one of the ways is through our appearance. So in other words, if we look good, why we’ll be good and some people think of themselves as pretty handsome or not so handsome. And some people think they’re ugly and all kinds of things. And then we get into what we were talking about the other night on radio where people get down and say, oh, I got a poor self-image. I hate myself. And say no you don’t. It’s like a person coming in and saying,
I myself am ugly. I said, no, if you hated yourself, you’d be glad you were ugly and you’d go across the street and tell your neighbor to tell you you were uglier if you hated yourself. It’s because we love ourselves that we think we ought to look better than what we do. And so self love manifests itself in all kinds of ways. But if I don’t know who I am one of the tricks of Satan is to get you to think that your identity is in, whether you are pretty or whether you are ugly or whether you’re talented in, or whatever else you might be in. The fact of the matter is that has nothing at all to do with self-image.
You look at some of these pictures of these old time movie stars. And you look back at Ginger Rogers, dancing, gingerly with Fred Astaire. And I mean, it is grace and motion and skin is smooth as silk and then you see him today and the age is set in and the wrinkles are there, and I really don’t think that they’d be too graceful out on the dance floor. What has happened ages that it is now, one of your self-image is being young and beautiful and graceful. In other words, that’s who I am. I am a young, graceful and beautiful actress. Who are you going to be when you’re no longer young and no longer graceful and no longer beautiful. Who are you? Have you lost your identity? Unfortunately, too many people they have and that’s why they commit suicide.
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Now, another thing where we use to determine our self-image is by what we do. And I believe that Satan has done a masterful job of getting people, to use the statements, I’m a, I’m a businessman. I’m a housewife. Who are you Bob? Well, I’m a housewife. I’m a, I’m a businessman. I’m a football player now. In that particular deal our self-image is therefore based upon what we do.
But I think there’s even something deeper to that because in essence, our self-image is not only based upon what we do, but it had me. It would have to be based on how well we do it. In other words, what good does it do to say well, I’m a football player? Have you ever caught a pass? No fumbled every one, every one that has been thrown to me. Have you ever thrown a strike as a pitcher? No, I’ve walked 98 people in my first times on base in the Innings. I’m a businessman. Well, are you a good one? No, I’ve been bankrupt 6 times. You know, so it’s not just that I’m a businessman, but I want to be a good one. Sure. And then we do the same thing with. I’m up. I’m a preacher. Sure. Well, how good are you? What determines on, how big your congregation is? I mean, you never go to these large kinds of these large conventions, denominational conventions. And if you’ve got a church of six people, I guarantee you’re never going to go up to somebody and say how big is your church, because they’re going to be scared of being asked, you’re going to asked him back, how big is yours? You only ask somebody how big is your church when you got a big one. No one with a small church ever asked that question. How big is your church? They’re afraid to.
So, in other words, my self-image is dependent upon not only what I do, but how well I do it and when we don’t do it well, according to the, in other words, if my business is smaller than yours, why even though I’m a businessman, I’m not quite as good a businessman as you are. So, therefore, my self image isn’t as good as yours. And then we look at that and say, well, is that a true way to determine your self-worth or what if you were an athlete and I’ve spoken, I think I mentioned that last week, I’ve spoken to pro athlete athletic teams before and I explain to those young men, guy’s you’d better get your image, not based upon the fact that I’m a pro athlete because you’re not going to be a pro athlete very long. There’s no pro athlete in either basketball or football that’s going to last that long. So it’s just a brief few years before you’re going to be an ex-athlete now and who wants a self-image predicated on the fact that I’m an ex something? So, if you don’t see yourself as a child of God, who is playing pro athletics, and you’ve got your self image off I’m a child of God. Who’s in business? I’m a child of God who is a housewife. I’m a child of God who’s playing football. I’m a child of God, who is a doctor, who’s practicing medicine. I’m a child of God, who’s practicing law. But you see, if I think that I’m a lawyer and that’s my identity then who would I be if I lost my practice? What would my dad have done had he lived as a trial attorney, with his throat cut out from having sarcoma of the throat who would he have been? He wouldn’t have had an identity. What would happen if I am a singer? And my throat is cut out? Who would I there be? I’d be an ex singer. But if I’m a child of God, you see I’m a child of God whether I have my throat or whether I don’t have my throat. I’m a child of God whether I can play athletics or whether I can’t play athletics. I’m a child of God whether I’m practicing law, whether I’m not practicing law.
So you see, where do you want your self-image, folks, and what you do and what you look like? Well, if that’s where your self-image is, you are doomed for disappointment. Someday, you’re always going to find people who have greater abilities than you. You’re always going to find people who in your mind are prettier than you or uglier than you or more successful than you. And if your self-image is predicated upon other people and upon your success, you are going to be a very disappointed human being. Now. That’s why in 2 Corinthians 10:12. It says that we dare not to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. For when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.
2 Corinthians 10:12
12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.
Well, why is that? If I’m comparing myself to you. Why is that not wise? Well, because there’s two only two things that can occur. I think I’m better than you are. That’s pride. I think I’m worse than you are, that is self-condemnation and both pride and self-condemnation come directly out of the pit of hell. So it says in the scripture that a man who compares himself by himself is a fool and the reason we’re a fool is because there is no good thing that can occur from doing that. It’s either. I’m better than you, prideful, or I’m worse than you, self-condemning. And in both of those cases it’s going to create a fall in your life. So I don’t need to compare myself by you or something else. If I am a “thumb” in the body of Christ I don’t need to say, gee, I don’t look like the nose or I don’t look like my toes. I don’t need to compare myself. I need to recognise who I am. I am a thumb in the body of Christ. Praise God for it, and let God direct that thumb in the way that God chooses to do so.
If we’re going to see ourselves, we’re going to need to see ourselves as God made us. That is, as we’ve been recreated as a child of the living God. As it says in Hebrews. 10:14, you have been made perfect in the sight of God. And what that means folks is complete. I’ve given an illustration many times. It’s like, when I grew up back in Indiana, that we had Apple trees in our backyard. And when those little apples would start coming out, they were hard as a brick. And but you’d say, were they perfect apple? Well, of course, they’re perfect. In other words, God isn’t going to add one thing to them at all. Are they mature? No, they’re not mature, but are they perfect? Yes, everything that God’s going to give that little thing. He’s already given it.
When you and I are born again, we have been made complete in Christ. In other words, we’re forgiven. We’re not going to get any more forgiving. We have been made perfect in His sight. So we’re not going to get any more perfect in His sight. We have been made holy, set apart. So we’re not going to get any more holy and if we try to make ourselves more holy, what we’re saying to God, who said I made you that way, is you didn’t complete, you didn’t do good enough. I’m going to watch me, you improve on what you (God) did. We have been given His righteousness. He isn’t going to give us any more of His righteousness. You don’t walk with right standing before God, but I’m going to get more right standing before God predicated on what folks what He did then. In other words, He didn’t do it all. He’s got to do more so that you get closer. So if you’re trying to get more righteous in the sight of God, it means you’re going to have to get there by what you do because He’s already given you His righteousness which ought to be enough.
And that truly is your self-image. The Spirit of God is living in you. You haven’t received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God. And if the Spirit of Christ is not alive in you, you don’t belong to Christ. But if He does then that means you are a child of the living God. And so folks, that’s who you are. Now, if you don’t buy that as we’re talking about before, and you come to that by faith, then what are your options? Well, one thing is, I’m who I am because of who others think that I am. That is my self-image based upon what and who others think that I am. And as you well know, as well as I do that is a very very popular thought and that’s why people are so desperately going out and trying to gain acceptance all the time. That insatiable desire for acceptance from other people is predicated upon the fact that my self-image is based upon what others think about me.
Well, aren’t you glad Jesus’ self-image wasn’t based upon that because at the end of His life people were screaming and yelling at the top of their voice crucified and hung him on a cross. So if His self-worth or His viewpoint of Himself was predicated upon the opinions of others, He was in pretty sad shape. It’s like you say, well, how do we get into that trap? Well, quite frankly. I believe it many times begins as a child, and we kind of fan that, here’s a little Susie sitting there, you know, her with her coloring book. And she’s coloring all over the place. He’s a little kid and she’s got crayons all inside of the lines and outside the lines with the mother comes along, and says, oh Susie, you sweet little girl! You are an absolute artist! You are a genius in the making little Susie sitting there thinking, I’m a genius. I’m smart. I’m an artist. And so, the mother kind of leaves the room, and little Susie sits there in her little girl way pondering all of these accolades and says, you know, if Mom was that pleased with how well I colored in my book, think how thrilled she would be, if I did that on the wall. And so she gets her crayons out and starts drawing all of her beautiful pictures on the wall, freshly painted. Incidentally and the mother comes in and sees this. And all of a sudden, it’s Suzie. You stupid, little kid. How could you do such an idiotic thing? Susie sitting there thinking who am I five minutes ago? I was a genius in the making. I was cute and now I’m a stupid little kid. Who am I? Who am I? And so, if our identity is predicated upon who others think that you are, you’re in sad shape because that’s going to go up and down every day of your life. Personally I say, what does your wife think of you Bob? Say what are you talking about? Because that will change. And yet, there are people who are driven and ultimately and mostly driven to destruction through an insatiable desire for acceptance from others. And there’s, and the reason for that is their entire search for significance. Their entire self image is predicated on what they think or what others think about them. So I’m not who I am predicated on who others think that I am. I’m not predicated, I am not who I am predicated on, who I think or others think that I am because that can go all over the place. Days I think. Oh boy, they think I’m great. Other times, they think I’m a slob.
So, in other words, it is I who I am predicated on, who I think, others think I am. Or am I who I am predicated on, who others think that I am? The answer to both of those is no. And if it is, you’re sinking sand. And so we’re looking at these things but and say well, then how in the world am I going to develop that proper self image? And you say there’s only one way and that’s who does God say you are.
Thank you so much for tuning in to Classic Christianity, with Bob George. We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s program. We truly hope that today’s message has inspired you to walk a life of faith in the Lord, find more information online at shop.BobGeorge.net. There you’ll also find available CDs, DVDs, and bible studies available for purchase. It’s through your help that we are able to spread the good word of Jesus Christ. Until next time, walk in faith, be good to one another and praise the Lord. Amen.
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.”