Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ P02 (03-15-22)
In Search of an Identity
The issue of identity is inescapable and central to our lives. “Who am I?” we all ask. “Where did I come from? Where am I going?” Every person wrestles with these questions, and the answers we adopt determine the direction of our lives.
Just as a person’s physical growth is based on proper diet and exercise, so is the Christians’s spiritual growth dependent on regular feeding upon the word of God and application of its principles. With more false teaching, shifting opinions and general confusion in the world than ever before, Christians need a solid foundation upon which to base their beliefs and build their lives. The word of God declares that Jesus Christ is that foundation of truth. With that in mind, let’s now take A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ.
People sometimes who have problems with drunkenness and they are then told you’re an alcoholic. And that identity, they will desperately hang on to that identity. In other words. Don’t tell me, I’m not, because number one that’s my rationale. That’s my excuse for drinking too much. That’s my excuse for the problem that I’m having. But even more than that, that’s my identity. That’s who I am. And that’s why we’re very anxious to get up and say hi, I’m Bob George. I’m an alcoholic. Now again, when I’m saying what I’m saying, folks, do not believe that I am being critical of AA or any of the other ministries or organizations that are out there that help a person to get saved or to get sober. Because any organization that will help you to get sober either through alcohol, abuse or drug abuse, I say praise the Lord if they can help you to get sober. But being sober is not the utopia of life, being saved is.
So if someone has got you sober, praise God for them! Now. I want to help you to get saved! And if you do come to the Lord Jesus Christ, you’re going to have a new identity and it is no longer going to be that of an alcoholic. Now. I don’t care what the organization tells you to get up and claim about yourself. If you are indeed a child of God, please do not call yourself an alcoholic because you are putting your identity in your one major weakness of your life. It’ll be like me getting up every week and saying hello, I’m Bob. I’m a critical spirit. And so you see that is not. That is not who I am or whatever, you’d want to, whatever handle, you’d want to lay on yourself. So folks, you see if you are truly a child of the living God, I don’t have any qualms at all as to what meetings you want to attend. But if you want to help somebody permanently, not temporarily, if you want to help somebody more than just getting them sober because the vast majority of the population of the United States is already sober and there in as big a mess as you are.
So if you want to truly help somebody permanently, then they’re going to have to come not to a tree or refrigerator, which is whatever God, whoever you might think it is, but you’re going to have to come to the only One who can give you what you don’t have. And that is life. And a tree can’t give you life. A refrigerator can’t give you life. Buddha can’t give you life and Muhammad cannot give you life. There’s only One source of life, and that is Christ Jesus, our Lord, the One who said, I am the way and the truth and the life and no man can come to the Father, except through Me. The One who claimed, I am the resurrection and the life. Now Buddha didn’t claim that neither did Muhammad, but only Christ Jesus alone, can give you what you don’t have. And that is life and a brand new identity and being a Jew can not give you that kind of spiritual identity, and yet we will latch onto that that I am Jew. Well, I’m Gentile so big deal. What is the difference? I mean, what is the big deal there? Because do not think that because you’re a Jew or a Gentile, a Baptist or Presbyterian or Methodist that you’re a child of God because you’re not. You’re a child of God when you have received Christ to as many as received Him, Jesus to them He gave the right to become what? A child of God. So you’re not a child of God because of physical birth. You’re a child of God because of spiritual birth, and please do not confuse those two things and don’t sit around thinking that because I was born into the Mormon faith or born into Jehovah’s Witness faith or born Into the Presbyterian or Methodist or Baptist, again or Jewish. It doesn’t make an ounce of difference that I am some kind of a spatial. So a person in the sight of God, you’re no more special than anyone else. And that what makes us special is that God desires that none should perish and all should come to repentance. So the specialness is of us is the fact that God desires me to be made whole. He desires me to be made his child.
And that’s for every person on the face of the earth Jew, Gentile slave and free. It doesn’t make an ounce of difference. And so, when we come to understand that, that’s what made me spatial before I was saved. God was seeking me out. God was looking for me. God was appearing to me. And what I mean by that is His Spirit was saying, come to Me, come to Me, come to Me. And I ignored that for a lot of years, but there finally came a time when I had to come to the end of this thing called Bob George. And come to the beginning of Him, which was life and the beginning a new identity. My new identity began the day I accepted Christ who that day became a child of God, and I didn’t understand the ramifications of that for many years because of the subtlety of the religious system that ignores the fact that you are a child of God and immediately, put some kind of a denominational label on you, and that’s what you call yourself.
And so, Bob, it is so subtle that we have to realize that Satan is extremely subtle. And Satan is extremely deceptive and when God says that we need the wisdom of God himself, and only Christ is our wisdom that we need to draw upon that. And to ask ourselves the question. Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? Now those questions every person on the face of the Earth is going to wrestle with. And the answer is that what we adopt is going to determine the total direction of our lives.
So today, this search for identity will fall under the concept of self image. We call it self image and every person has some kind of an image of himself. It could be a healthy positive self-image, or it could be a poor negative one. But regardless of which it is, that self-image is going to determine his self-worth in this life, whether he’s a success or a failure.
We’re talking about this thing called a self-image. In other words. It’s your search for identity. And in this day and age, why that identity terminology falls under that concept of self image. But folks your identity or your self-image is what literally affects, for better or for worse, a person’s attitude and behavior toward others, and also circumstances of life that come your way. And with all that is at stake in regard to that it’s easy to see why people are in search of a good self-image. See, and of course, that’s very popular writing material is how to establish a good self-image and you have people who are positive thinkers and how to have a positive self-image. Well, I want to tell you back at my sales days and back before knowing Christ. Why, I had a relatively good self-image, but when I could get that boosted, why my sales increased and my relationships with people were better. There’s no question about it that if you have a positive outlook on life, you’re probably going to be a much happier person than when you have a negative one. And it isn’t so much a negative attitude toward life as it is a negative attitude towards yourself. That’s what makes you have a negative attitude toward life and you have a positive attitude toward yourself while you’re probably going to have a more positive attitude, attitude toward life. But then I get down to that is so w and either direction. So it makes you gain a little bit more money that you’re never satisfied with after you get it. So, you live in a little bigger house after you’ve lived in for two weeks, it’s just a place to come and hang your hat. So you really have to say to yourself. So, what, so you’ve made a little bit more money, made a few more friends. So, what you’re still going to die, you’re still going to age. You’re still going to do all of those things. So what good is it do for me? But will it ever bring you something like Joy or peace or patience or kindness or goodness, or long-suffering, because those things are the fruit of the Spirit. And even though I can go to the world, to get some happiness. I can also go to the world and get unhappiness. So there is a word unhappy, but there is no word unjoy, and because Joy comes from God, and happiness comes from circumstances or unhappiness comes from circumstances.
So we get down to this debate of learning how to develop this good self-image. Many psychologists and counselors, and unfortunately church leaders, believe that to develop a good self-image a person needs starts loving himself more. And how many times have we heard this? You, you need to love yourself more. Isn’t it strange that the psychological profession and counselors, and like I said, unfortunately church leaders in many instances, trying to tell people to love yourself more, when we see that, philosophically that this is totally contrary to the teaching of the word of God? Where Paul writes in second Timothy 3:2, that in the last days, men will be lovers of themselves. Now, if that was, if that was an admonishment, he wouldn’t be putting it that way in the last days are going to be terrible times. They are already terrible times. And indeed, we are lovers of ourselves.
What has taken place in this world, today is the number of years ago, under a president, and I’m not going to name. But they came out with human rights and all of a sudden everybody had human rights and that is being carried on today, in unbelievable proportions are ones that got our human rights. Well, if that’s all the world is, is just a bunch of human rights, is that not indeed, man loving himself, saying that? Anything I want to do is okay, and I want a right. And If I’m a homosexual and I want to adopt a kid and I want to bring him into that homosexual community, I’ve got a right to do that. And the world says, well, yes you do. And it doesn’t make any difference that I am made by God, a man, I want to be a woman, and I got a right to be one. So I go get a sex change and everybody says, oh, that’s okay. In other words. It has nothing to do with what benefit these things have to the overall population of the world. But as I said the other day that the paragraph is more than the sins, and the chapters more than the paragraphs, and the book is more than the chapters, and the library is more than a book, and all the books in the world are more than a library. There’s something more important folks in this world that you and me. My family is more important than me. I can’t sit down and say
I want to do, I want to do this. I want to go. I want to go have an affair. I got a right to do that, doesn’t make a difference where the family is going to be destroyed by it. Kids destroyed by it, doesn’t make an ounce of difference. I got a right to do that and before long I suppose it will be one of the human rights to that, and will happen. I have a right. I have a right to be happy and I’m not happy with this family relationship. Therefore, I’m going to go start another one. And so it doesn’t make any difference what kind of destruction something is being done to a family or to children. That’s irrelevant. I have a right to be happy and so human rights have become a god in America today and around the world today.
In America, we have more psychiatrist and psychologists than the entire population of the world combined. And, to me, it is only an indicator of people, totally preoccupied with themselves. Because that’s the reason that I need to go for that kind of counseling, is to find out what’s wrong with me, and why me, why me isn’t more happy? And why me is doing this, and it’s a me me, I mentality that has come about and has been fanned by every wave of doctrine that is contrary to the clear teaching of the word of God. And so we have become ego, I people and that’s what our, and that comes from this philosophy, or from the teaching of the word of God saying, then in the last days. And I certainly believe that we are, that men will be lovers of themselves. And all of these things are merely indicators of being a lover of ourselves.
2 Timothy 3:1-5
1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
I have a right to have healthcare now. Folks, don’t get me wrong. I’m not getting into political issues there, but I don’t have a right for anything. And when we’re sitting down, saying that I have a right for this and I have a right for this and I have a right for that, before long, what this country has an example is headed toward this the same philosophy of countries that are devastated today, communist Russia, socialistic England. They are bankrupt. They are at the taxes at are 60 and 70 percent, and that’s where we’re headed. That’s where we’re headed because I have a right for the government to pay for my medical bills. I’d have a right for the government to take care of me. I Have a right. Well, who’s the government? It’s bunch of you’s and me’s. And who’s going to be paying for that? Yous and Mes, but I have a right for it you see.
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Well, you see that kind of a mindset comes from people who are totally in love with themselves. And we have to realize that God called us to work. He called us to go out and to be productive because idle time truly is the hands of the devil and gives way to the mind of the devil. And if a person works it says he eats. Let’s see, when we’re lovers of ourself, no no, that’s not the case, everybody deserves and everyone deserves, some deserve, some deserves. But God says, we don’t deserve anything. If I got what I deserved from God, I’d go to hell. If I got what I deserve, and folks that shouldn’t shock you because so would you, that’s all of us. If we got what we deserved from God, every person on the face of this Earth would go to hell. I don’t deserve to be able to go to heaven. It’s a privilege. It’s an honor. It’s exciting, but I don’t deserve one ounce of Heaven. I don’t deserve to be born again. I don’t deserve to be forgiven by God. I don’t deserve any of that. In fact, I deserve the very opposite of that, I don’t deserve anything, but we think we do. I don’t deserve a vacation. I’m glad I get one, but I don’t deserve it and we sitback oh, I deserve that I’ve been working hard. Well, bless your little heart, so has the whole world been working hard. But I get to get one and when I do and say well praise the Lord and folks, that’s what gives you a thankful spirit.
You can’t have a thankful spirit when you’re in love with yourself, and where all you’re looking out for is your own interest and my own desires to be met and my own flesh to be met. You can’t live with a thankful spirit, I deserve it. How can you say thank you? When I deserve it you come up to me and I’m hungry and give me a sandwich. And I say, I deserve that. Am I going to say thank you? To say then why didn’t you bring it sooner? And is there mustard, mayonnaise on that thing? And that’s the mindset when you think you’re really something. But when you understand what Christ says, and you understand what the Bible says about ourselves, and we understand that our self-image does not come from what we think we deserve, or what we’re doing, or what we’re not doing. But it comes from what He did, what He did for us when we were created, when He did for us at the cross and what He did for us at the resurrection, when by His Holy Spirit, He came to give you and me His life to give us salvation to give us eternal security to enable us to know full well, that when we are absent from the body, we’re going to be present with the Lord. To give us total forgiveness whereby, we don’t get forgiven. We are forgiven saints now. I didn’t deserve an ounce of that, but I sure am grateful for you.
Well, according to Second Timothy 3:2. And we talked about in the last days that people are going to be lovers of themselves. And according to that verse then is that we love ourselves too much. So it would appear that we could not develop a proper self image based upon learning to love ourselves more with it. That would be a little stupid to say. If the scripture says the problem is we love ourselves too much, then to go out and say, in the name of Christ, go out and learn to love yourself more, so that you can have a better self-image. As a matter of fact, we don’t need to develop a good self-image at all. What we need is to develop a realistic self-image, a realistic view of ourselves. And what I like to call as a proper self image, not a good one, not a bad one, but a proper one that is based upon God and what he says about you and me. Not me and what I think about me. So we need to learn who we are from God’s perspective.
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 rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
We’re going to now begin our study together, in our book, called In Search of an Identity. And if you, if you open the book [A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ], why we’re going to start on page 8. In Romans 12:3. And I want to back up before we get to that verse. The first 11 chapters of Romans talks about a righteousness that has been given to us by God, in chapter 10, and talks about since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God, they sought to establish their own. In other words, their own righteousness, and they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Now Christ, it says, is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. My friends, under the law, none is righteous. No, not one. Under the law, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God under the law. There is no one who will ever be able to stand in the presence of God in their own righteousness. That’s why it says, in chapter 9 there verse 30, that the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith, in other words not earning it at all, it’s just by faith.
But Israel, or you could say today the legalist who has pursued a law of righteousness has not attained it. Why? Well, because they pursued it not by faith, but as it were by works and in so doing, they stumbled over the stumbling Stone. So it doesn’t make any difference whether it’s talking about Israel, or it’s talking about you, if you are in that category who are a legalist, someone who is out there with self-righteousness, in regard to your particular obedience to the law, which is nothing, but a sham, because you’re not obedient to the law. And it wouldn’t make a difference how obedient you were to the law, if you violated the least of these, my Commandments, Jesus said you violated all of them. So it wouldn’t make an ounce of difference, you still would go to hell and are going to hell if you believe that you’re going to go to heaven through your own righteousness because you can’t be saved that way folks. You can’t be saved by works, you can only be saved by faith. It’s when you come to a realization that you can’t, but He can.
Now again, when we have an exalted opinion of ourselves and we are in love with ourselves, that is a terrible message that I’ve just said because we think that we’re so good that we could earn our own salvation. We have run into this numerous times and especially in the last number of months with people who in their self-righteousness, in essence have said, somebody else’s sins is worse than theirs. People who instead of what love says of thinking the best and trusting the best of a brother would rather trust the report of a police officer. And not realizing the fact that absolutely, if you think that that is sheer honesty and absolute sheer accuracy on the part of a police report, as an example, you just had better wake up and smell the roses and yet as Christian Brothers, they would prefer to believe that, then they would believe a brother in Christ who has never had an accusation made against them, as long as they’ve been a Christian, a real one.
But you see that self-righteousness and there are people who are so self-righteous that their families won’t even speak to them. I know an owner of radio stations that our family will not even speak to them. Their wife has to sneak around to make telephone calls in order to talk to their grandchildren. And yet, this is a highfalutin station manager or station owners that are so mean and legalistic that their own family will not have anything to do with them.
And yet we will put these people in high positions because they say, well, they have violated a law. Well number one that’s a sham. Yes they have violated a law and more importantly than that, they don’t have a clue as to what it means to walk in love because love does no harm to its neighbor. And when you’re out trying to do harm to people because of judging something that you have not a clue about, what you are doing is discrediting the Lord Jesus Christ who supposedly lives inside of us. But you see that’s self-righteousness and It comes from an exalted opinion of myself that I am so good and I never do anything wrong that I have now put myself into a position of judging the behavior of somebody else. Well, we’re not in that position. I cannot judge that behavior. I can certainly look at it and judge it to say, it’s contrary to what I’d like to see, but I can’t look at it in such a way of saying I would never do that because I would and I could and that puts all of us in the same category of saying that, if I’m not, I ought to be grateful for that and that’s what put you in a category of wanting to reach out to someone who has fallen or someone who has made a mistake. Instead of chastising and wanting to ruin somebody who has made a mistake in one form or another. So it’s all of that comes from self righteousness.
They didn’t know as it says in verse 3, chapter 10, since they did not know a righteousness that comes from God. In other words, the imputed righteousness. They sought to establish their own righteousness. In other words. I got my own rules and they didn’t submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is an end of the law. Again, if He isn’t the end of the law, you’re still under it. And if you’re still under it, you’re doomed to hell. Because no man will ever stand to sit in the presence of God, in his own righteousness, only in Christ’s. So He’s the end of the law, so that there may be righteousness for everyone who Works? No, Believes! And so, this whole 11th chapter of Romans is dealing with that attitude. That should make us very grateful people.
And so therefore in chapter 12 beginning in verse 1, therefore, I urge you brothers in view of, [what your works in view, of how good you are?] no, in view of God’s mercy to offer yourselves, your body’s now as a living sacrifice, that is holy and pleasing to God. And this is your spiritual act of worship. We have been made holy. We’ve just talked about that in Romans and Hebrews. That by that one offering he made forever perfect, in the sight of God, all those whom He has made holy. So we’ve been set apart by God. We’ve been made perfect in the sight of God. Now, I didn’t deserve that. It’s not my right. It’s my privilege. And so we’ve been made, absolutely perfect in the sight of God. We’ve been made, holy and a side of God. So He says present your body like that. In other words, if that’s what He’s done for you, present your body to the Christ who lives in you, so he can live through Him as a spiritual act of worship. In other words. It’s a natural thing to do and don’t be conformed, any longer to the pattern of this world. Don’t be thinking like the world does, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Let God renew your mind teaching you truth that will set you free and then it says, you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, His good and pleasing and perfect will. Do you think it’s God’s will for us to walk by faith? Do you think it is God’s will for us to walk in the fact that we have no righteousness in and of ourselves, but we have been given righteousness by God?
Now I want to tell you folks that is not the mindset of a lover of self. A lover of self will say I deserve this. I have earned it. I have human rights. I have, I deserve everything that I get. I work for it. God has got to be keeping records of all the neat things I do. God has got to notice how stringent I am against sinners. God’s got to notice all that type of thing. And thank God that I am not a sinner like them. And then the sinner that He was talking about said, Oh Lord please have mercy upon me a sinner and the Bible very clearly says, the other one is a goner. It’s the one who says thank God that I have been forgiven in Christ Jesus.
Now, it goes ahead, therefore and says in verse 3, by the grace given me, I say to everyone of you do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought. But rather think of yourself with sober judgment in accordance with the measure of faith that God has given you. Remember the scripture where it says, God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of a sound mind, it’s sober thinking, it’s not wild thinking, it’s sober thinking, it’s sober judgment. Look at things soberly realistically as they are. And the reality of that, is that my self-image and my identity today has got to come from Christ and what He did for me and in me, and through me, not in and of myself.
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.”