Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ P08 (03-29-22)
Understanding Your Identity as a Child of God
As we continue today, we review a bit of yesterday’s program. Listen in as Bob explains your identity as being a child of God.
Bob: 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 recognize 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.
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Now, when you’re lost, He says you’re a sinner, you’re lost and you’re without hope because you’re without life, and that’s a pretty hopeless situation. If I don’t have spiritual life, as he said, I’ve provided life for you. So they’re in a sense of wandering around in the desert, wondering who you are. When you can know in a minute who you are, by merely accepting the Lord Jesus Christ back into your life or into your life, rather and becoming a child of God. I know who I am from that day forth. I never have to wonder about it again.
Now, again, Bob, as we have talked about before, we talked about earlier, about appearance. That’s a spiritual problem. We’re told that through him all things were made. And without him, nothing has been made. In Psalms were told you created my inmost, my innermost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb, and I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and your works are wonderful, and I know that full well. Well, so however you look, I say, be able to say to the Lord, Lord thank you. You’re the one who made me that way.
Now, we’re talking about our abilities, and about what we do. Well again, God doesn’t want your and my ability. He wants your availability. We begin thinking, we have abilities. And again, are you always going to find someone with more, someone with less? Absolutely Bob? I think the situation that happened in my own life shortly after I became a Christian. As I said, I came to the Lord as a very self-sufficient businessman, and just became a very self-sufficient Christian and self-sufficiency was there. And I’d only been in the Lord maybe two to three years and here I was in full-time Christian work, with the emphasis on full-time, and all of that pride and ego and everything else is still there. And so you bring so many of those old attitudes over with your stinkin thinkin with you, and so part of that is in your abilities. Because you’re here. You’ve been a pretty successful businessman. And then you say, well, I’ve got these abilities and why don’t these Christians use these marvelous abilities of mine, you know, why don’t they make me President right away and, and all of this kind of thing starts entering into your mind. And I remember going over to Phoenix Arizona one time with another staff member that I didn’t consider was too sharp, certainly not as sharp as I was. And so we were going to meet with a Billy Graham representative over there in regard to some cooperative program and I was just thrilled to death to meet a Billy Graham representative. Because I really thought that in as much as I had now become a Christian and Billy probably ought to start thinking about retiring.
And so here I was very, you know, sitting over there trying to act humble and in this conversation, and the guy that I was with, who was on staff with was a boy, just a farm boy, good-hearted guy, but I just didn’t think he was that sharp. And I was sitting there very humbly saying to myself, I wish that he had shut up and let me talk so I can impress this guy and get all this good stuff across. Really really humbled and spiritual. Now, nobody knew that except God and me of what I was thinking. Absolutely nobody, no way for anybody to have known what I was thinking and certainly the guy that I was sitting there with had not a clue what I was thinking, but in the middle of the conversation, it just stopped. And this guy looked up and looked around. He said something like this and probably in this kind of tone of voice. He said, you know, he said, I’m not real smart, but he said, I’m as smart as God wants me to be. And one of these days I’m going to be smarter because I think God wants me to be and I’m going to trust him to make me that way. Hey looked really sad, you know, I don’t have a lot of abilities, but he said I got all the abilities God wants me to have right now and when God wants me to have more abilities, he’s going to give them to me because that’s the kind of God I have.
And I sat there Bob, and this big old pompous brand new Christian, and it was like God said Bob Kerm’s got more what I’m looking for in his little finger than you’ve got in your big old fat body. I don’t need your abilities. What I’m looking for is your availability. I don’t need you to do something for me, what I need you to do is to be available for me to do something through you. And Bob, I don’t need your abilities, just your availability. And Bob in the middle of this table as we were eating lunch, to this guy that I was trying to impress so much, I broke down and cried, like a baby, as God pricked my conscience, or my spirit and put me in the place that He wanted to put me.
And I’ve never forgotten that day. I’ve never forgotten the occasion because I believe it was the beginning of a turning point of refinement that has been going on to this very day and will never end. God is not through with any of us yet. Thank God. But He has promised something. And that is, I will complete the work that I began in you.
We’ve been talking about different ways that we can determine our self-image. One, what others think about you. Number two, what you think others think about you. And number three, what you think about yourself. Now again, can all of those go up and down like a yo-yo? And the answer to that is, absolutely. And so it brings us to this problem of listening to the world’s opinions in regard to who we are. And the world’s opinions are constantly changing from moment to moment. And it’s absolutely impossible to find any stability or security in what the world says concerning our identity. As a matter of fact in 1 John, it says that everything in the world, the cravings of sinful man, the lust of the eyes and the boasting of what he has and does does not come from the Father, but from the world and the world, and its desires pass away. But the man who does the will of God lives forever. So, when we think about this whole area of the world, in which we live, not only do we have difficulty in determining a proper self-image, if it’s not based in and who Christ says you are. As it relates to what others think, or what you think, others are what think or what you think about yourself. But you see that all of these things are based upon philosophies of the world that we’re told not to pay attention to the world is constantly bombarding you.
Folks, in regard to Identity factors as an example, the psychological community, why there’s all kinds of names given to people that are identities. He’s in other word, we’re supposed to stand up and say, I am an alcoholic. Well, that must be your identity, then if that’s who you are. Why then that’s your identity. If I am a child of God, that’s who I am. If you’re a jar of applesauce my identity is a jar of applesauce. If I am an alcoholic, that is your identity. So if that’s who you are folks, what should be so unusual about going and getting drunk? That shouldn’t be unusual. Nor should you need counseling in that regard if indeed, that’s who you are because you’re doing something that is very natural to who you are. But on the other hand, if you’re a child of the living God, it doesn’t make any sense to continue going out and getting drunk. You’re free to do that. Everything is permissible, but is it profitable? And are you going to label yourself as a child of God and an alcoholic at the same time because if you do you have two distinct identities. And that’s what causes double mindedness. And the scripture says that a double minded man is unstable in all ways.
Now folks, if you’re lost and this is your problem, where you may as well have an identity of being an alcoholic, as anything else. At least you have one, but it’s a false one. It’s based upon an identity that the world has given you. And then the psychological world comes along and says, oh, well, you’re a schizophrenic paranoid manic-depressive. You say, well that’s a phenomenal self image, we can hardly wait to get up in the morning and look in the mirror with that kind of a self-image. And we say, well, who laid those handles on you? Where do you, where do you find those kind of handles? Those are behavioral things that have been named and redefined by the psychological community, but you are never going to find those things in the scripture folks. Now, I realize there are people who really take exception to this, but what you’re really taking exception not to this, but you’re taking exception to the word of God. And if that’s what you’re taking exception to, and if that’s who you are, then you’ve got a problem. You don’t know who you are. Because who would you be if you ever got those things cured and secondly if that’s who you are, then you can’t be that in the child of God at the same time. So maybe you really do have a problem. That is you need to be born again. But if you’re in Christ born again, then don’t call yourself a schizophrenic. That’s not as a child of God. You can be a child of God who has become double minded and it’s understandable. But the solution to that is to become single-minded. Again, you can become a child of God who through fear, you’ve gone to the point where you’re just paranoid in regard to your fear, but you’re not a paranoid. You’re just fearful. Well, does the bible talk about that? Absolutely. Is there a cure for fear? Sure, it’s called perfect love that casts away all fear. So, if you’re going to hang these labels upon yourself folks, you can do so, but we have to recognize that these are not labels given to you by God, they’re labels given to you by the world. You don’t find God talking about that. And remember everything in the world doesn’t come from the Father, but it comes from the world. You can come down and we have all kinds of things that we hang upon ourselves in regard to our self-image. And folks, they’re just not of God, we can come down, say, well, I’m a drug addict. Okay, there’s if that’s the case, there’s a problem that’s more severe than drug addiction. It’s called a heart problem. And the first thing that you have to deal with there is God says, it’s not what a man puts in his mouth that defiles him, but it’s what precedes out of his heart. So it’s not a drinking problem or a drug problem that we have. We have heart problems. And so what is the solution to the heart problem? Well, who’s the heart tuner? Well, that’s Christ Jesus. So do I need to get sober from drugs? Sober from alcohol, or do I need my heart changed? Because if all I’ve done is get sober, I’m still a sober lost person and I’m not going to have any identity left. In other words, if my identity, all my life has been, I’m an alcoholic, and I don’t drink anymore. Why, I don’t have any identity. So I’ll just spend the rest of my life calling myself an alcoholic. But folks, that is not what God meant for you. Now, in saying what I’m saying, I want to clarify this any organization that is in existence today that can help a person to get sober, praise God for that. If somebody can help you to get sober, praise God for that. But folks, there’s something more important than sobriety and that is redemption being born again being made complete in Christ. And so I don’t want to stop with just being sober because there’s millions of people who are already sober but they’re still lost. And so what we have to do is to say, do we want to put a Band-Aid on the problem? Or do we want to get to the source of the problem? And if I want to get to the source of the problem, then I’m going to have to deal with your heart, not your habits. And so folks we have to realize that.
Now another thing that we enter into and we’ve seen that in this church age where God says Christian, I’ve got an identity for you. And that is you are a child of the living God. Now folks, any of you women have ever done canning. The first thing that you do is to sterilize the jar. The reason that you sterilize the jar and cleanse it of all of its unrighteousness is so that you can put something in it. So let’s say you fill that jar up with applesauce then, what do you do? You seal it. Well, you’ve now seen a picture of salvation. You were cleansed at the cross. So that what, you could just keep yourself forgiven and forgiving and forgiving? Folks, that’s what old testament atonement did, but it couldn’t make anybody perfect. In other word, it still couldn’t make you complete. You still had no identity. The best identity you can have was your physical heritage being a Jew. But you went to the day of atonement by yourself and you got yourself and sins forgiven and you left by yourself. God said, that’s not good enough. I can’t make you complete that way. So the purpose of the cross was to cleanse you once and for all of all of your own righteousness so that he could fill you with his life and his righteousness. And then he sealed you with the promised Holy Spirit, and that He, what was his label? It’s called a child of God.
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.”