Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ P15 (04-13-22)
You Must be Born Again of the Spirit of God
Is your identity a child of God, solely on what He says you are? If so, you can rest in who you have become in Christ Jesus, a child of God, for that is who you are, who God re-created you to be, what you receive by faith in Him.
Oftentimes, people perceive others as they think they are and therefore assume they think the same way about themselves. If I think they are proud then that is what they must think about themselves. That could be the farthest thing from reality. If someone thinks I did something wrong, but I know I did not do what he thinks I did, then what he says is not true, and I do no have to let what he thinks about me define who I am. Even if I was guilty of something, that does not change the fact I am still a child of God.
In the flesh, we have this tendency to perceive ourselves by what we think others perceive ourselves to be. But as a new creation in Christ, none of that matters. All that matters is who God says I am, and that is a child of God. Once we come to grips with who we are in Christ then I do not have to sit around thinking about myself anymore. That is a blessing, a real blessing, if that ever occurred in your life, where you do not have to be sitting around wondering who you are, how people perceive you or who you have to perform for. You can rest in who you have become in Christ Jesus. In this world, people tend to determine their identity by what they do and do not do, and that is very contradictory to the Word of God.
So you have heard someone say that everyone is born in the image of God or that everyone is a child of God. Is that true? No. Why not? Consider what the Word of God says? Consider what happened to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, as you read Genesis 2 and 3, of their creation and then their fall into sin. When the Spirit of God departed them and they found themselves to be naked, what can be said of their descendants, children born through them in this new fallen state?
3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.
Are they not born in the image of Adam? And what state was Adam in when they were born? And, you and I today, what state are we born in? Are we born basically good? No. We are genetically born in the likeness of fallen Adam, a sinner.
Adam and Eve were created alive spiritually, with the Spirit of God living in them, but when they sinned, by deciding for themselves what is right and wrong, deciding to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the Spirit of God departed from them. They remained alive to this world, with a body, a soul and a spirit, but their spirit was no longer joined with God. That is why a human being is different from a dog, which has a body and a soul, and a carrot, which has a body.
The human spirit is alive to this world but dead to God. Just like when we are an adult we are dead to our childhood. We have memories of our childhood, but we can no longer go back and be a child again. God warned Adam that the day he ate of that forbidden tree he would die (Genesis 2:17). He died spiritually that day, and the apostle Paul referred to this as the wages of sin is death, and that just as sin entered the world through one man, Adam, so also sin came upon all men, and so all died.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned
So man is born without an identity as a child of God. You would say he is born a sinner, born dead, lost and without hope and without God in his life. That is why man experiences an emptiness, why Adam recognized his nakedness, that what he once had, the Spirit of God living in him, is now missing. We are all born with that longing in our heart to be filled, born in the likeness of fallen Adam, to be controlled by someone, but all we are left with is our body and soul and a human spirit with input from the five senses, and a conscience, a knowledge of good and evil, but controlled by the sinful nature. We are born in a fallen state of independence from the God who created mankind by a certain design, to live in a loving, dependent relationship with Him. God put in the heart of every man, a longing to be made complete, to be made whole, with the thought of eternity in his heart.
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
So do you see the solution to this predicament of man, the problem of sin that caused man to die, and the problem of death that man needs to be made alive again, to return to the original creation God had in mind when He created Adam and Eve? These two problems of mankind, sin and death, were solved in Jesus Christ. A person must be born again (John 3), made into a new creation that can never die because of sin, and can live forever because the Spirit of God is now placed in man. The Spirit of God can never die, and always lives to intercede for man. This new life in Christ Jesus, once in Adam, can only be received by faith. Once received, you get a new identity, a child of God, and you never cease to be His child.
11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
Just like a person’s physical growth is based on proper diet and exercise, so is the Christian’s spiritual growth dependent on regular feeding upon the word of God and application of its principles. With more false teaching shifting opinions in general, confusion in the world than ever before Christian’s 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.”
Whenever you’re studying, in regards to your identity in Christ, it’s one of the most important subjects that I think there is to study in the Bible. And I also believe that it will probably provide more long lasting benefit to a believer in what we’re going to be talking about and are talking about over these next weeks, and have already talked about than any other subject you can that I can think of. Because when you do not have your identity established in who God says you are, then it has to be established in who you think you are, and that will go all over the place or who you think others think you are. And that of course is a yo-yo, or who you wish that they thought that you were, and and all of those things are just vitally important for us to understand that my identity has to be established in the Lord Jesus Christ and who he says that I am.
I couldn’t help from thinking, and again, I think it’s so important for us to get a grasp of reality of life, how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us are two entirely different things altogether. And we always believe that because I perceive you a certain way, that’s obviously the way you must feel about yourself. So, if I think you’re cocky, why then I perceive you as a cocky, arrogant person. If I think you’re humble, why then, I perceive you as a humble person. It doesn’t have anything to do with whether you’re humble or whether you’re cocky. It’s just how I perceived you.
And it was interesting the other day, because I was talking to a person in regard to how a person’s perception. And I remember and he said, to me, now Bob you are a forceful dynamic person. And I looked at him, like, who are you talking to? Because in my mind, I never think of myself as forceful. I’m sure that my listers possibly don’t agree with that. And dynamic, it never enters my mind, whether you’re dynamic with you’re not dynamic, or whether you’re shy, or what you are quite frankly. You just don’t spend much time thinking about yourself once you come to understand the grace of God. In other words, you know who you are in Christ, and therefore, I don’t have to sit around trying to figure out who I am. Therefore, you’re not thinking about yourself very much.
But I thought to myself, what a strange way to think about of somebody saying that. Now I’ve heard that before, but I thought that’s strange to me, it’s foreign to my ears. And yet, I have to assume that’s the way some people perceive me, but I don’t perceive myself that way at all, but other people might, probably can say the same thing about you, but I don’t know how you perceive yourself outside of the way God sees you. But I imagine it would shock you if somebody came up and really told you how they perceived you, if we’d say, who you talking about? Yeah, so it’s a very strange thing, but we assume you see that because I perceive give me 60 seconds and I’ll show you why you perceive yourself.
I think of Amy, there was not a more shy person in the world. When I first met Amy, she was a very shy, outgoing in some ways, and, and vivacious, but yet extremely shy. But I know the people in Germany just thought she was cocky because she was so shy she didn’t speak to people so they thought, who does she think she is? Well, Amy wouldn’t walk around thinking and boy am I somebody, somebody. There wasn’t any reason for her to feel that way nor was that her personality or character at all. But time after time after we got to know people they said that’s how I used to think about you. That’s what I used to think about you. And so deep down in your heart, I can be perceiving myself as kind of a puppy dog and other people think that you’re just bold and harsh as can be, you know. So it’s a different perception. Now, folks, that’s going to go all over the place in your own life until we come to settle our identity in Christ. Because again, once we come to grips with who we are in Christ, then I don’t have to sit around thinking about myself anymore. And that’s a blessing. That’s a real blessing, if that ever occurs in your life, where you do not have to be sitting around wondering, who am I? How do people perceive me? Who do I have to perform for? But you can rest in who you have become in Christ Jesus. I am a child of the Living God, and that’s who I am.
Whenever you’re in a situation where you are somewhat, and I do not consider myself that as well, but evidently some people do as if somewhat of a public figure. As a public figure, they are gonna perceive all things, all kinds of things about you. And there are some people who by their very nature, alone are going to try and perceive the worst. There’s others that preceive the best. There’s others that are in between those two. Those two extremes. But I said, you know, it doesn’t make any difference in this world. You are going to have tribulation Paul sin in this world. You are going to have persecution. And persecution is always somebody saying something bad about you. And boy, if you don’t believe that goes on, just listen to the political campaigns going on in your city right now, wouldn’t you hate to be running for office?
So with any of these types of things, you’re going to hear those things. So you say, well what is that place like. Amy, and I were talking the other day. I said, you know want it is honey? It’s a fulfillment of scripture. Scripture said, in this world, you’re going to have tribulation. So when you have it, that’s a fulfillment of the scripture, the scripture said that in this world, people are going to persecute you. They’re going to rumorise you. Some people are going to praise you. What it is, it’s a fulfillment of scripture. That’s what the scripture says is going to happen. And so, all we’re doing is just living out the fulfillment of scripture. But in the final analysis, it doesn’t make any difference that people could have called Paul, that’s an old jailbird over there. Look at that Jesus over there, He is a wine-bibber. He’s a Glutton. Other people see demon-possessed. His own family accused Him of being half mad and yet, did that affect who He knew that He was? Not an ounce. And you see that’s when security really comes in our lives, when we are able to say, it doesn’t make a difference what the world might think about me. Or, what the world might say about me. I know who I am. I know what I am. I know where I’m going. I know that I’m a Child of God.
If a person that falsely accuses you of something, you know, in your own heart, whether you’re innocent or whether you’re guilty. And quite frankly, that’s really all that matters is whether you know that or not, and of course God knows that. If some people want to think you’re guilty they’re just going to have to think that but to be able to know that you’re not is what enables you to stand and say not only do I know that I’m not guilty of this thing I’ll be accused of. But I also know, I am in Christ. And if I was guilty of that situation or this situation, or whatever it might be, I would still be a child of the Living God.
Now we’re going to give some illustrations on that because in this world in which we live, people determine their identity by what they do and what they don’t do. And it’s very contrary to the word of God.
When you became a child of the Living God and you were born again of the Spirit, you became a spiritual being. In other words, you were restored to true humanity. That is humanity as God intended man to be. God did not intend man to be God. If He would have wanted man to be God, why He would have created gods. But he didn’t create gods. He created angels, He created men. He created animals. He created all of those type of things. He didn’t create god’s, you don’t create god. God either Is or isn’t. You don’t make one of those.
And so when we’re born again, what He literally did to us is restore us to true humanity, as God intended humanity to be when He created a man in all of his humanity, made him out of the dust of the earth, He didn’t form you out of heaven, but out of the dust of the earth, breathed into him, the breath of Life, gave him physical life. And then, indwelt him, his human spirit by God’s Holy Spirit. So he developed a man, He made a man in such a way that that creation was to be indwelt by the living God. So, he made man with a capacity to be indwelt by God unlike a carrot. Now, with that capacity to be indwelled by God. When he was created, a man wouldn’t have known at all that he had a capacity to be indwelled by God. He was just indwelt by God. He would never have thought of that as a capacity. You just said, that’s just the way I am. It’s not anything unusual about that, that’s just plain the way it was. Only when that life, that spiritual life was lost, that a man realized that he was missing something. And that’s why Adam, and Eve were there fixing their fig leaves together in order to make a covering for themselves because something happened to them. They found themselves to be naked. Now, they were not aware at all of the fact that they were naked before that, never entered their mind. That’s where you’re supposed to be. But suddenly, with the Spirit of God departing from them. They were left empty, and that emptiness made them aware of their nakedness.
Now, that is the way folks that you are born into this world, because as Adam became, we are born out of that bloodline of Adam. He is our federal headship. I have two ears, a nose and two eyes, and a mouth because Adam had two ears and two eyes and a nose and a mouth. I have a body like I do, a body with arms, hands, fingers because Adam had that. So we are all are out of Adam. And so as Adam was created by God, I was born of Adam. I was not created by God. Neither were you listener. Adam was created by God. He is a creation. He was made from dust. You and I are born from, as a result of, of intercourse. We are as a result of two people getting together and producing a baby. And so there’s a world of difference in those two. So, as Adam and Eve became dead spiritually, you and I are born.
Now, we couldn’t be born alive spiritually, from two people who were dead, spiritually. Adam and Eve were not alive spiritually because they were born that way. They were created that way. Now they in essence were born again backwards because they gave up their life. They gave up spiritual life in order to do their thing here on Earth. So you and I are born in Adam and in the 5th chapter of Genesis it talks about that, that Adam and Eve were created by God, but when Adam and Eve had Seth, Seth was born in the image of Adam and Eve. So when people come up and say that we are all God’s children and we are all made in the image of God, that is not true. Adam and Eve was created in the image of God, you and I were born in the image of Adam and Eve, dead spiritually, but very much alive to the world.
Now, when you’re dead to something, what that means is it’s gone. In other words, I am dead to my youth. Why am I did to my youth? My youth is gone. So, I’m dead to that. Now, it does, it doesn’t mean I can’t remember it, because I do remember some of it, but I cannot experience it. I can’t go back to it. I can’t reclaim it. I can’t get a hold of it. I can remember a memory of it, but there’s nothing I can do to recapture that. So I’m dead to it.
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I’m dead to yesterday. I can’t grab a hold of it. I can’t hold on to it. I can remember it sometimes, but I can’t recapture it. I am dead to it. You see? So when the life of God departed from Adam, his human spirit was not dead. Otherwise, he’d be an animal because if your human spirit was dead and all you’re left with is a soul and a body, why you may as well be a dog. A dog has a soul and a body. But that human spirit is not dead. It’s dead to what left it, and that was life, the life of God living in a human spirit. So that human spirit therefore was designed in such a way to be under the control of God’s Holy Spirit. So that man’s spirit was to be controlled by something. God. So the spirit of man is made with a capacity to be controlled. Not only that, it is made with a necessity to be controlled. So when the human spirit was vacated by God, and the human spirit was made, designed by God, in such a way to be controlled by something. And that something is gone. The human spirit turned to the only thing left for its control and that is the soul of man. And that left the human spirit in bondage therefore to the desire of the flesh of man, totally under the control of humanity rather than under the control of deity, as God designed a man to be.
So here is a man designed in such a way to be controlled by God, does not have God living in him, therefore, incapable of being controlled by God and yet has to be controlled by something and therefore has no place else to go for its control except the world, people, places and things. All of those things that make up what we call flesh and humanity. Just total control by the world and humanity. Now if you say, man was like a benevolent dictator, you’d say well find out if that’ll work, but there’s no dictator that remains benevolent. And so flesh that started out created by God, flesh was not evil in and of itself, it became subject to evil when indwelling sin entered into it. So when the Spirit of God departed for man, man’s human Spirit, not dead, just dead to what departed from it, came out of the control of His humanity. Sin entered into that humanity. So guess what? The demands here became controlled by the sin contained in our humanity. That’s total control.
So Satan had not only that but the wages of sin is death. So now he had man bound up forever. Not only do I end well, man now through indwelling sin, but I got him because the wages of that sin is death. So, I’ve got God’s creation, messed up, really good. And so, all of us are born into this world, not alive, spiritually, but dead spiritually. But with our human spirit, totally alive. But only alive to what it’s being controlled by, and that’s our flesh. Now, when a man is born, and again, that’s his identity, it’s a man without the Spirit of God living as far as God is concerned. It’s called a natural man. It’s also called a sinner because the solution to that condition is faith. And until we’ve exercised faith in the solution, we remain contrary to that faith and its solution. Therefore called a sinner. So you’re lost. You’re called a sinner. You’re called a natural man, and that’s what controls the whole humanity.
Now, with this, with this identity, I have desires and they’re called desires of the flesh. Desires of the flesh can be good desires, and desires of the flesh can be bad desires when good and bad is determined by who? Man. The one who stood at the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil and said, I don’t need you to determine right from wrong, in other words, good from bad. I’ll do it on my own. So from our own man-made ideas, we have good desires and we have bad desires. And so a good desire for a lost natural man could be why I’d like to go to church every Sunday. And we say there’s a good desire.
Or I’m going to keep my body in great shape. That’s the greatest thing I can do. That’s a good desire according to man. Quite frankly, I don’t think whether God cares whether you’re skinny as a rake or plump. But from our standpoint that is vitally important. And then we go ahead and tell people that they live longer, if they do this, as if we had something to do with how long we live, when the scripture says that every man has a time to be born, a time to die. But we say, no, you can prolong your life this way. No, you may prolong the quality of your life, but you’re not going to prolong your life, my friend one minute longer than God knows you’re gonna die. You had a time to be born, you had a time to die and, and in between, I’ve got some choices as to whether in this container that I live in that I’m going to make it fat as a pig, or if I’m gonna try to keep it in shape. And it, whichever way I decide on there, I’m probably going to live a more of a quality lifestyle, but I’m not going to prolong my life by one minute. Now I know that there are people in the medical profession, come along, say, oh that’s not true. But I have to gauge what I’m saying based upon the word of God, not on a medical book. So we have a, we have desires of the flesh, and they can be good desires according to us and it can be bad desires. But are they God’s desires? And you see, until we are born again of the Spirit, we do not have the ability to determine whether this is God’s desire or whether it’s my desire, we don’t have no ability at all to determine that.
Now, when we are born again, and the Spirit of God comes to live within you, you are made into a new creation. Now, before you were born, now, you’re a creation. What is that creation made up of? It’s made up of a body, that you were born with indwelt with God that you were created by. So you have a God’s creation housed in a body that was given to you by Mom and Dad.
If any man be in Christ, now, he’s called a new creation. He’s born again of the Spirit and that’s a new creation. So you have received spiritual birth from God. And that new man, that knew you, that new spirit is now housed in that same will body of flesh. But you have a brand new identity before that the best I could call myself would be a man or a child. Now I can call myself a child of God. What, where did my new identity come from? Who is in me? It’s like a jar. The best that jar can really do is to say I’m a jar until it’s filled up with something. You fill it up with applesauce and seal it. Now, it’s called a jar of applesauce. Where did Its name come from? What’s in it? Now, as this new child, that you and I are children of the living God, that is our single identity, folks. We don’t have two identities. I’m no longer a child of the devil, a child of God. I’m a child of the Living God, that is who I am. That is my total identity. Now that new creation, Bob George with the Spirit of God living in me, is living in a body, with two sets of desires. You still have the desires of the flesh, and now you have the desires of the Spirit, which you did not have before, because the Spirit wasn’t living in you.
Now I did not say that you could not have had religious desires, that we would have categorized before we took our break as good desires, church. He desires what we call good desires, but that’s not God’s desire. So you’ve got two sets of desires living in you. You have desires of the flesh which sometimes desires to do good things, in order to get recognized, petted on the head, nice thing to do. Nice place to go, good thing to do. All of those kind of things.Or you got bad desires that I don’t care, what’s good for me? I’m going to do it anyway. But neither one of those are God’s desires. They’re the world’s desires. It’s like we’ve talked about with self-image, people say get a good self-image. Other people say get a bad self-image. Say both of those are wrong, you get a proper self image. Not a good one. Not a bad one, but a proper one. What’s a proper one? God’s. See I can have a good man self-image or a bad man self-image. What does that have to do with anything? It’s not God’s.
So, I don’t want a good one, and I don’t want a bad one, I want a proper one. So the proper self-image, your proper identity, if you’re born again, is I am now a child of the Living God. Now, that means that, that the Spirit of God that came to live within me is now joined this human spirit of mine, whereby my human spirit is back now, totally able to be controlled by what it was intended to be controlled by. And that is the Spirit of God living in me. But now with that whole transaction, where those are strictly contained in God’s desires, is the Spirit of God now living in me. Now with having two sets of desires. I’ve got God’s desires living in me. Tells me I literally have the mind of Christ living in me. And I got this old flesh desires and they’re in conflict with each other. It says they’re at war with each other.
And then I got a will, called a willer. Now, one of the desires of the flesh saying to that will, will come over and do this. Why this is what this is where you’re going to get fulfillment. This is where you’re going to get fun. And it is pointing its appeal to my will. Now, on the other hand, the spirit of God that is living within me is also pointing to my will saying, Bob, not your will but God’s be done. That Bob, this is a con job over here. This is not where these desires of the flesh that you have, don’t try to walk in denial of them, there there you have them, there you will always have them, but because you have them they’re real, but they’re not true. They’re real, but they’re not good for you. And Bob, would you stop to think almost every single desire of the flesh I can think of is in total opposition to what’s good for me. And so you’ve got these desires of the flesh, all containing this one complex thing called a human being, Spirit of God living in me now. Before I was born again, I only had one thing to listen to, desires of the flesh. I had no Spirit to listen to, it wasn’t in me. So I had to listen to desires of the flesh. And part of those desires of the flesh were good. Desire sounded, good made him that way. It’s like my dad used to say, only got one on me, I’m gonna make me amount to something. So, he’s hard on himself.
You get people disciplined. Sometimes the most difficult people in the world to ever get into a Sabbath rest are people who are very well disciplined. I’m so we’ll disciplined, man I got my body in shape. I got everything. I got my day planned on, disciplined person and it looks good from a human standpoint, but you can go to hell that way with a real solid body, and a great schedule. Sure to take you right to hell. Because it has nothing to do with salvation by faith. And it has nothing to do with being justified by faith. It has nothing at all to do with righteousness, that is self righteousness, which is an abomination to God.
So we’ve got these sets of desires. Now, when you’re born again, the beauty of that type of thing is that I now have the Spirit of God living in me. The Spirit of God is desiring for me to walk in that newness of life that has been designed for me, planned for me, for my benefit. Everything is for my benefit. And that’s the battle we have within us. Two sets of desires, desires of the flesh. And desire of the Spirit.
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.”