Identity in Christ (Intro)

 

Who Are You? That is the question.

If you ask most people about themselves, they will tell you what they do for a living. They will tell you who they are married to. They will tell you where they live. They will tell you about their kids. Most people find their identity in what they have or what they do. If you dig a little deeper you will find some people who find their identity in their appearance, titles they have earned, or the opinions of other people. Guess what? All of those things can be taken away or their significance lessened. There will always be the potential that someone else has something or someone slightly more appealing. Then what is a person to do? What some Americans do, try to keep up with everyone else. The one up syndrome. Well, your car is nice, but mine is better. Oh, you got a new job, I have an amazing husband. And the nonsense continues. All the superficial things lead us to live shallow lives rooted in insecurity.

Insecurity is dangerous and limiting. When we find our identity in things that are unstable, can change like the wind, and aren’t certain, we live in constant fear that we aren’t good enough.

Insecurity  leads to:

  • Jealousy (someone is getting attention I deserve)
  • Envy/Coveting (I want what others have and don’t want them to have it)
  • Pride ( I am better than or less than others based on what I have or who I am)
  • Control/Rebellion ( I must be in control, because if I’m not, then I am afraid of the outcome)
  • Manipulation ( I don’t trust that people will do right by me so I must manipulate them to)
  • Allowing yourself to be mistreated (I am not valuable so I deserve whatever people offer)
  • Offense and misunderstanding
  • Fear of rejection/People pleasing (I must do what others want so they like me)
  • Competing and comparison (I must be better than others to prove my worth)
  • Guilt, shame, condemnation (I associate my doing with my being. If I do something improper that makes me bad instead of I did something bad)
  • Gossip, slander, backbiting, overly critical (If I don’t feel good about me, then I feel better putting others down)
  • Self hatred, Self-loathing.
  • Bragging/One upping (I must one up everyone’s story)
  • Need to be the center of attention (I only feel valued if everyone’s attention is on me)
  • Clingy, overly needy ( If people ask for space or take space I perceive it as rejection)
  • Materialism (I must have the best of everything to prove my worth)
  • Overachieving/Perfectionism (I must be perfect to be worthwhile or I am not worth anything)
  • Inability to receive love (I am not valuable therefore no one could love me)
  • Abusive relationships (Insecure men tend to verbally, physically, emotionally or sexually abuse women to show they are powerful. Insecure women tend to end up the target of abusers.)

All these things are the fruit of a lack of identity in Christ. Jesus died to give us a new identity in Him. When we received Christ we were given a new identity. The old man passed away.

So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:16-17.

When you accepted Christ you were transformed into a new person, your name written in the Lamb’s book of life. You were given a new nature and redeemed nature. You were given the mind of Christ and full access to God. Over the next few weeks we will explore what this new nature is. We will explore why since we are made new, we still behave like the old, sinful man. We will talk about authority in Christ and all you have in Him. You are not what you do, who you are married to, or what you have. You are so much more. You are ROYAL! You are the King’s kid.  He does not base your worth on what you do, but on what Jesus has done. It’s the only secure identity.

Here’s what Paul tells us about our identity in Christ (Ephesians 1:3-10):

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonshipthrough Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, hemade known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

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