Dan Guzman

Executive Pastor

New Life Chapel

Hesperia, California

www.newlifechapel.com

 

CHAPTER 5

Identity in Christ

 

 

KEY IDEA

I believe I am significant because of

my position as a child of God

 

KEY VERSE

Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name,

He gave the right to become children of God.

John 1:12

 

Introduction:

Linda and I enjoy viewing a program on T.V. entitled, “Who do you think you are?”

 

This program is an American genealogy documentary series that selects Hollywood celebrities and gives them the opportunity to research their family trees with surprising and often unexpected results.

How many of you have gone on a genealogy hunt to find out “who do you think you are?”

A number or years ago Linda and I decided to find her real parents since Linda was adopted and raised in Moline Illinois by John and Katherine Sandholm.

Even though Linda loved her adopted parents just as if they were her natural parents, deep down inside Linda’s heart the yearning to know who her real parents are and where she came from.

We had a social worker do the leg work necessary to find Linda’s parents and we believe that we found them. But because of the stringent adoption laws in the state of Illinois we were warned not to get to close for fear of legal reprisals by those who we believe were Linda’s parents.

To this day Linda does not know for sure who her natural parents really are. We have an idea who they might be but we are not 100% sure without their consent and confession that Linda is their daughter.

TRANSISTION:

Some of us are not sure who we are in Christ. We are torn by what we once were, what we are and what we are becoming.

Identity crises versus Identity Christ is

Some of us live in the tension of an “identity crises” meaning … the condition of being uncertain of one's feelings about oneself, especially with regard to character, goals, and origins…

The Christian should rather live in an “identity Christ is” meaning the condition of being certain that I’m in Christ and saved through His precious blood that He shed for me on Calvary’s Hill. That I am His child adopted into the family of God and someday I will be with Him in Glory forever and ever, Amen! 

Do you see the difference? I would rather live in “identity Christ is” rather than in an “identity crises”. 

To live in “identity crises” is confusion, unbelief, lack of peace and turmoil of heart, mind, soul and spirit. You will live in the unfriendly confines of your past haunted and handcuffed by guilt and shame.

To live in “identity Christ is” results in peace and joy in the Holy Spirit - I have come home to my identity in Christ. What God has said of me in Christ His Son is true and those truths will set me free from my “identity crises”.

 

TRANSISTION:

So what is it going to be this morning? Are you going to live in “identity Christ is” or “identity crises”? 

 

SO HERE’S THE MAIN IDEA I WANT ALL OF US TO REMEMBER!

The key to coming to grips with our Identity in Christ can be clearly understood in this principle:

WE NEED TO SEE OURSELVES AS GOD SEES US!

{C}·      No matter what others may say about you (I am a bother, in the way, a mistake)

{C}·      No matter what the world may label you as (The disease model for psy problems)

{C}·      No matter what your feelings may dictate to you (Am a failure, am a waste)

{C}·      No matter the experiences you have had in life (Jesus died for all those sins)

{C}·      No matter what lies the devil may whisper in your ear (He’s an identity thief!)

 

WHAT SAITH OUR HEAVENLY FATHER OVER YOU!?

GOD IS THE GREAT “IDENTITY GIVER” THROUGH HIS SON’S DEATH FOR OUR LIVES AND HE WANTS US TO COME HOME TO THAT FACT.

FOUR BULLET POINTS OF ENCOURGEMENT

{C}·      You are not a product of what has been done to you - you are a product of what Jesus has done for you and the first thing He did for you was to die for you.

{C}·      The story and course of our lives has been changed for all eternity because of His death on the Cross.

{C}·      What you do does not determine who you are rather, who you are in Christ determines what you do.

{C}·      The Cross always trumps your “identity crises” and moves us to “Identity Christ is”

I Cor. 6:9-11 (ESV)

{C}·      Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

The Triune God is busy washing, sanctifying and justifying us and through this redemptive activity in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God, God sees us and looks at us differently in His Son.

Therefore shouldn’t we then if God does, see ourselves as He would see us?

WE NEED TO SEE OURSELVES AS GOD SEES US!

TRANSISTION:

So the question is… How then does God see us?

1.) God sees us in Christ and not in Adam!

Mankind can be divided into two groups:

  1. You are either in Adam the man of dust or
  2. In Christ the heavenly man

By man's first birth all of us are "IN ADAM" our first identity!

I Cor. 15:47-49 (ESV)

{C}·      {C}47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

 

People of dust will continue to pass on ADAM’S corrupt and sinful DNA. 

 

Rom. 5:12-19 (ESV)

{C}·      12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned…

{C}·      14 Death reigned…

 

{C}·      15 Many died through one man’s trespass…

 

{C}·      16 For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation…

 

{C}·      18 As one trespass led to condemnation for all men…

 

{C}·      19 For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners…

 

I Cor. 15:22 (ESV)

{C}·      22 For as in Adam all die…

Psa. 51:5 (ESV)

{C}·      5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

What does it mean to be in Adam?

We are sinful by birth, by nature by practice, by preference. That’s what dust does!

Dusty people are spiritually dead, slaves to sin and, objects of God’s Wrath!

This is an “identity Crises” of alarming consequences both in this world and the world to come.

TRANSISTION:

But the Scriptures tell us that we can line up our lives behind another man, the heavenly man, Christ Jesus. We can be found in Him by faith in His redeeming work on the Cross.

First of all, being “in Christ” does not refer to being at a specific physical place, like “in the house” or “in the yard.”  Rather, the phrase refers to being in a certain position or relationship with respect to the Savior by virtue of God rescuing us out of Adam, the man of dust into Christ.

Eph. 2:4-6, 13 (ESV) 

Your heavenly identity in Christ

 

{C}·      But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

{C}·      13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

II Cor. 5:21 (ESV)

{C}·      For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Let’s summarize what it means to be in Christ.

 

  1. To be "in Christ" means we have accepted His sacrifice as payment for our own sin and our sinful rap sheet has been canceled.

 

  1. To be “in Christ” means that a Divine Exchange has taken place. God has taken us out of the dust of Adam and placed us (by faith) in His son and we stand before Him cleansed by the blood of Christ and fully forgiven.

 

  1. To be “in Christ” means that we have been clothed in the righteousness of Christ (by faith) and God no longer sees our dust; He sees you dressed in the righteousness of His own Son the only acceptable righteousness God will look upon.
  2. To be “in Christ” means that you need to make a great exchange in your life by seeing yourself as God sees you in His Son.

 

{C}·      You are no longer in the dust but in Christ the man from heaven

{C}·      Your sins have been canceled

{C}·      You are fully forgiven by the blood of Jesus

{C}·      You are dressed in the righteousness of Jesus

{C}·      You have been accepted by the Father through His Son

{C}·      You are holy and blameless before Him in love

{C}·      You are blessed in the beloved

{C}·      You have been blessed with immeasurable greatness in Christ

 

In Christ you are completely acceptable, extremely valuable, eternally loved, totally forgiven, and fully capable to serve our risen Savior.

 

So what is it going to be this morning, “identity crises” or “Identity Christ is”?

2.) God sees us as Justified! What does that word “justified” mean?

 

 

Martin Luther said it best Justification is God's action of declaring righteous the unrighteous sinner who has faith in Jesus Christ. In God declaring you righteous He in Christ removes your guilt and penalty of sin.”

 

 

Rom. 4:1-8 (New Living Translation)

{C}·      Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God? If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way. For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” It’s not the “do” but the “who”!

{C}·      When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. 

{C}·      David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it: “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.”

 

Let’s summarize what it means to be justified.

 

{C}1.   {C}By trusting in the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, God has declared you right before Him.

 

{C}2.   By trusting in the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, God has covered your sins with the blood of Jesus.

 

{C}3.   By trusting in the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, God has forgiven you all your sins.

 

{C}4.   By trusting in the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, God will never ever charge you or count against you your sins. He will never bring them up again.

 

Heb. 8:12 (New King James Version NKJV)

 

{C}·      {C}For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

 

Do you see yourself as God sees you as right before Him? This is “Identity Christ is”

 

  1. Do you know the joy that God has cleared you of all your sins through Christ?

 

  1. Do you know that God has a completely new attitude over your life? He loves you!

 

  1. Do you know that you are blessed and highly favored by God?

 

  1. Do you know that we now walk in the Victory of the Cross!

 

  1. Do you know that all the promises of God are yours?

 

  1. Do you know that someday because we are justified, we will be with Him.

3.) God sees us as Adopted Children in His Family!

Eph. 1:3-6 (ESV)

{C}·      Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

 

Gal. 3:26 (ESV)

 …for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

I Jn. 3:1-2 (ESV)

{C}·      See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God; and so we are… Beloved, we are God's children now…

READ LINDA’S ADOPTION PAPERS

 

4.) God sees us as not yet Perfect!

Psa. 103:14 (ESV)

{C}·      For He knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust.

We live in the tension of an unfinished life.

We live in the tension of the already and the not yet.

Rom. 6:12-14 (New Living Translation)

{C}·      Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. 13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. 14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.

 

 

I Thess. 4:1-8 (New Living Translation)

{C}·      Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more. For you remember what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways. Never harm or cheat a fellow believer in this matter by violating his wife, for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before. God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

 

Let’s summarize what it means to live in the tension of an unfinished life.

{C}1.   In Christ we stand perfectly righteous before God, but in our daily lives, we see much remaining sin.

 

{C}2.   In Christ we are adopted sons of God, but in our experience we sometimes feel like orphans.

 

{C}3.   {C}In Christ we are new creations, but it does not always seem as if “the old has passed away.”

 

{C}4.   {C}In Christ our sins have been forgiven, but there are times when they come back and haunt us.