There are so many problems and so much sin in the world, and if we were to narrow down the cause of these to one simple reason on the most part, we’d find that it’s because we as a population, as a society, as humankind… DON’T KNOW WHO WE ARE.
If everyone knew the real truth of who they were, not who their parents told them who they are, not who their boss says they are, not who their spouse says they are, not who their peers say they are, not who they told themselves they are… but what God says they are, EVERYTHING would be different. Agreed?
At the core of it, what you profess as being your self-identity determines how you live your life, and if all you knew of it was lies… it could be detrimental.
Proverbs 23:7 – “For as he thinks in his heart, so he is.”
Hosea 4:6 – “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
There is a war over your identity. The enemy will try to convince you through social and psychological means that you are worthless, that you’re a ‘copy and paste’, that you’re just made to ‘fit in’ with the rest of the sinful world, but your aim is to recognise that YOU ARE DIFFERENT from the rest of the world.
Joseph in the Old Testament knew exactly who he was when he was tempted by Potifar’s wife, and that influenced the way he handled the situation, even though he knew he’d face the consequences.
Genesis 39:9 – “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”
In order to fully understand who you truly are IN CHRIST, there are 5 key points that you’ll need to grasp:
1. You are a NEW CREATION
2. You are A CHILD OF THE FATHER
3. You are CALLED TO BE SAINTS and a ROYAL PRIESTHOOD
4. You are MORE THAN A CONQUEROR
5. You are a MASTERPIECE
You are a NEW CREATION
2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Once you enter the waters of baptism, just as a caterpillar enters into the cacoon and emerges a new being, you emerge a new creation, even though this is a hidden mystery, making it a church sacrament. This new creation is a REGENERATION. We were born with the corrupted nature and receive the nature that leads to salvation in baptism. We PUT ON Christ and we forever become the living temple of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:16-17 – “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ…”
When the spirit dwells within us after inheriting this ‘new creation’ in baptism, we become heirs to the King of the universe, and knowing that is liberating within itself. It is pure tragedy when someone is inherently rich, but is unaware of it and lives their life as a poor person, accepting the low standards of society when really they were created to fly high as an heir to the creator.
Romans 6:4 – “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should also walk in NEWNESS OF LIFE.”
You are a CHILD of the FATHER
John 1:12-13 – “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but OF GOD.”
Once you received the Holy Spirit in baptism, you have been given God’s name and birth rite. You were born of God not of the world any longer. As a child of God, your identity is based on who HE IS, not who YOU ARE.
All humanity in essence looks ‘the same’, but our identity in Christ is eternally different. I am rich and have authority, not because of me, but because of my Father.
Galatians 4:5-7 – “God sent forth His Son … that we might receive the ADOPTION AS SONS. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
By NATURE, Christ is the only true begotten son of God and we are born with the corruption of original sin, but by GRACE we receive ADOPTION as children of God and receive the same Spirit of Christ being heirs of the King and no longer slaves to sin. The difference between adoption and natural children is that an adopted child is one chosen out of love and grace and given everything as if biologically related. We are given the opportunity to say, not my master, not my boss, but ‘MY FATHER’.
Because we are children and not slaves, with it comes 3 implications; that you are:
1. CONTINUALLY ACCEPTED
Not based on your work, but on your IDENTITY. Some may say that they’ll never be good enough for God’s acceptance, but if your own earthly parents continually accept you, how can your heavenly father and creator not do the same? We need to realise that we work FROM approval and not FOR approval and that makes a huge difference.
The prodigal son, after all that he did to himself and wasting his father’s inheritance, his father didn’t think twice about accepting him back into his arms and even held a feast and celebrated his return!
Luke 15:24 – “for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
2. RELENTLESSLY PURSUED
The parables that Christ taught about the lost sheep and the lost coin highlight just how much God peruses his children when they are lost, since each are uniquely precious.
Luke 15:4-5 – “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.”
Luke 15:8 – “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?”
3. PREEMPTIVELY FORGIVEN
He knows we are weak and understands the struggle we go through, and that’s why before you were born, HE DIED FOR YOU.
Psalm 103:13-14 – “As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.”
You are CALLED TO BE SAINTS and a ROYAL PRIESTHOOD
God poured in His love so that you would do the same and pour it out to other people in a flow of endless love. We are made to be more than consumers.
1 Peter 2:9 – “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.”
It’s clear that the bar is set SO HIGH… Saints, Priests, Holy Nation. Sometimes we put ourselves in a category that is much lower than what God has planned for His people and its our duty to figure out this high standard of living and live by it.
1. I am CALLED TO BE A SAINT
SAINT = HOLY = SET APART
The word saint and holy are often used interchangeably in the bible, and they literally mean ‘SET APART’. It doesn’t imply being sinless like many of us may picture. It simply means that you aren’t like the rest and shouldn’t reflect the world’s habits and behaviours. Remember you are consecrated for God after Chrismation and become the living temple of the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 1:2 – “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, CALLED TO BE SAINTS, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours”
1 Peter 1:15-16 – “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”
The call is to be ‘set apart’ like Christ was. Sainthood is not about what you do, but rather, WHO YOU ARE. Take a fish and a human for example. Humans can swim in water, but by nature cannot LIVE in water. Fish on the other hand can survive briefly on land but cannot live there. Consider the water as being sin. Christians sometimes fall into sin whether knowingly or unknowingly but cannot live in sin by nature. That would be death. They are SAINTs that sometimes sin, not sinners that sometimes do good work. It’s not about how many times we fall, but how we get up.
Holiness is what God wants FOR us, not FROM us.
2. I am ORDAINED TO BE A PRIEST
Priesthood is not about your job, it’s about your purpose. Priest literally means minister or servant, meaning when we are consecrated/ordained at baptism, we become ministers/servants to the KING! Making us a ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, whether female or male.
Exodus 19:6 – “And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”
Revelation 1:5-6 – “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
As a SAINT, I am called to be HOLY. As a PRIEST, I am gifted to RECONCILE the world to God. This is our job description as Christians; ambassadors for Christ.
You are MORE THAN A CONQUEROR
We as humans love CHANGE. Something bad becoming good or something old becoming new, and the truth of the matter is we all want to change something about ourselves for the better. There’s a saying that goes, ‘if you can change something in your life, you would’ve, but you can’t, so you probably won’t’.
Romans 8:37 – “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
Our eyes often see FAILURE, but the truth is that we’re CONQUERORs in Christ. The word ‘conqueror’ implies that there will be struggles, and also implies that we are victorious THROUGH HIM, when you seek Him for help, not relying on yourself.
Jeremiah 32:12 – “Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is NOTHING too hard for You”
1. UNDERSTAND the authority that has been given to you .
Just like it was said in Hosea 4:6, the children of God are often destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Luke 10:19 – “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
Christ didn’t say we have the ‘power’ over the enemy because we clearly don’t, but he gave us AUTHORITY, being children of the king.
AUTHORITY = POWER DELEGATED
Like a police officer, they may not have the power to stop a moving vehicle but they sure have the authority under the nation’s government to do so, while they are in uniform. When we put on Christ, we put on the uniform of authority that gives us power delegated over Satan.
2. EXERCISE the authority you’ve been given
There is no greater power than taking the Gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth. That is the only thing that will change hearts and bring peace to the world, not bickering and hate like we often see as reactions from Christians when there’s persecution in the world.
You are a GREAT MASTERPIECE
Often when we look at masterpieces, there’s one thing we could say gives them that title, which is that they are each UNIQUE. Nothing is truer about humankind. There is no one, and has been no one, and will be no one that is an identical copy of you! Making you a unique masterpiece.
Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
God created many wondrous and beautiful things, but you are the CROWN of His creation. We are His POEM, carefully thought through and composed.
Job 10:8 – “Your hands have made me and fashioned me, An intricate unity”
Psalms 139:13-14 – “For You formed my inwards parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvellous are Your works, And my soul knows very well.”
Can you accept that even your weakness/insecurity/flaw is part of God’s masterpiece?
When the disciples saw the man born blind, they asked Jesus if he or his parents sinned for this to happen to him, but Christ answered:
John 9:3 – “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”
Sometimes we have to stop trusting in sight but in FAITH. We also need to stop comparing ourselves to others, looking up to God instead of looking around.
2 Corinthians 10:12 – “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
A man named George Macdonald once wisely said, “To have been thought about, born is God’s thought and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest and most precious thing in all thinking.” When a masterpiece is broken, people put in the time and effort to fix it to its original state, because they know its unrivaled value and recognition. Christ also does the same with us:
Matthew 9:12-13 – “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick… For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Christ incarnated and came to earth for this reason, to spend all his time with the lost and weak. He knew their immense value and wanted to restore them out of His great love. That brings us to an important point.
Is a masterpiece, ever truly ruined? Is it ever not a masterpiece anymore?
Well the truth of the matter is that even if a masterpiece is broken or has some dirt on it, it by no means changes its identity as a masterpiece. So if you are God’s masterpiece, you will forever be one in His eyes, no matter how far you’ve gone or how flawed you may be. As long as you search for Him and pursue Him as He pursues you, HE WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU!
So to conclude, know the truth about your identity in Christ, because this gives you power and confidence like you may have never experienced before. You are a NEW CREATION, You are A CHILD OF THE FATHER, You are CALLED TO BE SAINTS and a ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, You are MORE THAN A CONQUEROR, and You are a GREAT MASTERPIECE.
Glory be to God forever and ever AMEN.
SAYG ~ Marian Butrous.