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Understanding Your Identity in Christ – Part 1

 

 

Introduction:

Years ago there was a series on TV called “John Doe”. John Doe is about this person who wakes up on a desert island and has no idea who is. He suffers from retrograde amnesia. He has no clue about his past but he finds that has an extraordinary encyclopedic knowledge of everything else. If you name any town in the United States, he can tell you the population to the exact number. He can tell who the mayor was in that town, what year he was born and how much his tax return was the previous year to the exact dollar. He knows all about science; he knows all about plant life; he knows all about mechanics etc. and he uses this extraordinary encyclopedic knowledge of everything to help solve crimes. But all the while he is helping other people, he is trying to find out about his past. John Doe knows everything about everything except WHO HE IS.

 

And so that is the title of this series: ‘What Happened To You The Day You Got Saved’: Finding Your True Identity in Christ.

 

That is what this series is about – it is about the John Doe’s in the body of Christ, many of them know a lot – they know Bible stories – they can quote Bible verses – they have been church and Sunday School their whole lives. They know all this ‘churchy-anity’ but have no heavenly clue who they are and why God left them on this desert island called earth.

 

This series is about Christians who know that they are on their way to heaven but have no idea why they are here on earth.

 

 

Solving the Believers Identity Crisis

 

QUESTION: “What does the term ‘identity crisis’ mean to you?”

QUESTION: “Do you think believers have an ‘identity crisis’ problem?”

 

·        In Matthew 16:13 Jesus asked a question.

 

Matthew 16:13 (KJV)

13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

 

·        Or we could paraphrase that question as …

o   Do you know who I am?

·        Are you good at riddles??? – Here is one for you…

·        Illustration: ‘Do You Know Who I Am?”

o   My parts alone could be deadly. As a soft metal I can explode in water. As a yellowish gas I am poisonous to breathe. Do you know who I am?

o   You consider me common, but I have been considered of great value; I have even been used like money. Others have used me as a bond of friendship. Do you know who I am?

o   You will find me in water and in the ground. Sometimes I’m thrown on the ground to keep you from slipping. Do you know who I am?

o   I have been used as a preservative, but too much of me will spoil a good meal. I’m odorless, but I will add flavor to your food. You will even ask for me by name to improve the taste of a meal. Do you know who I am?

I am Salt.

·        Who Do You think You Are?

o   I am Salt

Matthew 5:13 (ESV)

13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

 

(How about another riddle?)

o   Do you know who I am?

o   When I am absent you’re sometimes afraid, but too much of me in the morning makes you wish I would go away. Do you know who I am?

o   I’m full of color but if you look at me I hide them all. I bring out the colors you see every day; without me your world turns to grey. Do you know who I am?

o   When I pass through the rain or a prism my colors separate for you to see. Do you know who I am?

 

 I am Light.

·        Who Do You think You Are?

o   I Am Light (that is your identity)

 

Matthew 5:14 (ESV)

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

 

·        Jesus said, You are the Light of the World and you are the salt of the earth.

·        MY question, today is simply this – do you know who you are?

 

QUESTION: What do you think?

 

“The world’s fundamental problem is that we truly do not understand who we truly are – children of God made in His image and instead define ourselves by any number of things besides Jesus. Only by knowing our false identity apart from Christ in relation to our true identity in Him can we rightly deal with, and overcome the issues in our lives.”1 – Mark Driscoll

 

·        It takes knowing who you are IN HIM to fulfill your role as an overcomer.

·        Now, in the coming weeks, we are going to take the book of Ephesians and from that book look at what Paul says our image should be.

·        You should absolutely take note of Gen. 1:26, because it gives us the first clue of what man’s identity should be.

o   First things are important in scripture and should be noted – and this is the first descriptor…

 

Genesis 1:26 (ESV)

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

 

·        Who Do You think You Are?

o   I Am A Believer With Dominion (that is your identity)

·        You should have a dominion image – in the coming weeks we will address this because it is really prominent in Ephesians.

·        This ‘dominion image’… – we touched that just a bit last week when we spoke about the difference between praying to the Father in Jesus Name for healing as opposed to speaking to sickness, or Satan as the author of sickness directly.

·        That difference is part of that dominion image.

 

·        Dominion is God with shoes on

·        DEFINITION: – ‘dominion’ (Heb.) – to tread down, to rule, to dominate

 

o   There must be something to dominate.

o   There must be something to rule over.

§  The Bible tells you what that is

·        Fish of the sea

·        Birds of the air

·        Livestock

·        Over all the earth

·        And most importantly – ‘over everything that creeps or crawls on planet earth”

o   Why is that important?

 

Genesis 3:14 (ESV)

14 The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.

 

·        God condemned Satan to a life of creeping on the earth – and God said, you have dominion over that.

·        Have you ever wondered why the enemy operates in the shadows?

o   He almost never confronts you straight out – it is always behind something else.

o   He is behind the symptoms – he is behind the strife.

o   But you never see him because you have something he doesn’t have – dominion

 

Luke 10:19 (ESV)

19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.

 

§  DEFINITION: οδείς ο μή

·        οδείς – nothing

·        ο – not

·        μή – not

·        The literal translation in the Greek is ‘not not nothing’ – 

o   The word ‘nothing’ is a triple negative and so understand its force.

o   It is not translated that way because to say it that way in English is too awkward.

o   God put the extra negatives in the Greek language for emphasis!

§  The truth is the enemy is afraid of your God given dominion.

§  The triple negative is God’s assurance to you that you never have to be afraid of the devils challenges.

o   Notice the first thing that God had in mind for man was to rule.

§  Birds were meant to fly,

§  dogs were meant to hunt,

§  worms were meant to crawl

§  and man was meant to rule.

 

·        QUESTION: What is the difference between a champion and a challenger?

o   Boxing is a good example – the champion has the belt – the world title – the challenger is trying to take it from him.

§  Herein lies a fundamental difference between champions and challengers. Challengers are trying to get something – Champions already have it!

§  I want you to know today that your identity is champion not challenger.

§  The devil is witness to this truth – you just haven’t taken note.

·        Did you ever notice that the devil is always trying to challenge you? – he is always trying to come after you – why is that?

o   You have something he wants

o   Challengers always come after champions

·        Champions do not go chasing after challengers – why? They have nothing we want.

o   We already have the belt – the championship belt

o   We already have the breastplate

o   We already have the helmet

o   We already have a matching pair of shoes

o   The stuff the devil has – We are not interested in. He has nothing that pleases us.

§  Jesus said the ‘prince of this world comes and he has nothing in me.’

§  The devil tried to challenge Jesus in the wilderness – he tried to offer him what little glory he had – ‘all this glory, Satan said, I will give you if you will fall down and worship me’ – Jesus turned him flat down –  because Jesus is a champion – He was God’s champion – he already had everything – he had His Father.

§  That’s the difference between champions and challengers – challengers are trying to get stuff – champions already have it.

·        Dominion is God with shoes on

o   This image will affect every area of your life

o   It will affect your faith walk

§  Your faith walk is from a position of dominion not from a position of pleading and begging!

·        Your image of yourself, when you take yourself to the mirror – your mindset and your attitude should be “I am not taking no stuff from the devil” – I am not taking no stuff from demons. NONE.

·        So a dominion image is part of your identity

This is image is found primarily in Eph. 1 & 2 in the resurrection and seating of the church with Jesus in heavenly places.

 

1 Who Do You Think you Are: Finding Your True Identity In Christ – Mark Driscoll

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