New Identity in Christ (3 of 4)
8 June 2008
· Proverbs 23:7 - “As he thinks in his head so is he”.
· How you see yourself and what you believe about yourself impact how you live and relate.
· Your heart believes impact the atmosphere around your life and expectations.
· E.g. “I am unwanted” – spiritual atmosphere filled with rejection and expectation of rejection.
· How do you see yourself? Do you see yourself the way God sees you? What do you believe about yourself? Who are you?
2. How people define their identity;
· Your identity is who you are – the characteristics that identify you, that is recognizable.
ii) Name – “I am…..”
iii) Surname – “I am …..” = family
iv) Gender – “I am male/female”
v) Racial group – “I am Kiwi”
vi) Social status – “I am a leader / partner / businessman”.
vii) Experiences – hurts, failures of past, difficulties.
- “I am a failure” - “I am a victim” – “a failure, a nothing”.
Exalt self not Christ, a life without Christ.
viii) Performance – “What I do gives me identity”
· God called you to have dominion, know who you are.
· The key to Identity is to get a revelation about what God says about you.
- Live out what God says.
- Live up to what / who God reveals you are.
3. Jesus’ identity was Rooted in Revelation:
· Jesus’ Baptism and Identify redefined from natural to spiritual Identity.
· Water Baptism – repent from old life, old identity buried, now a new life/person walking with God.
· Repent and have a lifestyle with God.
a) John 1:29 - “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”.
· Baptism = identity with God and His purposes.
= end of former life, identity – beginning of new life.
· Formerly Jesus – son of Joseph and Mary, carpenter of Nazareth.
· Rhema – revelation from prophet John = True Identity.
· To fulfill what is right with God = Jesus’ water baptism = old life - carpenter of Nazareth to a new life – Son of God. This was a revelation to Jesus.
b) Matthew 3:16-17 - “A voice from heaven saying this is My Beloved Son”
· Personal word from the Father – The Father defines identity.
· Devil said to Jesus – ‘if you are, proof it, do something’.
· Jesus quoted the Word of God or said nothing. The devil see Jesus in the natural realm not who He really is.
· Matthew 12:38-39 - “Do a miracle if you are the Son of God”.
· People need revelation by the spirit.
· They shouted – “If you are the Son of God, come down from the Cross” – Do something spectacular.
· People want to attach you to do what you are in the natural not who you are in God.
a) The Temptation of Jesus: “If you are – then prove it”.
· Matthew 4:3-4 - “If you are the Son of God, do something”.
Jesus refused to define his identity by his actions/performances.
“I am who the Father says I am”
· Matthew 4:6 - “if you are the Son of God – throw yourself down”
· Jesus was constantly pressured to establish His identity by his works.
1) Luke 4:3,6 – “If you are, then do something” - response: “it is written”
2) Luke 23:8-9 - Pilate hoped to see a miracle - response: silence
3) Matt. 12:38-39 - Scales and Pharisees sought a sign – response: No sign, Word
4) Mark 15:29-32 - “Save yourself, come down from the cross – response: silence
b) People often define themselves/identity around their performance:
“I am a success” “I am hopeless” “I am a failure”
“I am inferior” “If I do well – I’ll be loved, be a lovable person”
· They require constant affirmation.
· They can’t handle feedback – feel rejected and react.
· They can’t admit guilt, acknowledge failure.
· They are afraid to try new things – it is not ok to fail.
· They constantly fear failure, fear what people think.
· They must know the rules before hand – need to be in control.
· They can’t be spontaneous – controlled, correct.
· They give out affection and approval in a measured amount – ‘if they deserve it’.
· Cold shoulder, silent treatment, withhold sex – until they perform to my expectation.
· Note: Children Upbringing:
E.g. mum and kids – kids to perform so mum wouldn’t feel bad. Can’t have identity in kids – controlling them.
i) Laughter and Affection – children needs to be accepted, no matter on how they perform.
= they need to free to be themselves, think and expressive.
= Identity in Christ will release kids.
ii) Up tight and rigid, demand correct behavior, lack of affection.
= not free to be self.
= fear, control, anxiety.
= need to please to be accepted.
= repress true self – anger, resentment.
· God call us to do the things that bring life.
· Religious spirit – trying to please God.
· ‘I am a godly man, I trust in God, I still make mistakes – I haven’t grown up into the fullness of God yet’.
· ‘I am a generous person because God is generous; I haven’t grown up into the fullness of God yet’.
· ‘I am a holy person, because God is holy; I haven’t grown up into the fullness of God yet’.
· We can’t do ‘holy, generous, godly etc’ but we are this because God says so.
· Live up to this, all kinds of mistakes and failures come, it doesn’t matter, don’t care what people think.
· “I have made you this, live out what I have called you to become, this establish who you are”.
· People try to be a better person – you are it, just believe it and live it.
· ‘My identity is ………that’s why I do what I do. It is who I am and not what you think’.
· Liberty = I am happy who I am.
· Relationships with people are more important that what we do.
· If your identity is in your performance – you are and place yourself higher than others. You look at what you’ve got and done.
· If you meet someone who achieved more you will feel inadequate and more driven.
· Inferiority = comparing the bad in me to the good in you.
· Am not inferior but unique.
· Fruit of fear and inferiority = performance.
When I identity rooted in Performance People become religious:
· “God has all these demands and I must live up to it”.
· Strive to be perfect – guilt, striving.
· Fear of exposure.
· Lack of trust in people or God.
· Watch others – comparison, envy.
· Example: Pharisees – full of envy (Matthew 27:18), faultfinding (Mark 7:2), focused on appearance, looking good (Matthew 22:23-27)
· Root = unbelief = fear, control, anger, resentment.
· Example: Luke 15:25-32 - Prodigal son and elder brother.
The elder brother became resentful, angry and judgmental. Performance orientated.
i) Must see it as a problem:
· Not just some small behaviors
· It like a cancer of the soul that eats out true self and what we believe, a disease.
· All about me – rooted in unbelief.
ii) Repent and reject the ungodly beliefs:
· Root unbelief - ‘I am unlovable’
· Root of fear - ‘I am not acceptable’
· Root of control - ‘I need people to affirm me’
iii) Release hidden anger and resentment:
· Simmering away for years.
· ‘Did all these things – never appreciated, acknowledged’.
· ‘Others were acknowledged and I was not’.
iv) Renew the mind:
· Meditate – imagine strength, see it.
· Embrace the Truth
· Practice Truth.
· Confess Truth.
“Enjoy who you are and enjoy the Journey”
6. Key choices to make to Change from Victim to Victor:
· 2 Corinthians 2:4 - “Thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph in Christ”.
· NB: When you choose to think like a victim you lose power to in life! Grow in character and win in life.
· Causes = We are involved in this Always = always
1) Stop blaming and complaining – start rejoicing and take responsibility.
2) Assume responsibility for your life.
3) Initiate actions that will bring about personal change – let go past hurt – forgive – let go of anger.
4) Initiate action that will influence changes in your circumstances and relationships.
· “Success and failure are not destructives, they are destinations of choice!”
· How can you influence you circumstances/life around you? What actions are you taking? Are you in cruise mode?
· We are more that conquers in Jesus Christ!