New Identity in Christ (3 of 4)

8 June 2008


1.      Introduction:

·   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.

·   Examples:

i)        Face

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.


  1. Performance does not define Identity – God’s Word does:

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.

·   E.g. 

   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.


  1. How to Break Free from Performance Orientation:

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!