22 June 2008
· Proverbs 23:7 - “As he thinks in his head so is he”.
· People live their live out of what they believe about themselves – whether it is true or not.
· What your heart beliefs yourself impact the spiritual atmosphere around your life and relationships. How do you see yourself? Who are you?
· People define themselves by: name, who they’re connected to, gender, race, social status, experiences, words of others etc.
· Many people define themselves as a victim; others by their performance.
· Failure – people believe to live life as a failure.
· Abused - begin to live like victims all their life. They attract people who abuse them.
· God want you to define yourself by revelation – what God says about you.
2. God defines us according to His Purpose:
a) Example of Jesus:
· Matthew 1:21 - “You shall call His name Jesus for He will save His people from their sins”
· Luke 4:22 - “You are my beloved Son in you I am well pleased”.
· Jesus’ identity was constantly attached by Satan – ‘if you are – then prove it’.
· Jesus defined Himself by revelation – what God the Father said about Him, Jesus the Saviour.
· Because Jesus knew who he was where He was from , where He would go.
– John 1:3-5
– Free from opinions from people, Jesus washed their feet, his live wasn’t defined by money, position, property etc. but who He was with God.
– Free from the need of status, privileges, position
– Free from performing to please others
– Free to serve God and people
· See yourself in relations to Jesus. If we look at ourselves we can’t be who God wants us to be.
· If you confine people by your expectations they can’t be who God called them to be.
· What does God say about you? That’s you identity.
· “Most people don’t know where you’ve been, but God knows where you could go!”
· Romans 4:17 - “God calls things as though they are”.
b) Other men in the bible:
God renamed people in the bible who God called them to be not who others say they are.
· Gideon – mighty man of valor - Judges 6:12
· Abraham – father of nations - Genesis 17:5
· Jacob – Prince - Genesis 32:28
· Peter – Rock - Mark 3:16
· James and John - Mark 3:17
c) Embracing Your identity in Christ:
· When you know who you are in Christ and embrace it you become:
i) Confident – no longer insecure and comparing with others.
ii) Connected – no masks, able to enter relationships/intimacy.
iii) Creative – no longer copying others, able to be original.
· Embrace how you live out who you are. Discover who God called you to be, what you can become and what you could do.
· The One who created you can tell you about your dreams, future and where to go.
· Live by what the Father says about you – you will become free of who you are – take of the mask – be creative, not a copy of others – not be someone else but you.
· 1 John 3:1-2 - “Beloved, now we are children of God”.
· 1 John 4:17 - “As He is – so are we in the world”.
· Ephesians 2:10 - “We are His workmanship”.
· Romans 6:22 - “…became servants to God…”
· 2 Corinthians 5:20 - “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ”.
3. Who we are in Christ:
· 2 Corinthians 5:14-17 - “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, old things have passed away, behold all things have become new”.
· New motivation – the love of Christ – verse 4
· New Centre of Living – No longer living for self.
· New perspective on people – “Know no man after flesh - verse 16 - i.e. by outer distractions e.g. birth, race, gender, rank, wealth, talent, education etc.
· It is your job to discover who you are. I am doing things because I love God and Jesus Christ.
· Old you = selfish New you = generous, not self centered.
· Look at people in a different way – not what they do, what they’ve got, out of prejudice and jealousy.
· We will look at people for who they are inside, a brother/sister, will see people how Jesus sees them – valuable eternal beings.
· New Identity – “old things have passed away, all things have become new” – verse 17
· New creation = freshly made, original creation, total renovation inside, a fresh start, old away, new things come into a person’s life.
· In Christ = joined to Christ by faith, like a branch to a vine, a life source.
· Old things = selfish natural ways of living life, God, people and self.
· Behold = invitation to perceive, look at a totally new scene.
· When you are born again – according to God you are a totally new creation.
· We must ‘behold’ – begin to see who we are in Christ now, live that out.
· Legally all the old bandages and limitations of the past have been broken.
· I must grow up into who I am in Christ by beholding and embracing His realm.
· All people = one kind of people, not colour, man or woman, not judging people of how they look on the outside – see them as a child of God with awesome potential.
· It’s a hard thing to withhold judging people.
· Only those who accept Jesus could be children of God and have eternal life.
· How come I still ‘feel’ the same? Still have some old struggles?
· Ephesians 4:22-24 - “Put off the old man (corrupt), be renewed in the spirit of your mind, put on the new man”.
· God requires me to participate in the process of change!
1) Put off 2) Mind renewal (renovation) 3) Put on
· Your subconscious mind retains everything from your past.
· It stores the types of feelings you experience and express.
· It stores the opinion, views, conclusions, mindsets and judgments you form.
· It stores the beliefs you form.
· It revives old thoughts, beliefs, and feelings as you experience familiar incidents.
· Old negative experiences, mindsets belief and influences of past must be cut off and new ways of thinking, feelings to be embraced.
· If your mind is not renewed you will act out of the old man – then will become a ‘try harder’ to be a Christian.
a) Resolve past issues that impacted your Identity (how you see yourself):
· Allow the Holy Spirit to remember bad experiences, grief over them and forgive the people involved, take on new experiences.
· Emotions that arises = first key to deal with issues.
· Romans 12:2 - “do not be conformed (pressured) to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”.
· Transformed = rt. metamorphosis = transition from caterpillar to butterfly.
· Resolve: * Painful emotions - remember to grief over them.
* Beliefs that ate ungodly – identify what belief it is and reject them.
· Take the building apart and put in new renovation. Be open, stop controlling it, face what’s going on and deal/work with it.
b) Renew your mind: (how you see what you belief):
· Renew = to renovate, strip out the old and completely refurbish.
· 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 - “Beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image”.
· Beholding = to mirror yourself, to see reflected, to look at yourself in a mirror and see the glory (nature) of God.
1) Read what God says about you
2) Personalize it
3) Imagine it repeatedly
4) Believe and embrace what you see
5) Declare it – speak over your life
· Some people remember who they use to be and reject who they are now.
· What does it look like to be generous, kind, loving and free – imagine it, meditate on it, make it your own, see yourself as God sees you.
c) Practice Positive disclosure – Own up, and make known likes and dislikes, how you feel, be honest in talking about things, dream, be who you could be.
· Identify and speak out instead of concealing.
i) Feelings ii) Likes and dislikes iii) Goals iv) Desires v) Ideas and thoughts
d) Express Joy and Generosity
· Change your behavior to agree with your beliefs – Put on /put off.
· Two expressions of Identity:
i) Joy = laughter – Psalm 126:1-2
ii) Generosity – Luke 6:35
· Part of growing in Identity is to be generous and be filled with joy.
· ‘Your a Christian, you need to be like this, stop living under condemnation’.
· Do not live condemned; it’s not a hopeless Christian life.
· Live out who you are, if you’ve failed you are still a child of God.
· You are redeemed in the Lord, lovable because God says so.
· Make God’s Word the guide to our life.
· We are children of God, ambassadors of a King, a people who the world has not seen yet – live it out.