Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Things I Learned

Who am I... really?
I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations. ~Psalm 89:1

It was a blessing that Pastor Dave and Deb could take some time off this past month and just get away, but it was great to have him back preaching again Sunday morning! I was very eager to hear what he was going to bring back from his sabbatical and pointing us towards the eighty-ninth Psalm was a great place to begin. The first part of this Psalm is all about God’s faithfulness and steadfast love, something all of us should spend time meditating on. Pastor shared with us some things he learned while on sabbatical:

  1. Remember God’s tender mercies towards me as a person. 
  2. My identity is in Christ alone. 
  3. Time alone with God is important. 
  4. Local church commitment is significant. 
  5. Belonging to a local church family is significant. 
  6. Redeeming the short time we have is significant. 
  7. Living my life as a “thank you” back to God is significant. 

A lot could be said or written about any one of these lessons Pastor learned while away, but I want to focus on the second one. What does it mean that a believer’s identity is in Christ alone?

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. ~Romans 6:3-5

In this passage the Apostle Paul is answering the question “should we continue in sin so that grace may abound?” In answering that question he makes an important point in verse five about how the life of a believer is united to Jesus. Paul equates salvation with being united with Christ!

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. ~Romans 6:5

There is a union with Jesus and His people! If you have been Born Again and are a child of God, then you have become united to Jesus in such a way that who and what you are is defined by that union. There are a number of passages that refer to our identity in Christ and what that means specifically. Here are a few passages for you to consider about whom you are in Christ and what that means.

  • I am free from condemnation. ~Romans 8:1 
  • I am God's child. ~John 1:12; ~Ephesians 1:5 
  • I am a member of Christ's body. ~1 Corinthians 12:20-27 
  • I am redeemed and forgiven. ~Colossians 1:13-14 
  • I am complete. ~Colossians 2:9-10 
  • I have access to God through the Holy Spirit. ~Ephesians 2:18 
  • I am assured all works together for good. ~Romans 8:28 
  • I can not be separated from the love of God. ~Romans 8:35-39 
  • I am a citizen of Heaven. ~Philippians 3:19-20 
  • I have not been given a Spirit of fear, but of power, love and self discipline. ~2 Timothy 1:7 
  • I can approach God knowing I will receive grace & mercy in time of need. ~Hebrews 4:14-16 
  • I can be confident that the good work God has begun in me will be perfected. ~Philippians 1:6 
  • I am established, anointed, and sealed by God. ~2 Corinthians 1:21-22 
  • I am the salt and light of the earth. ~Matthew 5:13-16 
  • I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit. ~John 15:16 
  • I am God's temple. ~1 Corinthians 3:16 
  • I am a new creation. ~2 Corinthians 5:17 
  • I am a minister of reconciliation for God. ~2 Corinthians 5:17-21 
  • I am God's workmanship. ~Ephesians 2:10

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