The biggest and lasting change to a person’s life is brought about by the revelation to a person’s heart that he/she has a new identity based on the reality that you are a child of God, saved through the blood of Jesus and equipped with the presence of the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Why is identity important?
1. It carries responsibility
Note: your life is a letter read by many – a signpost or a stumbling block.
Meshach, Shadrach and Abendigo. Daniel 3:17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king.
Joseph Genesis 45:9b This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt.
Jacob Genesis 32:28 Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome. (From a twister to a patriach)
2. It determines whether I am accepted or rejected
Consider issues that are important with regards to our identity when growing up:
- Cloths, who our friends are, music, sport/hobbies
- Our identity in the world is shaped by our family roots, our social environment, education, cultural background
- Religious beliefs.
Mark 8:38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
1 Kings 18:21 Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions?
What are the effects of how we see ourselves?
some effects of how we see ourselves:
- It can be the difference between success and failure.
- It can determine your future Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart.
- It can effect how we influence other people. ( Joseph refused to let his circumstances effect him)
- Joshua and Caleb believed they could take the mountain and they did.
- Moses (was not confident when speaking)
- Jacob (wrestled with God to receive God’s blessing)
- David (Shepherd to a King – understood his strength and anointing was in God)
- Gideon (from the least to a mighty man of valor)
- Peter (from a reed to a rock)
- Paul (from persecutor to apostle)
- Self (orphan to a child of God, from lost to being found, etc)
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
When you discover your identity in Christ you discover who you are created to be, why you are here, and that your potential is no longer based on a negative limited world view but on the possibilities revealed through the word of God . In essence you have been set free to discover the real you.
2 Corinthians 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
What must we do to reflect our identity in Christ?
1. Clothed in Christ
Galatians 3:27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (rags to riches)
Baptism signifies this transforming identification with Christ.
The potential for us today is that the very expression of the Masters face and the very glory of the Father will be in us. This is realized when we are clothed with Christ
1 Corinthians 15:49 As we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.
To be ‘clothed with Christ’ means to become like Christ.
This requires a ‘putting on’ (you don’t forget to put on your cloths!)
Romans 13:12 So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light. Also Ephesians 6:11
Ephesians 4:23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
(a) A new attitude
(b) Attributes of righteousness and holiness.
2. Clothed with power
Luke 24:49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.
The Son of God was conceived in Mary when she was overshadowed by the ‘power of the Most High’
Luke 1:35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
I speak of the gift of the Holy Spirit
Acts 1:4 Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
This is the means of which God’s glory is seen and when evident, has the effect of bringing the most hardened and hostile of sinners to a place of humility and repentance.
When Christ becomes the very personality of the fullness of the Father’s will, then the Spirit, the effectual working of the power of God, has such glorious liberty in the body to unfold the mystery and the glories of the kingdom, for it is given to the Holy Spirit. To reveal them as He reveals them all in Christ.
When you are empowered by the Holy Spirit you will witness the breakthrough of God’s glory into earthly matters. You will pray in the Spirit, sing in the Spirit, run in the spirit and live in the Spirit. Never the same again.
3. Clothed with eternal life
1 Corinthians 15:54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory’.
The greatest mystery since the creation has been revealed to you and me. ‘I am the resurrection and the life’ That through Christ we have eternal life.
That Adam’s line has been broken (old identity) and you are now part of a new line (new identity) that runs through the royal blood of our Saviour, King Jesus.