OUR IDENTITY AND DESTINY IN CHRIST
INTRO TO TOPIC: In Acts 3, Peter and John healed a crippled man on the way to prayer.
• “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you.” (Acts 3:6).
• They knew they had something. Do we? Identity & destiny.
KEY TEXT: “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 3:17-18).
• God wants His people to be transformed into the image of Jesus = LOVE!
THE BIG IDEA: Once we learn our identity and see ourselves in Christ, and begin to walk out our destiny – we will experience revival and transformation!
OUR IDENTITY IN CHRIST – WHO WE ARE:
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
• If you are a Christian, you are a saint – one set apart by God for His purposes.
• The first thing God extends to us is grace (favor with God) and peace (restored relationships with other people).
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every SPIRITUAL BLESSING in the heavenly places in Christ,
• The book of Ephesians is divided into two main sections:
• Chapters 1-3 = our IDENTITY in Christ – who we are in Him.
• Chapters 4-6 = our DESTINY – what we do – walking in the Spirit.
4 just as HE CHOSE US in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be HOLY and WITHOUT BLAME before Him in love,
• God CHOSE US! What an amazing thought!
• Look at all the times in this passage you see the phrase “in Him” or “in Christ”.
5 having PREDESTINED us to ADOPTION as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
• Not only are we CHOSEN by God, we are also predestined to be ADOPTED!
• These truths speak to our IDENTITY – we belong to God!
• ILLUSTRATE: Before coming to Christ, we are spiritual orphans. Like little orphan Annie, it was the hard knock life for us. But we have someone who’s bigger and better than Daddy Warbucks, who has adopted us into His family now and forever! “Yesterday was plain awful, you can say that again, but that’s not now, that’s then!”
6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us ACCEPTED in the BELOVED.
• Not only are we CHOSEN, and ADOPTED, we are also ACCEPTED!
• We now have a sense of belonging in COMMUNITY – the family of God!
7 In Him we have REDEMPTION through His blood, the FORGIVENESS of sins, according to the riches of His grace
• Note that every one of these blessings that we receive is “through His blood” or “because of Jesus” and His death on the Cross!
• REDEMPTION Word Study: Comes from the Greco-Roman practice of freeing slaves by the paying of a ransom. He purchased us from a life of slavery, and then set us free!
• Not only that, but we are also now FORGIVEN. This is the antidote to guilt and shame!
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:1-10).
• “For we are His workmanship” = His poiema = His masterpiece!
• Just like a master artist creates a work of art, God created you into who you are.
• Don’t ever say that you’re not important, special or valuable – God don’t make junk!
OUR DESTINY IN CHRIST – WHAT WE DO:
“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.” (Ephesians 4:1).
• What does it mean to walk worthy of the calling? We have a DESTINY in Him!
• Amplified Bible adds “with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God’s service.”
WALK IN LOVE AND UNITY:
“with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:2-3).
• Lowliness = humility – having a humble opinion of yourself. (opposite of PROUD).
• - following the example of Jesus who did not come to be served, but to serve others.
• Gentleness = being gentle is one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit
• Longsuffering = patience – another fruit of the Holy Spirit
• “But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23).
• Bearing with one another in love = making allowance for each other’s faults (NLT).
• Keep the unity of the Spirit = in the bond of peace – guard the unity!
• The Holy Spirit is key to being Christ-like (the fruit of the Spirit).
Once we learn our identity and see ourselves in Christ, and begin to walk out our destiny – we will experience revival and transformation come to our churches, families and communities!
Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: http://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/