Summary: Sometimes we feel like hiding under the covers, like a lump instead of facing up to our faults. Through Christ the price has been paid for all our faults, past, present and future. Therefore there can be no condemnation.
CSI: CHRISTIAN SPIRITUAL IDENTITY
“ARE YOU A LUMP?”
Show Nooma video- “Lump”
What is the area of your life where you feel like a lump? Are you overwhelmed by the past and feel like there is no hope? Today we are going to look at the spiritual identity of those who are trapped by the sin that they believe can never be done away.
In our study of CSI, we have been looking at what God has done for us through Jesus. We started by looking at the idea that he brought us from death to life in Christ. We then looked at our spiritual hone and the fact that we are aliens in this world. Last week we looked at the fact that God has called us to live with purpose and direction in our lives.
One of the biggest challenges facing Christians is forgiveness of our past. We think that we still live as those unworthy to call on God because our past disqualifies us from his present for us.
I. God’s Reconciliation
“Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men) -- remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”
Ephesians 2:11-13 (New International Version)
Paul is writing to a group of Gentiles who have now become followers of Christ. They were not part of the original covenant God made with the Jews, but were separated from God’s plan of forgiveness and worship.
We do not come to God by human methods, but by spiritual change.
Jesus is the meeting point with God for all mankind.
It was the death and resurrection of Christ that allows us to come to God.
God took those who were “far away” and brought us close to Him.
Gods design for us was that we would have intimacy and fellowship with him through Christ Jesus.
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV)
Gods plan was to restore us to right relationship with him through Jesus.
II. Satan’s Accusation
One of the most difficult things for believers is getting past our past. We are constantly struggling with putting the sins of the past behind us and living in the forgiveness of Jesus.
One of the reasons that the bible gives for this is that Satan accuses those who follow Christ.
“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: ‘Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers,
who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.’”
Revelation 12:10 (NIV)
Satan accuses us before God continually.
Satan’s goal is to keep us from living in the freedom God designed for us.
“The Father of lies can block your effectiveness as a Christian if he can deceive you into believing that you are nothing more than a product of your past—subject to sin, prone to failure, and controlled by your habits.”
Neil Anderson, The Bondage Breaker
When our mind is filled with accusations from our past, they do not come from God.
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 (New Living Translation)
God loves us and his desire is for us to live in freedom of his forgiveness.
“Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.”
Galatians 5:1 (The Message)
We are often deceived into believing that what we have done separates us from the love of God. It causes us to want to run and hide because we believe God could never love us.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:38-39 (Living Bible)
Freedom in Christ means living the life God intended you to live.
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”