Summary: Because we do not know who we are, we don’t know how to live. God desires that we know the incomprehensible truth that we are His family and to learn how we can act like it.
Being the Family of God – Part One (Introduction)
How many sinners are there in this room? Can I see your hands? (Some of you know I’ve asked this before so you know better don’t you?)
Why do so many of us see ourselves as sinners? Is it because…well, because we sin.
For many of us that was our identity before we met Jesus, but once we trusted Christ and became born again, we got a brand new identity.
In fact, according to the bible, when we trusted Christ, we ceased being sinners and started being called saints.
Let’s pursue this identity issue just for a moment.
Are you a sinner because you sin?
Are you a thief because you stole something?
Are you a failure because you failed at something?
Many of us would say so.
These statements are statements of identity. They identify us with an action or series of actions.
People have always associated their identity with their actions, with what they do.
For example, if you do carpentry for a living, you are a carpenter.
If you manage people, you are a manager.
If you play the piano, you are a pianist.
If you play the drums, you are a drummer.
I would like to suggest that I believe that the devil wants us to think this way.
It is the devil’s strategy that we believe we are what we do.
He wants us to believe that our identity comes from what we do.
It is through this that he can keep us imprisoned in shame, worthlessness, and weakness.
He can make us feel powerless to change our lives.
He can chain us to performance based living and hopelessness to ever achieving the elusive golden ring on the merry go round of life.
But God works differently.
God calls into being that which is not.
God calls us to trust His Son as our Savior and in so doing, He declares that we have a brand new identity and nature. .
You see, God gets it right side up.
He declares what we are (saints or sons) and then our actions begin to conform to that identity.
There is a fundamental principle at work in this.
God knows that what we believe about ourselves will ultimately influence our behavior.
(EXPLAIN THIS MORE! GIVE EXAMPLES)
He knows that how we see ourselves has power over how we live.
He knows that when we see ourselves the way He sees us, it will change our lives!
And He declares every Christian to have a brand new identity, an identity that is so revolutionary in its meaning that it will change not only our lives but the world itself!
And the devil has a stake in preventing you from doing this!
John 1:12-13 “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed (trust in) in his name, he gave the right (and the power) to become (what they were not before) children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God..”
Before we trusted Jesus Christ, the bible called us “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3) or “children of the devil.” Why is this?
Because we were separated from God because of sin.
Because our hearts were opposed to God and at war with His purposes.
Because our lives were lived according to the flesh
Romans 9:8.—"The children of the flesh, these are not the children of God."
But there is good news. God desires that you become His child.
God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to take on human form and flesh and to bear your sins and mine, and to bear the penalty that they deserved. He died with those sins on his body and rose again on the third day.
He did this so that by believing in Him, you could become a child of God!
According to the passage in John 1:12-13 it says “to ALL who received Him, to those who believed (trusted in Him), He gave…”
All includes you.
The condition is belief and trust, the reception of His gift of love.
The context is to turn from a self-led life and to let God take over.
Our passage continues. “he gave the right (e power) to become children of God”
When you place your trust in Jesus Christ for your life, for your sins, for your acceptance before God, the bible says that He makes you His child.
The word become isn’t speaking about a process but about the transformation into something that we were not before.
When you place your trust in Christ, God changes you from a child of wrath to a child of God!
By the phrase, “he gave the power to become children of God,” means that God gives you the power to become what you could not become on your own. It is explained further in the next verse.