Summary: Living by faith, not by feelings.
Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America
The Secret Service states that ID theft affects 500,000 new victims per year
Estimated that 25% of credit card fraud is attributed to ID theft
Some states it isn’t even considered a crime
An epidemic of even greater proportions is sweeping through the body of Christ.
A loss of identity in Christ
Sometimes it is even hard to distinguish members of the Body of Christ and those in the world
II. Read Ephesians 1:1-23
· My favorite book in the New Testament
· Unique in that Paul is not trying to settle disputes or doctrinal issues
· A letter that seems to be the product of Paul’s personal pray life that he wanted to share with the church – both then and now
III. Focus verses - v. 17-18 “Asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future he has promised to those He called. I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance He has given to His people.”
· How do we prevent identity theft? - Romans 12:2
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is.”
IV. FACT - FAITH - FEELINGS
· This is the Biblical model for effective Christian living
· The world’s view is total opposite
· The secular view is FEELINGS - FACT - FAITH
· Without having these three in the appropriate order, we can set ourselves on a course for ineffectiveness
FACT - “the state of things as they are; reality; truth”
· The truths of God’s Word must be ever present in my life
· God’s Word, the facts, are absolute
· Although His Word was written by men, it is God breathed and inspired
o 2 Peter 1:20-21 “Above all you must understand that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophets themselves or because they wanted to prophesy. It was the Holy Spirit who moved the prophets to speak from God.”
· The more science tries to disprove it, the more the prove its accuracy
· How do I know that they are facts?
o 2 Peter 1:16 “For we are not making up clever stories when we told you about the power of our Lord Jesus Christ and his coming again. We have seen his majestic splendor with our own eyes.”
o People have witnessed the manifestation of God’s Word in their lives
FAITH - “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
· Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. In other words, faith comes by hearing or reading the facts in the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)
· Without faith it is impossible to please God.
· The just shall live by faith.
· Faith does not make common sense - that is why it is so important to renew our minds
· Without renewing my mind, I can actually allow my feelings to distort how I view God’s truths about me