Summary: Who we are isn’t defined by our vocation or our successes, fears, or failures – our identity is so much more than these things. As Christ-followers, who we are, is determined by our spiritual birth.
If I were to ask – Who’s Billy Graham? Most would say – BG was a great evangelist. And that’d be correct. But would it answer my question? No. B/c being an evangelist isn’t who BG is – it is what he used to do. If the totality of BG’s identity is found in being an evangelist, then who is he now he’s retired – a non-person?
Who we are isn’t defined by our vocation – or our successes, fears, or failures – our identity is so much more than these things. As Christ-followers, who we are, is determined by our spiritual birth. We’re no longer sinners but saints – set apart from sin to God – established by adoption to be God’s inheritance – rescued from sin into a new creation where the old is gone and all things have been made new. (Lost/Found Chart)
Today, we’re starting a series on the most vital truth in the faith: our identity in Christ – Who am I in light of who He is & has done.
Throughout this series, I’ve asked Ben Brezina to join me in co-teaching this truth. Why? B/c Ben, His dad, and CFT base their entire ministry on this primary truth.
Hold up a light bulb – “What is this?” It’s a light bulb. That’s its identity. That’s what it is. What does a light bulb do? It shines light. A light bulb was made for one purpose – to be plugged into an electrical socket to glow w/ light. How do we know this is a light bulb and this is its purpose? B/c it has either been taught to us or b/c we observed it working as designed.
But if I were to take this light bulb back in a time machine 2000 yrs. and hand it to the emperor of Rome and leave, would he know what it is or what to do w/ it? NO! He wouldn’t have a clue. Why? B/c there was no knowledge of electricity at the time. He wouldn’t have a chance of discovering its identity or potential. Would it change the fact it’s still a light bulb? No. But it’d never function out of its identity as a light bulb until that identity is discovered. Caesar may love this light bulb and use it in different ways. He may treat it as a god and build a shrine to worship it. But the avg. person living today would laugh at the ignorance.
Just like this light bulb, we were created w/ an identity and for a purpose. But unless we know our true identity, we’ll be just like Caesar w/ a light bulb – possessing but not understanding.
How do we discover who we are and what we were designed to do? We go to our Designer and ask Him. Just like the inventor of the light bulb gets to determine the purpose of the light bulb, so too God has determined who we are and how we function. And God has already revealed to us our design/purpose in His Word.
Today we’re going to spend a few minutes in Genesis to discuss our function and purpose as God’s creation – and how we were created for a love relationship w/ the Creator.
I Created in God’s IMAGE for Relationship v. 26-27
God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, so they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Our identity begins w/ who we are and who God created us to be. In Psalm 139, the Bible says we’re fearfully and wonderfully made – Genesis 1 says we were made uniquely in the image of God. That is, man is unlike any other entity in creation b/c we were created in God’s image in consultation w/ the Trinity.
If you re-read the creation story you’d notice from a similar formula vs. 1-25 – God spoke and things were created. In vs. 26 there’s a shift in language – let us make man in our image…
let Us – Never has God spoken in a plural form. Every other time – let there be – it was impersonal. Nothing He had created had any personal connection to Him. He might’ve spoken it but He didn’t identify w/ it – not w/ light, not w/ water, not w/ the sun, moon, stars, or animal. No personal involvement existed. But in vs. 26 we see that God gets personally engaged – Let us make man in our image. Up to this point it was just God; but now God defines Himself w/ a plural pronoun – let Us. Here we have the first hint of Trinity. And this triune God makes man in His image.