Summary: 5th in series. This message sums up the key aspects of a believer’s identity in Christ that are as secure as He is eternal!!!
IN CHRIST: WE ARE SECURE
Fifth in series: “Identity Theft?”
Rev. Todd G. Leupold, Perth Bible Church, Sunday June 1, 2008 AM
For the past several weeks now, we have been exploring together - through Scripture – what it means to be human and what it means to be a human who is saved and sanctified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. So far we have examined how identity is determined, what it means to be identified in Christ through His salvation and adoption, and how all who are in Christ are significant and accepted. This morning, we will conclude this series by addressing the question: “Can our identity in Christ change?’ “What parts of this identity can be counted on no matter what?” “How does the past, present and future define our identity?”
As Chuck Swindoll writes in Laugh Again, “What’s in the past? Only two things: great attainments and accomplishments that could either make us proud by reliving them or indifferent by resting on them . . . or failures and defeats that cannot help but arouse feelings of guilt and shame. Why in the world would anyone want to return to that quagmire?”
To take it one step further, when we focus on either our own accomplishments or failures in the past, present or hoped-for future, we are constantly re-defining ourselves and our identity. The world’s purported wisdom tries to convince us that an ever-changing identity should be a goal and is a sign of maturity. Scripture, however, the absolute wisdom of Almighty God tells us that this is a lie! According to Scripture, our perception of identity can be stolen but our true identity can only be determined by God, Our Creator. Further, for those who are in Christ, there are certain key aspects of our identity that can never be stolen or taken away from those who believe!
You see, once we are in Christ, we are God’s – His adopted child, His possession and people. Nobody and nothing can take this away for there is nobody and nothing mightier than God. It would be like me trying to steal a cuban cigar from Arnold Swarzenegger. Charlton Heston once famously said, “If they want me gun, they’ll have to take from my cold, dead hands.” Charlton Heston today is dead – and he’s no longer holding onto his gun. Jesus Christ, on the other hand, defied and defeated death! Wait as long as you want, His hands will never be cold or dead. And none will take from Him what or who is His!
Let us then sum up the key aspects of a believer’s identity in Christ that are as secure as He is eternal!!!
I.) MY SALVATION
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Rom 8:1 Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus,
All those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father!" The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ--seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation--in Him when you believed--were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory.
He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves,
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. The one who has the Son has life. The one who doesn’t have the Son of God does not have life. I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life . . . We know that everyone who has been born of God does not sin, but the One who is born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.
II.) KNOWING I AM UNCONDITIONALLY LOVED
Among his many truisms, Zig Ziglar observes that “the greatest single cause of a poor self-image is the absence of unconditional love.”
One who is in Christ, then, should never have cause for a poor self-image!