Summary: Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, believes it’s extremely important that you and I know who we are...in Christ. Proverbs 23:7 “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” What we think about our identity—who we are-- can make all the difference i
We have an identity crisis in America.
We live in a land of fatherless children...
Fathers who have been less than faithful to their wives and children...who have either left and avoid being found (to escape child support) or...
Fathers who have completely ignored their families...because of self-centeredness, whether at home or not.
Never-the-less, it leaves children with little or no identities, A generation who does not know who they are.
On the other extreme...
Anyone see “Oprah” this past week?...I believe it was on Friday, Feb. 8.
The test tube babies of the 80’s have come of age...and Oprah had some of those young people on her show.
These children had no identity apart from a mother and were in a constant search for, not only there father, but for other siblings. They admitted with tears that there is a huge void inside that needs so desperately to be satisfied and they are willing to use all their energies to seek the truth.
These young people were consumed with the hope of learning their true identities.
One teenage child only knew he was from test tube #46.
One mother, when asked by her child –where their father was, explained that another man, who already had a family, was loving enough to donate and that made the child a “love child.”
We live in a land and among a people who have no idea...Not only who they are BUT where they came from
How in the world can we expect them to know where they are going?
Most are using all their energies to learn their true identities.
Well, there is good news for them, and for you...
for when someone introduces them to Jesus Christ, or for that fact...when you introduce anyone to Jesus Christ, he provides that person with their true identity, their true purpose in life.
When anyone accepts Jesus as their savior and Lord, they will learn of their true identity.
The apostle Paul magnifies this thought in his letter to the Ephesian brothers and sisters.
I. Notice, in verse 1 Paul calls believers, Faithful -(pistois-grk)
Now this is a word that is familiar to us. "Saints" (last week) is not as familiar as “faithful”
-He is a “faithful” provider for his family
-She is “faithful” to her husband
-He is “faithful” to his job – employer
-He’s a “faithful” friend
But Paul uses this word “faithful” to describe the believer in his/her response to Christ.
It’s one thing to be faithful to someone you can see...
I can see my family...
I can see my friends...
I can see my Husband/wife...
But I can’t “see” God – Jesus
If I’m going to be faithful to something or someone...I want to see it---him---her. Show me.
God’s people are no different: All through the Bible, God’s people doubt...because they cannot see.
O.T. --Remember the Israelites in the wilderness – when Moses was up on the mountain receiving the 10 suggestions – I mean --commandments?
The rest of them got a little anxious – and decided to make a golden calf – something they could see.
N.T. --Remember, after the death of Jesus, all the disciples were in a room together---frightened out of their minds. Jesus shows up!
Thomas wasn’t there...who knows why.
So Thomas shows up and the rest of the disciples tell him what happened. He says, “I won’t believe unless I can see-touch-feel-hear him for myself...”
Then what happens?
A week later Jesus appears. And the rest of the disciples say, “I told you so.”
Thomas stood with jaw dropped and amazed.
Jesus says something huge at this moment: He says,
“Thomas, Because you have seen me, you believe.... but blessed are those who have not seen --- that’s you and me--- and yet have believed.” John 20:29
--When you can’t see what his hand is doing...you trust his heart...for he is good and He is God.
Let me encourage those of you who are just about ready to give up on your walk with Christ...to hang in there..don’t give up...be faithfull.
He knows you and He cares about you.
Remember what Hebrews 11:1 says about Faith or being Faithful—full of faith
“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that wht is seen was not made out of what was visible...
(6) Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to God must believe that He exists...and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Then the writer of Hebrews creates a long list of the “faithful” and says that he wouldn’t have time nor space to mention everyone. And then at the end of this list in verse 39, he writes: