Summary: Too many Christians live defeated lives because they believe the lies of the world and Satan. We need to stop believing Satan's lies and realize who we are in Christ.
Knowing What You Are
In the early 1970s, a social scientist named Philip Zimbardo led a team of scientists from Stanford University in an interesting experiment. The team built a mock prison in the basement of the University’s psychology department. The scientists placed advertisements in the local papers looking for volunteers who would participate in the experiment. Zimbardo and his colleagues selected twenty-four people to participate, choosing the ones who appeared to be the most emotionally stable and healthy.
Half of the group was randomly selected to be prison guards. They were given military-style guard uniforms and dark glasses. They were told their responsibility was to keep order. The other half of the group became the prisoners. They were arrested in their homes, cuffed, brought to a real police station, fingerprinted, and then blindfolded for the trip to the mock prison. They wore prison clothes with numbers on the front and back of the clothing. The number became their identity. They were only allowed to refer to themselves and others by their numbers. In post interviews with the prisoners in the experiment, they confessed that when their identity became a number, they felt helpless and hopeless. Four of the prisoners were pulled from the experiment early because of emotional breakdowns including extreme depression, crying, rage, and anxiety. Other prisoners incited rebellions and riots against the guards. When the mock prisoners forgot who they really were, they became depressed. Their self-perception impacted their thinking, attitude, and ultimately their behavior. When they believed that they were criminals, they began to live like criminals. The experiment was intended to last two weeks, but Zimbardo shut it down after six days because of the chaos that was ensuing. When he was dismissing some of the mock prisoners, he needed to remind them that they were not prisoners, that the scenario was not real. Unfortunately many Christians live as powerless Christian lives because they have forgotten their identity in Christ. We need to stop believing Satan's lies and realize who we are in Christ.
I You are a Child of God (Satan's lie - You are a victim of your past)
A John 1:12 - But as many as received Him, to them He gave the power (right, privilege) to become children of God, to those who believe on His name.
B Galatians 3:26 - For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
C Galatians 4:6-7 " And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."
D I am not a victim of my environment or my heritage - I am no longer a slave to my past - I am a child of the King!
E My Father is rich in houses and lands,
He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands!
Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold,
His coffers are full, He has riches untold.
I’m a child of the King,
A child of the King:
With Jesus my Savior,
I’m a child of the King.
My Father’s own Son, the Savior of men,
Once wandered on earth as the poorest of them;
But now He is pleading our pardon on high,
That we may be His, when He comes by and by.
I once was an outcast stranger on earth,
A sinner by choice, an alien by birth,
But I’ve been adopted, my name’s written down,
An heir to a mansion, a robe and a crown.
A tent or a cottage, why should I care?
They’re building a palace for me over there;
Though exiled from home, yet still may I sing:
All glory to God, I’m a child of the King. - Harriet E. Buell, 1877
E Romans 8:16-17a - The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ..."
II You are a Redeemed Individual (Satan's lie - You're of little worth)
A Ephesians 1:7 - In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.
B ...to redeem means to buy back from bondage, to buy back by paying a price. And sometimes the price is very high. Have you ever heard of the phrase "a king's ransom"? You might say something is worth a king's ransom or someone is worth a king's ransom. That really goes back to the time of the Crusades when there was a king in England by the name of Richard Coeur Deleon and he was captured by his enemies during the Crusades, thrown into prison and a colossal ransom was basically asked of the people of England. They wanted him back to badly that they submitted to heavy taxation, over a process of time they amassed a fortune and many rich nobles added to the common peoples giving and they filled up the coffers with large sums of money in order to free their king. And that's what gave birth to the phrase "a king's ransom." And it's used to connote a huge amount of money required to redeem someone back from bondage.