Summary: If the devil can convince you that your core identity is a sinner then you will live and act like it for the rest of your life. He knows that your actions arise from your identity, so he will try to convince you that your identity arises from your action
We have been examining what it means to “be” the family of God. The past couple of weeks and this week we are looking at what it means to be a child of God.
I think that we are all a bit stumped when it comes to recognizing our identity as a child of God.
We are used to seeing ourselves as something far less.
And even though intellectually we know this is true, we still live and act like we are something far less than a child of God.
Do you ever wonder why?
I shared before that it is in the devil’s best interest that you be ignorant of your identity as a child of God and all that identity implies.
If the devil can convince you that your core identity is a sinner then you will live and act like it for the rest of your life.
He knows that your actions arise from your identity, so he will try to convince you that your identity arises from your actions.
If the devil can keep you from applying the benefits and promises of a child of God to your life, then he can rob you of the full and rich life that God has intended for you.
If the devil can get you to see God like your own earthly father, one who keeps raising the bar of performance that you have to achieve to win his approval, then he will rob from you a life that was meant to be filled with worship and gratitude.
Do you understand the implications of this sermon series? For many of us in this room, it can mean the difference between a joy filled life and a life filled with discouragement and despair.
Luke 15:11-32 (NIV) “Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ’Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 "Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 "When he came to his senses, he said, ’How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 "The son said to him, ’Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. ’
22 "But the father said to his servants, ’Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. 25 "Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ’Your brother has come,’ he replied, ’and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 "The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ’Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ 31 "’My son,’ the father said, ’you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’"