Summary: Now here’s a truth I want you to recognize today: There is no one exactly like you. Look all the world over. There is no one exactly like you.
FINDING OUR IDENTITY
“No One Exactly Like Me”
I have always loved statistics. Some are useful. Others are worthless. I want to begin by sharing one that I think is amazing. Listen closely. Here it is: In a typical year about a million billion snowflakes fall each second around the world. That’s enough snow to make one snowman for each person on the planet every 10 minutes. Now that may seem worthless to you, you may think I guess I can take that information along with two bucks to the diner next door and get a cup of coffee. But here’s an interesting one you’ve likely heard before. Of those billions and billions of snowflakes that fall each second, no two are identical. Each one is unique.
Now here’s a truth I want you to recognize today:
There is no one exactly like you. Look all the world over.
There is no one exactly like you.
Our identity is influenced by a variety of factors in life:
• Your family. Genetics. You may look like one or even both of your parents.
• Your friends and how you allow them to shape your life. This is why you Mama always told you to be careful what crowd you hang out with.
• Your teachers. I can still name several teachers from my past who made a profound impact on my life----some for what they taught me in class but more so for how they spoke to me and treated me outside of class. They made me feel unique; they made me feel special. They affirmed me.
• Your pastor can influence you. Before I was a pastor I had pastors who were there to mentor me and help me with major decisions.
There are many people who shaped my life, some in good ways and some in not so good ways but nonetheless they played a part in shaping me into the person I am today. And you also and that’s why there is no one exactly like you. No one! So all of this presents us with a series of questions. Like:
• Who am I?
• What does God want me to do?
• What’s my purpose in life?
• What is my unique identity in Christ?
Now here’s the truth…. Many people will go all the way through their life without being able to answer these questions. Fortunately we have the scripture and prayer and people we can go to so we can find out because all of us need to understand our unique identity in Christ.
I want you to follow me in the book of Ephesians today. This is Paul’s letter to the church in the city of Ephesus. And it will help you understand your true identity and your true purpose in life.
So let’s jump in. As I have said it is Paul the great Apostle who is writing this letter to the church in Ephesus. The word Apostle is actually a legal term and it refers to someone who has the authority to speak on behalf of someone else. In this case, Paul has the authority to speak on behalf of Jesus. There are 3 requirements to be named as an apostle. (1) An individual must have followed Jesus during his entire earthly ministry. From his baptism until His ascension into Heaven. (2) The individual was required to have seen Jesus following the resurrection. And (3) the individual had to be selected by Jesus Himself. So if someone tells you they are an apostle today, you have my permission to say, “Liar, liar, pants on fire” because no one alive today has fulfilled these requirements.
But Paul fulfilled all of these. So he is fully qualified to write this letter and to help us better understand who we are in Christ and how we can fulfill our purpose in this life. He uses several words to help us understand our relationship to Christ---four I want to point out later in the message and explain each one. But first a brief illustration to help us understand why it is so important that we get a firm grasp on who we are and our identity in Christ.
Scientists have told us that ducks tend to imprint soon after birth. Now what does that mean? It means they will attach themselves to the first thing they see. They actually think they are becoming that thing. Now this usually works out fine because the first thing they typically see is a Mama duck. So they become like her. But on one occasion a duckling was hatched under the watchful eye of a collie---a dog. The baby duckling took one look at the collie and thought the collie was his mother. He followed the collie around, ran to it for protection and even slept near the dog at night. When a car would pull into the driveway he would run along with the dog and pecked at the tires just like the dog. Other things changed too. Now, the duck still quacked. Still enjoyed the water. At times he acted like a duck; other times he acted like a dog.