Summary: We need to understand who we are in Christ to help us fulfill the plan God has laid out for us.
C.S.I.: CHRISTIAN SPIRITUAL IDENTITY
“Who are you?”
June 26, 2005
Intro: One of the greatest issues in life is determining who we really are in our attitudes, actions and character. We are often swayed by the crowd, influenced by society and pressured by the media to fit into the “social norm.”
How else do you explain the music and dress of the 1970’s?
(Begin music- Who Are You-By “The Who”)
One of the most popular shows in America today is C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation. It focuses on the inner workings of the Las Vegas crime labs as the try to solve crimes and uncover the truth.
Today, we are going to begin a study of our own C.S.I. We are going to begin looking today at the real truth of the Christian Spiritual Identity.
One of the fundamental questions of life is “Who Are You?” In other words, how am I identified and even more important, how do I see myself?
As followers of Christ we must look in the mirror and ask, “Who are you?”
There are some basic points that we must begin to understand as we look at the question of “Who Are You?”
We must begin to understand that God had some plans in mind for us.
“For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn with many brothers and sisters.”
Romans 8:29 (New Living Translation)
God’s purpose for our lives was to make us like Jesus.
“And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him (Jesus) and reflect his glory even more.”
2 Corinthians 3:18 (New Living Translation)
“Just as we are now like Adam, the man of earth, so we will someday be like Christ…”
1 Corinthians 15:49 (New Living Translation)
To be like Jesus is to…
Think like Jesus.
Feel like Jesus.
Act like Jesus.
Now for many of us, this seems impossible. We think we will never be able to do what Jesus has done. We regard ourselves as too weak, too human, or too messed up to be like Jesus.
The problem is we don’t see ourselves as God sees us. The apostle Paul addressed this issue with the Christians at the church at Ephesus.
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.” Ephesians 2:1-3 (NIV)
Paul begins by explaining to them who they used to be.
I. Our Old Identity
Paul begins helping them understand who they are now, by reminding them of who they used to be. The same thins that were true about them were also true about us today.
1) Dead in trespasses and sin.
All of us are guilty of sin. There is not a human being alive that has not done something that is in opposition to God’s design for our lives.
“All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s paths to follow our own.” Isaiah 53:6 (NLT)
We were all, at one time, dead to the most important factor in life—God.
2) Followed the ways of the world.
All human beings have made a decision to walk away from God and follow the disobedient one, Satan. We may have never made that choice consciously or out of desire to worship the “dark side,” but we walked away and followed the “disobedient one.”
The term “to follow” literally is translated walk.
We have made a decision, like sheep who have wandered away, to go in a particular direction.
You may have heard the story of Brennan Hawkins the 11 year old Boy Scout who wandered away from his camp this week. For four days he wandered in the mountains of Utah while rescuers searched for him. The reason they had a hard time finding him was that he walked in the opposite direction of where his searchers were going. As they searched going down the mountain, Brennan walked up. He was found on Tuesday by a searcher 600 feet higher and five miles farther away from the camp.
We all make choices about how we are going to live our lives and the direction we desire to take them.
3) Gratified the cravings of our sinful nature.
We simply did what ever felt good. When we live according to the sinful nature we don’t think about the right but only the right now. We feed our bodies and souls with the temporary desires that make us feel good.