Summary: Many people have a limited perception of their identity as Christians. Besdies being "sinners saved by grace," this sermon looks at the fact that believers are also sons, saints, servants, stewards and soldier of Jesus Christ.
Who You Are in the Light of the Scriptures
May 19, 2013
NOTE: A PowerPoint presentation of this sermon is available upon request by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE: Although this sermon fit in my number of page limit for sermons, it lends itself to more extemporaneous additions. I skipped point IV. in this sermon when I saw I was running out of time because I have hit upon stewardship frequently lately, but you might wish to delete another point if necessary.
TEXT: Please turn to 1 John 3
Illus. – Did you hear the one about the preacher who was not paid enough by his church, so he took a part-time job as a lifeguard? After a few weeks, the authorities were alerted to the fact that several people had drowned, so they sent observers to see what the problem was. Soon someone started to drown and waved his hands frantically trying to get help. Every time he came up for air and waved his hands, the preacher would say, “I see that hand; I’ll pray for you.”
This little joke illustrates a person who did not know who he was or what he was there for.
Illus – So does the following true story…but it’s not a joke: A number of years ago a soldier went AWOL, but it just didn’t make sense. He was known to be a model soldier who obeyed orders; was responsible, respectful and proficient; and had no bad habits that anyone knew anything about. A few weeks later, he was found on a pier in Myrtle Beach, SC because of complaints of a mentally unstable homeless man disturbing people.
Eventually, authorities were able to piece together that someone had hit him on the head, knocked him out and taken his wallet. When he came to, he had amnesia and no identification.
He had no idea who he was, where he came from, or where he belonged. By the time the police found him, he was wandering around talking to himself.
A lot of Christians are like that man: They don’t know who they are or what they’re here for.
Some Christians define themselves by their defeats and failures. They only see themselves as sinners saved by grace, and all to often prone to sin still. But if you’re saved, the Bible paints a far more comprehensive picture of you, and has some important responsibilities attached to our identity.
So this morning, let’s look at “Who You Are in the Light of Scripture.”
I. FIRST, YOU’RE A SON.
That’s what we read in our text: 1 John 3:1-2 – “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
The Bible calls those who are His “sons,” or “children of God”.
How does one become a child of God? Not by baptism, or confirmation, or joining a church or other religious things. Nor can you become a child of God by doing good deeds, or being a good person, obeying the Golden Rule or turning over a new leaf.
A very upright and religious man by the name of Nicodemus came to Jesus one night, and found to his surprise that his obedience to all the religious traditions of Judaism and being a good, righteous person were not enough to get him to heaven. Jesus looked this religious man in the eye and startled him by saying, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven.” (John 3:3) Jesus repeated this statement in a slightly different manner a couple of verses later to make sure Nicodemus didn’t miss this important truth: To become a child of God, you must be born into God’s family just as a person becomes a child to any human on a physical level.
How then can a person be born again? Jesus went on to tell Nicodemus this in John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Jesus said that whoever will BELIEVE in Jesus, the Son of God who died on the cross for your sins and rose from the dead, will save you and forgive you of sins and give you eternal life, you will be born into God’s family.
You say, “Chuck, it can’t be that simple. Surely there’s more to it than that.” Yes, it’s just as simple as that.