My Identity in Christ Part 5
Because of Christ’s redemption,
I am a new creation of great worth.
I am deeply loved, completely forgiven, fully pleasing,
totally accepted, and absolutely complete in Christ.
I am totally accepted by God!
“To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.” Eph. 1:6
God's love for us is beyond our ability to fully understand, but not beyond our ability to realize, accept and enjoy. The apostle John wrote in I John 3:1:
"See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called children of God; and such we are! . . .”
I John 3:1
Why do so many Christians when they sin feel driven away from God? When they should feel driven toward His great love, with a repentant heart. I have known Christians who let one sin drive them away from God when in fact they were truly sorry for that sin, but because of it felt unloved by God. This is a great problem with pastors and ministers today as they see their flocks eaten away little by little with no explanation, plain or clear cut.
What too many Christians lack today is a real understanding of the grace of God. Paul truly had a revelation of the grace of God like no other. He wrote:
"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counselor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen."
In OT days it was sin that separated us from God (Isa. 59:2). But now because Christ has dealt with our sins once and for all, why do we let sin keep separate us from God?
Wrong believing causes wrong living!
Where do you think we get the wrong thinking from? Not God!
The problem is rooted in not knowing God deeply and the love that He has for us and not understanding the grace of God towards us. We need a greater revelation of God and God’s love for us and His grace towards us.
Paul’s prayer for us in Eph. 1:17-19.
"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power."
The Psalmist said in Psalm 103 that God made his acts known to the sons of Israel but He made known His ways to Moses. What Moses knew about God that the others did not know was His grace. Many times today we have received God's grace, but we have only known His acts, much like the children of Israel who Moses led. We know His acts, but do not know and understand His ways, that is, His grace. We as individuals must have a revelation of the "Grace of God" or we will not know just how accepted we are. The letter to the Ephesians tells us in Ephesians 1:6:
"To the praise of the glory of His grace, where in He hath made us accepted in the beloved." Eph. 1:6
There is much which lies in the realm of being accepted in Christ Jesus. In Ephesians 2 we are admonished to: "Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He himself is our peace." Eph.2:13-14
The Desire To Be Accepted By Others Is One Of The Strongest Desires In The Human Life And That Desire Literally Affects Every Area Of Human Behavior.
The desire to be accepted by others determines what we wear, what we drive, where we go, how we act, what we do.
Ill. Recall what silly things you did in order to be accepted as a child or teenager? Your hair a certain way? Clothing? Dangerous things you did?
When someone steps on the property of the church they are looking for signs they are accepted or rejected within the first 5 minutes. Pastor Don Moore’s comment about how friendly he felt this church is!
Though Jesus Christ I Am Completely Accepted By God
Every religion man practices is man's effort seeking to be accepted by God, whatever they conceive Him to be.
Ephesians 1:6 says we are accepted by God. I do not live my life seeking acceptance by God. Many Christians are living their lives with the deep inner motive of trying to be accepted by God. So many Christian fear that they will not be accepted by God, when the Word of the Lord plainly states we are accepted in Christ already.
We must make sure we are not striving to be accepted by God by doing things we think please Him. We are accepted because of Christ. God says so in His Word. Do you believe Him?
If we strive at anything it should only be to know God more and in truth.
In coming to know God better we discover what He is really like for ourselves. One of the things God calls us to do is
“Be holy for I am holy.” I Peter 1:16
Give me some reasons for trying to live holy:
1. God said to.
2. Because we love God.
3. Since He saved me it is the least I can do.
None of these reasons are the actual reason to live a holy life, although they are indeed a part of the whole; but only a part and give us a distorted view.
Ill. Like the 3 blind men trying to describe what an elephant is like. The one blind man touching the leg would say an elephant is like a tree. The one holding his trunk says he is like a snake. The one with hands on the sides of the elephant says he is like a house. All 3 are right have an incomplete picture of the whole elephant.
The reason God calls us to live holy is not to be accepted but to fellowship with Him and get to know Him better than we do now. It is God’s desire to reveal Himself to us and for us to draw close to Him.
The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who really loves Me; and whoever really loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show (reveal and manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.] Jn 14:21 Amp.
Jesus said in John 15:26 that the Holy Spirit would testify of Him. If we are to learn more about God, learn more of His nature, His love, then we must live our lives in the sensitivity of the Holy Spirit. Then God can be revealed to us and therefore through us to those around us.
The problem of acceptance is different in every person. Many people grow up never having felt accepted as children, and often parents cause children to feel unaccepted. The number two cause of teen-age deaths second to traffic accidents is suicide. There are many causes of teen suicide; but a big one is that they feel unaccepted.
Is it any wonder that Christians who do not perform well in their own eyes, or measure up to the behavior they think a Christian should have, tend to shy away from God when they sin rather than be drawn to Him?
We need to know more than ever to know your true identity in Christ. In Christ we are totally accepted by God through Christ alone.