Your Identity as A Son of God

Do you know who you are? It sounds like a strange question at first, but I have conversations with people every day who are still confused about their spiritual identity… that’s why I teach so often on this very subject, because there are a great number of people in the church who still suffer from some sort of spiritual identity crisis. Not seeing who they are in Christ, but still identifying with their old nature. The part of them that is dead, they still see as alive, and they have bought into this lie that their still trying to become the new creation in Christ and they get stuck trying to fight a battle that is already won by Jesus Christ Himself.

God, of-course doesn’t want you to fall into this trap. He wants you to fully embrace the identity which He has given you. He wants you to walk in this identity every single moment of every day… It’s why He continually moves me to teach on this. I have been on a tangent for years now, because God’s heart is so strong for this, because so many of His children have bought into this lie that they are less than what they actually are in Him. So today we will be examining your identity in Christ Jesus – and even if you have been here for our previous studies on this subject, this will still be a good refresher for you, because faith comes by continually hearing, not just having heard one time.

Understanding Your Relationship

I used to think that being a believer meant regular church attendance, remembering and reciting Bible verses, and obedience to the Law. I tried my best to do all of those things, and indeed I felt “religious”, I felt like I was part of “the club”, but inside I was still just as empty, just as hurting and just as dead as I was before… only now there was a layer of religiosity covering the vacuum on the inside of me like a bandage.

Since then, there has been a Christian slogan going around that has become rather popular: Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship. You may have heard that slogan before – it is catchy, and it is absolutely true; no question about it. But do we really understand it? I know that I didn’t when I first heard it. Sure, I acknowledged that Christianity was a relationship; it was a clever thing to say, but deep down nothing really changed – I was still completely dominated by traditions, still bound by rules and religion and letting those be a poor substitute for a genuine relationship with God… and I was still just as empty, just as hurt and just as dead as before.

The Power of Love

God is Love. A lot of people have that sign hanging in their homes, or as a sticker on their car, some even have it tattooed on their body. But do you know that there is great power, even divine power in love? We often don’t stop to think of the implications of that statement that God is Love; and not just any kind of love, but divine love. You see the world has greatly corrupted the idea of love… some see it as synonymous with sexual intercourse, while others see it as something cruel and hurtful. However divine love is not like our corrupted human ideas of love. Divine love is so much more, and so much better, and so very powerful

The Bible says that we can have all knowledge, all wisdom, and all understanding, but if we do not have love, we are empty… we are noise without substance, and what we will be studying today, is the power of divine love. Because there are many who think that love is weak, but in reality, it is the strongest and greatest of all.

Behold, All Things Are New

A verse of scripture that is well known among believers is 2nd Corinthians 5:17, which says “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”. It is an amazing statement – if we stop even for a few moments to meditate on what it means and the reality that it presents to us, we will be wonderfully amazed. I would imagine that most of us have at the very least one thing in our life that we want to change… and that is exactly what this verse is offering through Jesus Christ.

Even so, most people never see the reality of this in their life – they are still very much entrenched in the old; they are still bound by who they used to be, instead of who they are in Christ Jesus. There are a great many believers still spiritually living in the past, hanging out in the graveyard of what now is dead, instead of living in the newness of life which Jesus brought. So today we will be studying how to live in the present reality which Jesus has brought, and to live in it now without any more delay. If you have been looking for a breakthrough in your life, this study will set you free through Christ today.

Live in the Power of the Spirit (Part 2)

In our study last week, we examined how God actually wants us to have power, and how Jesus has given us power, both through His redemptive work on the cross and through the sending of His Spirit (one act facilitating the other). These concepts are often not even touched in many Christian circles, often seen as fringe. Indeed many people are afraid to take an honest look at the topic of the Holy Spirit in connection with the power given to us because they have been jaded by past experience or the horror stories that people tell about what happened in some charismatic group previously.

Yet these things are spoken of in scripture and so they should not and can not be ignored. And so today we will continue with Part 2 of our study on living in the power of the Spirit, by taking a look at the baptism of the Spirit – specifically what Jesus said about it, because His opinion is the only one that carries any weight, and as we see the truth from scripture, we will be moved from a place of weakness, to a place of great strength in the power of the Spirit through Christ Jesus.

Jesus is the Perfect Sacrifice

God is great. God is mighty. God is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He is the Creator and Ruler of all. Naturally for anyone who believes, it is easy to proclaim that God is all of these things, and just as naturally we want to give Him all honor and praise which is rightfully His. The question then must be asked, how exactly do we honor God? What is the measuring line by which an offering is measured? By what standards do we judge what is offered to Almighty God?

I have found in my time that many people who like to tout the perfect holiness and awesomeness of God, really don’t give much thought to what they offer Him. It’s an amazing double-standard that a perfect holy God seems to have no trouble accepting flawed offerings. They say “Oh well, just do your best, that’s all God requires.” Really?? Is that what the Bible truly says? In reality my friends, (and if you have glanced up at the title), there is only one truly acceptable offering to God – only one which meets His perfect standard; Jesus. This is what we will be studying today.

Your Reality in Christ, and Why Some Never See It

God’s will for you is nothing short of perfection. That fact must be completely understood right from the very start. His will for you is perfect and that is exactly what He has given to you as a gift. Perfection. He has given you Himself. He has given you Jesus, and through Jesus, you are madeperfectly justified, perfectly righteous, perfectly redeemed, perfectly holy, perfectly whole and perfectly healed. He paid for these things to be yours in Christ, and for all of those that have received Jesus, this is actually your reality today, as amazing as that sounds.

Why is it then that some never see this reality for themselves? Why is it that for some this reality seems to be nothing more than a fleeting wish. Why do some shrug it off as a fantasy. These are questions that many believers struggle with, these questions have even shipwrecked the faith of some people. And so we will be examining these questions today, and see what God’s Word says about them, in the light of the finished work of Jesus Christ, so that these questions will not stumble people any longer.

Be Yourself! A New Creation in Christ

Sometime in the past you have probably heard the famous advice that everyone likes to give: “Just be yourself!”. This advice is usually given when someone is nervous or apprehensive about meeting new people or standing before a crowd. Just relax! Be yourself! This phrase also implies the negative, don’t be someone or something that you are not. Stay true to the truth.

Spiritually speaking, this advice is very Biblical… both regarding ourselves personally and in judging others, in both cases we should always stay in the truth and be ourselves. This has some surprising benefits for us as believers, and a vast majority of Christians today do not even realize that this advice is in their Bible. So we will be taking a look at this today, and seeing the glorious benefits of being ourselves in Christ.

Your Obedience is to Jesus’ Obedience

Have you been struggling to be obedient? In many Christian circles today, the focus is on obedience. Many times people say that obedience is important – and I completely agree… the Bible has much to say on the topic of obedience. Where we tend to differ, is the manner of that obedience. And this manner is defined in the covenant that we are under today as believers in Christ. It is important to understand our covenant today in order to truly understand the type and manner of obedience that is required by the covenant.

Most people automatically assume that when they see the word obedience in the Bible that it is always referring to outward obedience via performance and actions. This was certainly true in the Old Covenant of the Law of Moses. However the Bible describes a different type of obedience for believers today who are under the New Covenant of Grace in Christ. This is what we will be studying today, because it is very difficult to be obedient under the terms of our covenant if we do not know what the terms are.

The Real Sacrifice of Praise

A long time ago, there was a popular praise song that we always used to sing; the lyrics in-part were “we bring a sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD.” This is a reference to Hebrews 13:15, saying that we should continually offer such a sacrifice to God. This phrasing has always puzzled me. Because in my human mind, the word “sacrifice” always implied cost, or some kind of a victim. Often times we hear preachers say that in order for our praise and worship to mean anything to God, it has to “cost us something”, and this left me even more confused because it really wasn’t costing me anything to praise God – as a matter-of-fact I enjoyed praising Him! So did this then mean that my praise was worthless?

I struggled with this thought for many years, and it led me into a performance-driven, merit-centered mentality where I was trying to give something of value back to God, which I naturally assumed was my own works and efforts; my performance and law-keeping. However, this idea is not actually supported in scripture. In-fact the Bible is very descriptive regarding what the real sacrifice of praise is which we are to offer, and this is precisely what we will be studying today.