Identity Crisis: The Struggle is Real!February 3, 2021 / Hudson View Baptist Church
Identity Crisis: The Struggle is Real!
-Many of us struggle with identity and are especially misled in that we think we can find it in the world and what it offers.
-Discussion: When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How have your goals and dreams changed over the years?
*Deep down we have a desire to do something and make a difference in the world because God has wired us for significance.
-How are you defining yourself? i.e. performance, income, popularity, education, success, sexual desires, etc.
-Identity (ī-ˈden-tə-tē): the truth of who I am (including who I myself to be) that alerts me to my personal value, directs my personal choices, and determines the direction of my worship.
*Who we are (or think we are) dictates our every step forward.
-If our identity is founded upon who we have built ourselves to be or who we perceive someone else thinks us to be, our identity will eventually and devastate us.
-When we anchor our identity in Christ, the shifting winds of change that inevitably happen won’t sink our ship.
-The Epistle (letter) the Apostle Paul wrote to the believers at Ephesus has particular focus upon a Christ-centered identity in a me-centric world.
-We were never designed to determine our own identity.
*Key thought: Who God has declared you to be is more powerful than who you you are.
-Where your eyes are fixed reveals the source and object of your identity.
-Paul’s opening greeting reveals his view of identity (1:1):
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus
*The very basis for God-intended identity for our lives is Jesus Christ and His Gospel (1:3)
Blessed be the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ
Four Identity-Setting Truths from Ephesians 1:
1. If your identity is not in Christ, you will be because you were made for fellowship with God and that fellowship is only available through faith in Christ (1:1-2).
-Paul is writing to believers in Jesus Christ—his assumption is that these people are already rightly related to God through faith in Christ.
-Man was created to be in right relationship with God, but sin inhibits man’s connection to God.
-Fellowship with God is until sin is eliminated.
-It was Jesus Christ Who made the ultimate atonement so that man can be reconciled to his Holy Creator. (2 Cor. 5:21)
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
–In Christ/In Him, etc. appears 36 times in Ephesians and 11 times just in the first 14 verses!
-Chapters 1-3 focus almost entirely upon we are in Christ because of what God has done for us in Christ.
-Chapters 4-6 then focus upon how we are to live as we are identified as in Christ.
-To be certain of our identity in Christ presents us with God’s alternative to a life lived apart from Him and thus, a life of hopelessness.
-Everything else leaves us utterly dissatisfied, because we were made for this identity. (Stop now and confirm whether you are in Christ.)
2. When you become a Christian, you become a new person with a new identity. (1:3-14)
1. I am chosen by God. (1:4)
2. I am by God. (1:5)
3. I am accepted by God. (1:6)
4. I am redeemed by God. (1:7a)
-This means that we are:
A. free from the Law (Gal. 5:1),
B. free from slavery to sin (Rom. 6)
C. free from the power of Satan & the world (Gal. 1:4; Col. 1:13-14).
5. I am by God. (1:7b).
6. I am privileged to know and accept God’s plan of reconciliation. (1:8-10).
7. I am eternally endowed by God. (1:11-12).
8. I am eternally by God. (1:13-14)
3. We must keep feeding our souls with truth and constantly remind ourselves of the privileges of being “in Christ.” (1:15-22)
-Your quest for identity goes awry when you move away from the of Christ. (Col. 3:16)
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom…
-Paul prays in at least 4 ways for the souls of the Ephesian believers to be fed with the truth of who they are in Christ:
A. Knowledge of God leading to a life God (17-18) That [God] may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened;
B. Constant reminder that God pursued us to be reconciled to Him (18b) that ye may know what is the hope of his calling,
C. Life lived with a view of heaven in focus (18c) what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
D. in God’s power that leads to faith-motivated choices (19-22) And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe…
4. Embracing your identification in Jesus Christ will affect every aspect of your life.
-We need to live what God has already made us to be in Christ.
-3 ways Your Identity in Christ transforms your life:
A. Keeps you informed of your
B. Affects your choice-making process
C. Directs your heart to worship
*Adapted from Ephesians: Your Identity in Christ by Tony Merida