March 29, 2017 (Identity in Christ)

Bob George, in Growing in Grace states “whatever a man depends upon for his identity and meaning and purpose in life will control him.”

What do we depend on for our identity?

All people are identified as God’s creation according to scripture.

·        Acts 17:25,28 states that God gave all people life and breath and in Him we live and move.

·        But, not every person is identified as a child of God.

Identity in Christ. We have certain accesses as a child of God.

·        Access to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

·        Access to spiritual gifts, the church

·        Access to salvation, forgiveness, joy, peace, true fulfillment

Peter was writing to a church that was being persecuted by the Romans. Emperor Nero had just set Rome on fire because he wanted to, and blamed the Christians. So many Christians were losing their lives for something that they didn’t do all because of how they were identified. Nero had them crucified, attacked by dogs, lit on fire, etc. The people were distraught and so Peter wrote this letter to remind them who they were in Christ and to encourage them to stand firm.

In 1 Peter 2:1; 9-10, we see Peter describe two groups of people.

Those of the world: (v. 1)

·        malicious (intending to do harm)

·        deceitful (misleading people, lying)

·         hypocritical (say one thing but do another)

·         envious (jealousy)

·        Slanderous (false and malicious speech, gossip)

Those called God’s Children (v. 9-10)

·        A chosen people

·        A royal priesthood

·        A holy nation

·        God’s special possession (proclaiming what God has done for us, out of darkness to light.)

·        The people of God

·        Receiving mercy

So, Peter identifies two groups of people. People of the world do not have access to the same things that the Children of God has. They are not called a chosen people, or a holy nation but are called malicious and evil.

 

 

1 Peter 2:2-3

As children of God, we are called to be like newborns desiring milk. Infants must have milk to survive. They cannot survive on their own. As Christians, our milk is the word of God. We are called to mature as Christians but we should never lose this hunger for the word that Peter is talking about. If we starve ourselves of scripture, we will get weaker and weaker until we are spiritually dead. We may still have our salvation but we will be completely useless to God. But, from reading what Peter writes, if we don’t have any desire to read the word, maybe we aren’t believers in the first place. Through reading the word we:

·        Remember who gave us life, physical and spiritual

·        We remove sin from our lives through the conviction of the Holy Spirit through the Bible

·        We admit that we need God to guide us

·        We grow spiritually and are reminded of the blessings that God has given us.

So, we should never ignore the word of God but crave it like a newborn craves milk.

Dwight Moody- “The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.”

You make time for the things that you want to do.

1 Peter 2:4-8

The cornerstone: explanation (slide)

 Just as Peter has described those that are of the world, and those that are Children of God, he describes how Christ affects these people.

 

The world:

·        Reject Him

·        Have no foundation

·        Are subject to judgment

·        See Him as offensive

·        They stumble and are doomed

Christians:

·        Will not be disappointed in Him

·        They have a solid foundation to build their faith

·        They will be a part of this spiritual house (the church)

1 Peter 2:9-10

These two verses should be a source of encouragement for us because it reminds us of who we were and who we are now. Peter states:

·        We were once not a people/ We are now children of God

·        We were once in darkness/ Now we are of the light

·        We once did not have mercy (we rejected mercy by rejecting Christ)/ Now we have received mercy.

Conclusion:

As children of God, we have access to everything that God has given us. Our identity is not like a game of guess who, where we are trying to figure out who we are, but it is in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 states, “therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

We should no longer try to identify ourselves with the world because we have seen what that means.

We should identify ourselves in this way, “I am a child of God, absolutely loved, and totally acceptable in His sight.

 

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