In the first part of this three part series we looked at the very first piece of information that helps us to find our identity In Christ.
Our true relationship to the Father.
Who are you?
I would dare say that if you were to be asked who you are, one of the very first things you would tell me right after you told me your name would be your occupation.
We tend to find our identity in what we do. This seems normal, but God did not create us to be "Human Doings", but rather He created us to be "Human Beings". If our identity is found in what we do, what we have, or what others think of us then I would venture to say that our identity has been stolen from us. Who we are is who Christ sees us to be.
I may not be the most intelligent dad, nor would I claim to be the best dad in the world. I am a dad that has set some goals to accomplish with my kids. They are not enormous and in fact I would say that the goals that I have as a Dad are remarkably simple. There are two things that I want to impart to my children before it is my time to "check out".
The first would be to teach my children how to SEE and HEAR God in their lives. If you can teach your child that, then it will never matter where they go or who they are with because they will always know that God is with them.
The second thing that I want to help them learn is who they are to Him. If they can catch that then they will never be in a situation where anyone can manipulate them into doing something for approval, not even using God as the tool.
I have talked with a lot of people and I believe it would be safe to say that the majority of the Christians that I have spoken with are completely unaware of who they are IN Him. This is a sad statement to make, but an even sadder statement to see on full display in the world around us.
As Paul helped the Christians in Ephesus lay out their scraps of identity information on the table in front of them, he first reminded them of the relationship that they now had with God. This was not something granted by a church or any organization. It was given freely by God to us to accept and there is no power that can ever separate us from that love!
There may be people with agendas that are disappointed or frustrated because you do not gain your identity from their acceptance, but God IS your father and there are certain privileges that come with that relationship that can never ever be changed no matter what you do or do not do here on this earth! (See a list of those here)
Let's look at the next scrap of information that Paul pulls into view!
"That he (Your Father) would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;" ~Ephesians 3:16
You have an inner man! Whoa? Who is the inner man?
It is the Holy Spirit of God!!!!
Paul used the words "Chayay" and "Zoopoieo" to express this process. We translate it to our English word of "Quicken". It means to make alive, or to come to life! It is the process of our spirit coming to life IN Him! Our spirit is rejoined with God in fellowship as the Holy Spirit makes His home within our earthen temple. This is huge because it means that we are Holy!
Wait, wait, wait... We did not do anything yet. How can we be Holy? Don't we have to do anything to be Holy? I mean what about a list of activities to perform or abstain from?
The Holiness that we have did not originate with us, nor could we manufacture it. It came from God alone, the scandal of grace is that He gave us His Holiness.
"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;"
~ Ephesians 2:1
"Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved ;)" ~Ephesians 2:5
Paul goes on to add that it is God's grace that saved us.
Mercy is not getting something that I deserve, but Grace is me getting something that I do not deserve! It truly is amazing grace!
"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;" ~Colossians 2:1
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit;
~ 1 Peter 3:18So what does all this mean?
"Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:" ~Ephesians 1:9
Paul is essentially saying that there is no way to do His will for your life unless He is living through you. This is incredibly AWESOME!!!
His will for us is not some great "Mystery" that you have to search for your whole life hoping to find. His will is for us to be in His presence and to be seen through us and the kicker is, He is the one who teaches and leads us on how He wants us to shine and express Him!
You can live your life trying to "make" God see you as a worthy investment of His grace if you want to, and unfortunately there are a lot of people out there who are looking for just such mindsets. They have an agenda to fill, a building program to pay off, a name to make for themselves, and a multitude of reasons why they will never seek to teach who you are IN Christ. Once a person realizes who they are to Him and IN Him, then the control of that person is taken away from another human being and placed in the hands of His Holy Spirit.
He literally is able to transform you from the inside out!!!
This coming Saturday, I am looking forward to us looking at the final piece of identification that once they are all put together, reveals a picture that is absolutely amazing!!!!
Meditate on this thought today. Not only is God your Father and you now wear His name, but you have been given His Holy Spirit within you!
I cannot wait for you to see this Saturday's post as we conclude this study of who we are IN Him!
Climbing with you,