Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Confusion in the Body of Christ over Identity. Christian Schizophrenia

There is a lot of buzz about identity, particularly among Christians.  People want to know their purpose.  Who God wants them to be.  What they should be doing. 

Some of this comes because we thing our identity is something we are in Him.  That we live doing or being what He wants us to do or be.  That is upside down.  Our identity is best described as who HE is in US. 

Colossians 2 has much to say about this issue.  You can read it here in the NLT.

Here are a few TRUTHS that will help people figure this out.  It's not about you, It's about HIM in YOU.  The hope of Glory.  Italics are mine:

2:2 I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. 3 In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  You already have access to all the hidden treasures, they are there for the taking.  Don't reach out, reach in.

7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.  Knowing who He is will help you know who you are.  Learn to probe the depth of His attributes.  There are over 100.  Dig deep as a tree does in fertile soil

8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers  of this world, rather than from Christ. 9 For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.  10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.  So much of what passes for theology is in reality psychobabble recast.  Your union with Christ is not You and Christ in you, that's true, but more accurately you IN CHRIST.  The father sees Jesus when he looks at you.

13God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.  Jesus made fun of your accusers by the victory at the cross.  He neutered them.  We only give them validity if we buy into the lies. 

16 So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. 17 For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. 18 Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels,  saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud, 19 and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it.  Even among evangelicals we find ourselves doing self denial. We find ourselves navel gazing.  We suffer in a way Jesus didn't expect us to.  It is up to us to look to Him, Who he is, don't get tangled up in fake theologies.  He loves you, even likes you and wants to do good for you.  Live in expectation of good.

20 You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, 21 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? 22 Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. 23 These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.   We all have evil desires.  We all have things we suffer with and from.  BUT.. we don't have to.  We can live above them.  IF we know our position.  It's not a quest, it's a fact.  You are free..even if you don't feel like it all the time.
 Chap 3: Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.  Here's where the real rub comes in.  And it's a tough one.  We are busy trying to fit in here on earth and don't see our real position in heaven.  We are seated in heaven already (think eternity) at the right hand of the Father.  A  place of authority.  A place of power.  A place that is far above anything we can think of on this earth.

Eph 2: 6  God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages He might display the surpassing riches of His grace, demonstrated by His kindness to us in Christ Jesus  So if you are wondering about your earthy identity, first get a handle on your true identity and it will all come into focus.  You are what HE is, you sit where HE sits, you carry the authority HE carries.  There's your purpose.

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