Thursday, September 24, 2020

Knowing And Expressing My Identity

“Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation..” —2 Corinthians 5:16-19

Dr Tony Evans once said that Christian is not an adjective, it is a noun.  I am not a North American who is Christian, I am a Christian who is a North American.  We tend to use the natural for our identity and then modify it with the spiritual. Our spiritual identities have primacy over our natural identity, be it nationality, race, culture, gender, or even vocation.  Having said that, in my experience, most Christians, although they might "cerebrally" agree with it, do not practice it.  Who we are naturally dominates how we interact with others – Christian or not. Most often, our natural selves are offered first and our spiritual selves are withheld until we see how who we are in the flesh is received.

That is my experience. But, if I read 2 Corinthians 5:16, I find that I am to regard no one according to the flesh.  So, I must conclude that if that is what the Bible says and I don’t do it.  I may even feel justified in not doing it, I only prove that I am sinful and prone to disobedience when my culture, ethnicity, or reasoning tells me, even tempts me to do otherwise. To coin a phrase – let’s call it “reasonable or justifiable disobedience.” Sad to say, the Word does not give room for that idea. Disobedience is never reasonable and never justifiable, but that never stops us from embracing it.

Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” – James 4:17

If you are a Christian – and if you are reading this, my assumption is that you are or at least are considering the possibility – then your responsibility to mankind is to represent Jesus as His ambassador. You have been saved out of the world, so why would you persist in representing it? Let me answer that. We first present our flesh to others because we are devoted to our old man – our old nature – being a Christian is merely an adjective – a modifier of our old nature – it is not who we are – who identify with.  And the people – the Christians we associate with most likely think and act in the same way. So we have a consensus  that our reasonable and justifiable disobedience is OK and acceptable.  Let me say that most of the people in this world have rejected Jesus and agree that they are right in doing so. The thing is, they are all bound for hell.  It is the Word of God that is God’s revelation to man.  Man’s reasoning apart from God revealed will is the very reason we are in the mess we are in. 

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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