Do you know who you really are? Maybe a better question is: “Do you live from a place of knowing who you are?”
[featured-image single_newwindow=”true” alt=”Do you know WHO you are? There are 65 identity messages in Ephesians. Here are 8 that will help you live in freedom.”]
Sitting on the plane, I slowly read through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. What normally takes 15-20 minutes took me over an hour. Every time I got to a verse, sentence, or phrase that spoke of identity, I jotted it down.
Little did I know the final count of “identity messages” in Ephesians would be 65!
Yes. Sixty-Five times Paul reminds the Ephesians – and us – of our identity in Christ. Both who we are in Christ and what we have been given through Christ. I am convinced that if we lived from a place of identity – rather than morality – everything would be different…and infinitely better.
Today, let’s look at eight. Not because these are the eight “big ones.” All 65 happen to be life-changingly-awesome. These are simply the eight God has me hunkered down on today.
1. You are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (1:3)
God has blessed you. He has equipped you. You have everything you need in Christ. He has not called you to anything He hasn’t prepared you for. Now…don’t forget the “in Christ” part. To embrace those blessings and put them into practice we need to stay connected to the Source.
2. You are chosen. (1:4)
Think about that. God’s not “stuck” with you. He is not wishing He had someone else to do what He’s called you to do. He is not settling for you. He chose you. Before the creation of the world, you were on His mind. You are not an afterthought to God. You are God’s Plan A.
3. You are adopted. (1:5)
This goes hand-in-glove with the last one. Not only did God choose you. He made it permanent. You are in. Not on a temporary, trial basis. You are in the family. Forever. You are His child.
4. You are forgiven. (1:7 & 4:32)
Do you put a qualifier on this one? Most people do. And it’s a killer to living in freedom. You are not temporarily forgiven. You are not forgiven only until you screw up again. You are not forgiven…except for that one, really bad sin in your past.
You are forgiven. Completely. Unequivocally. Today. Tomorrow. Forever. Forgiven.
5. You are filled with death-conquering power. (1:19-20)
You might believe in the Holy Spirit. You might believe you are “filled” with the Holy Spirit. But do you live your daily life with the bold assurance that comes from knowing “that power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand…”?
Yup. That’s the exact same powerful Spirit who lives in you.
6. You are saved by grace through faith. (2:5 & 8)
We say this one all the time in the church. We preach sermons about grace and write books about grace. Sadly, we rarely live like we are saved by grace through faith.
We believe it in a God-gave-us-the-gift-of-grace-on-the-cross-a-long-time-ago sort of way. But then we live like we need to earn the right to keep it. Grace was a gift then. It’s still a gift now. Unwrap it every day.
7. You were separate, excluded foreigners. (2:12)
All too often, we are tempted to forget where we came from. We were separate from God. We were excluded. We were foreigners. Outsiders. Missing out on the beautiful, mysterious, life of intimacy with the One who knit us together.
It’s important to remember that part of our identity in Christ is who we were. Our past doesn’t define our present, but it does shape our understanding of it.
8. You are brought near. (2:13)
Doesn’t #7 make this one all the more wonderful? God wasn’t waiting in a far off land. He wasn’t hoping you would find your way.
He brought you near. He sought you out. He accompanied you every step of the way. You might invite someone out of obligation or a whole host of reasons. You only bring someone you want. God brought you.
Did you know…
Guess how many of the 65 identity messages show up before Paul tells the Ephesians to “do” anything. Fifty-six.
Fifty-six times Paul reminds them – and us – that knowing who we are must precede any attempt to live it out. Identity comes before action.
Only after Paul has painted a crystal-clear picture of our identity in Christ, does he finally pen the words “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (4:1, NIV, emphasis mine)
[reminder]Which of these identity message is the most difficult for you to fully believe?[/reminder]