Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Identity vs Behavior

"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery"
- [Gal 5:1]

It is true that we are born sinners but once we have taken the step to accept God in to our lives and allowing him to write our story rather than trying to be strong and proud and do it on our own, we are Saints! Made new in Christ! It's true that we continue to sin, a lot.... because we let ourselves fall victim to our sin. Now this may rock your world a little bit but Christians are not sinners. Yes we sin all the time but being a "sinner" is someones identity.
In 1 Corinthians 6 Paul is writing to them saying that the behavior they are executing is ridiculous. He says "The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers. Do you no know that the wicked will not inherit the Kingdom of God? ... And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 'Everything is permissible for me'-but not everything is beneficial. 'Everything is permissible for me' - but I will not be mastered by anything. 'Food for the stomach and the stomach for food'- but God will destroy them both."
Take a look at when he says "and that is what some of you WERE." You WERE sinners but now you've been made new. It is impossible to be a Saint and a sinner at the same time. Yes Saints sin but that is a behavior that we are letting ourselves fall victim to over and over again and a lot of it has to do with the fact that we don't believe that we truly are Saints. And believe you me, half of this is me really writing to myself trying to slap myself over the head with a frying pan. We are not classified and identified by who we WERE. Brandon Heath couldn't have said it any better.... "I'm not who I was"
We are born sinners but when we became Christians, Jesus Christ fundamentally changes us and Christians are not sinners. Yes Christians sin all the time but do you really believe you 've changed? When you sin, your self narative is still rooted in who you WERE. [1 corn 6:11] You are not who you were and you need to believe that you have changed. What reality do you believe you live in? If you treat other people, especially kids and teenagers, like animals, they will behave like animals. You believe you're a sinner, you'll act like a sinner. You've been renewed! Believe you are a Christian and how you've changed. Our own self definition, we lower our own bar. Do you believe that you are dearly loved? You don't have to believe you deserve. You just have to believe it. Say this to your self...
 I know I'm holy.
 I know I am dearly loved.
 I know I've been washed
 I know I've been made new
and trust me I'm saying it to. This is something that I struggle with daily. But you are a Saint not a sinner. It's about believing who you already are. [read Colossians 3]

This is something we do in YoungLife a lot. It's one of many versions of "Cardboard testimonies." I think it speaks for it self.

Til the next new day ♥ ,

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