NEW SERIES: “WE ARE"
We’re excited to start a new series at our church called “We Are.” We believe it can be have life changing impact as we learn God’s Word and hear His truth about who we are in Christ!
We chose the series “We Are” to go along with our last sermon series “God Is” because knowing God and knowing ourselves go hand-in-hand! It is impossible to truly know ourselves without knowing God, and on the other hand, knowing who we are through Christ also helps us to know God more!
KNOWING GOD AND KNOWING OURSELVES
Knowing ourselves actually starts with knowing God! Because as He is, we are! As we understand that He is our Creator (Gen 1:27), we understand that we are His created. When we know that He is our Savior (Luke 2:11), we know that we are saved. As we understand that He is our victory (Col 2:13-15), we understand that we are victorious! On and on the beautiful connection goes! It is truly Good News!
THE IMPACT OF THIS CONNECTION
Approaching our identity in this way does two great things: First, it ensures that we do not make “knowing ourselves” all about us. We do not seek our identity unto our own glory, but unto His! We do not seek to ourselves to take us deeper into ourselves, but higher into God. A great test to whether or not we are defining and seeking identity in the right way is to see whether or not it takes us closer to God or more into ourselves. The irony should be that, if done right, knowing ourselves should make “knowing ourselves" more and more about Jesus and less and less about just ourselves. As CS Lewis once said: “Humility is not think less of ourselves, but thinking of ourselves less.”
When we understand ourselves more and more through Christ it serves to enhance what we know of God! For example, the more and more I understand that I am sinner that truly deserved hell and yet was saved by God, this revelation should serve to magnify God more and more in my understanding and experience of Him as being good and merciful!
This is why Psalm 139 states “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made!” The more we understand ourselves and define our identity rightly, the more it should make us lose ourselves in the worship and adoration of Jesus more than anything else. Knowing myself in Christ makes me worship Him like never before!
HOW ARE WE REALLY DEFINING OURSELVES?
The second thing that connecting our identity with knowing God does is that it tests whether we are truly understanding ourselves through God rather than anything else. A low view of self can be an indicator of a low view of the Gospel. It is one thing to have a low view of ourselves apart from Jesus, but within Christ, even God Himself celebrates and rejoices in our new identity! (Zephaniah 3:17; Luke 15:22-24). Again, when we truly understand our identity rightly through faith, it should cause us to rejoice in who we are because of Him (Psalm 139)!
But, when: we cannot love or accept ourselves, when see ourselves as “losers” or “rejects” that nobody loves, when have a “victim mentality” or “orphan mentality” and believe that we have nothing, are nothing special, and never have anything good happen in our lives; when we think of ourselves as worthless, nothing but failures, dirty, and disqualified…these kinds of beliefs and others like them all indicate that we have not truly put the full force of our faith in The Gospel and in our “Gospel Identity” that has been given us through The Gospel! We cannot let what we think (or others think) of ourselves ever be stronger or take more precedence that what God says and thinks of us! Especially, in light of the cross!