*Below is Andrew’s outline from Sunday’s sermon, not a word for word manuscript. This is meant as aid in seeing the thought and direction of the sermon.
Who are you?
What defines you?
If I asked you to describe yourself what are the first things that come to mind:
In our day and age identity has become a very all encompassing thing that consumes how people view not only themselves but those around them.
Even if say they feel comfortable with their identify they struggle with how other people approach their identity?
When we deal with issues in our present day Identity clearly is a rich one, but for Christians we should be first and foremost concerned with our identity.
Do we truly know who we are?
There are some great text that deal with identity;
Ephesians 2:1–10 (ESV)
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
1 Peter 2:9–12 (ESV)
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
Both beautiful text that i would encourage you to spend some time in, but for the heart of our identity there is something beautiful in a world of conflict about Paul’s words in Galatians:
Our text before us will be 2:17-3:9 but there is much more going on in these text for they are not islands in the midst of this letter they are the fruit of a specific instance in the letter”
In the opening of the Book Paul lays out his testimony and the reason he is writing to the church “the gospel has become distorted among them”
He lays out then his testimony of the God calling him to the Gospel and his ministry proclaiming it culminating in a confrontation with peter over the very issue of Identity: who was he:
In Acts he received the vision from God that mankind cannot call unclean what God has called clean and from there he first preached to the gentiles. He defended the gentiles freedom form the law in salvation at the Jerusalem council we saw last week, yet here conflict arouse because Peter was beginning to separate from gentile believers at Antioch. Thus leading them to believe that the Gospel required the keeping of the law, that they were missing something vital to who they were.
The Battle between Jew & Gentile
From this launching point Paul will lay out one of the most beautiful defense of the solid truth that Believers are saved by Grace alone through faith alone, and that in this our Identity is secure in Christ.
We see this first in the truth that our Identity is not our selves, but Christ:
I. Christ is our Identity
Galatians 2:17–21 ESV
But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
When it comes to our lives it is Christ who is our foundation:
A. we cannot justify our selves:
-Any attempt to prove our worth shows how worthless we are:
-Peter’s attempt to once again shows justification by the law was a reminder that it was not possible.
-Both Paul & peter were born into the Jewish people. An Identity that was worthy of honor. They were the people of God blessed with the promises and the gift of the Law. The messiah was theirs and theirs alone. God had chosen them, blessed them.
-The Gentiles on the other hand were cast of from the law and without hope. An identify to be scorned and shunned. One of hopelessness and despair.
-Yet as we have studied in Romans and Paul reiterates here, Christ comes to bring hope to the hopeless and free those bound under the law. Both Groups of people find fulfillment and hope in him. Because both groups see they cannot justify themselves.
If we could there is no need for Christ.
-If you are a believer Paul will say any attempt to prove how righteous you are only invalidating the true righteousness of Christ.
B. We have died in Christ
-We have been crucified with Christ
-our old selves are dead
Paul here is reiterating the reality that with the death of Christ the work of the law was finished
(Chapters 4-6 of Galatians will unpack this in much greater depth shows the law was a means pointing us to Christ and a testament to who He is and not a means of salvation)
C. Christ is living in us
-Our lives are not our own our identity is new we are not who we were
-When you think about your identity does this truth come to mind
Colossians 1:26–27 ESV
the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
-We are not defined by our actions we are defined by the finish work of Christ. And in this everything else changes
-The flesh is still real:
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
We are dead to sin and Christ lives and reigns yet we are still bound to these mortal bodies. the frailty of the flesh does not change the identity of a believer rather it secures us as we struggle with sin that we struggle not in vain for Christ has overcome the world and
Peter didn’t cease to be a Christian in these moments, but he need Paul to remind him of who was in Christ and how his actions were affecting other believers. He was in these moments adding to the hope of salvation found in Christ. The flesh was still active, still needing to be put to death, still needing the church to remind us who we are.
Even the Apostle Peter needed his brothers in the church to remind him who he was in Christ not the flesh!
Our salvation is rooted in Christ sacrifice for us and the Love he poured out for us. We could not accomplish these acts only he could, and they define everything about us.1 Cor 6:19-20
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 ESV
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
What is the hope and security of our new identity in Christ: The Holy Spirit
II. The Holy Spirit is our Security
Galatians 3:1–6 ESV
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?
We live out the faith trusting in God not our works because of the Spirits work in us.
Our identity is secure in Christ by the spirit,
-Paul asks them how they have been lead astray? why are you being caught up into these falsehoods that are distracting you from the only hope you have in Christ. For those who have the hope of the spirit to try and secure of our own accord that which cannot be accomplished is all the more foolish.
They started well trusting in God for their sanctification then quickly began to trust in themselves.
We can do this often:
We began the faith trusting in Christ alone with prayer and the word.
-Then we trusted in how often we did these things
-Maybe how faithful we were to being at church gatherings
-How often we read books about the faith
-how many podcast we listened to
-how many times we defended the faith online
-How well I preached the word
-The marks of our salvation was not a security of faith trusting in the spirits work but int he things we began to do for God. We had to prove ourselves, when we will never be able to prove ourselves. For our old selves already showed that to be impossible
Is Christ your hope for salvation?
Is Christ the hope for your daily life?
Is He the source of your daily comfort and desire?
Is the Spirit the One who Defines you?
“Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness”
We are in Christ and the Spirit testifies to these truth that by faith we have been saved
III. Faith alone is our hope
Galatians 3:7–9 ESV
Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
-We are all one in Christ, Jew and gentile, there is no more distinction that exist we have been saved by Christ filled with his spirt and made new.
-It is easy to get sidetracked from the fact that God has poured out his blessings richly on us as with Abraham.
It was not of works of our hands it was on His work alone.
It was faith that saved you and it is the same faith that saves believers from every tribe tongue and nation around the world.
We do not have a monopoly on the gospel. We do not own the copyright to the faith. These things belong to God and he long ago set them down for us and for our salvation in His word and revealed in Christ.
Over the next four weeks We are going to unpack some specific issues that creep into our lives and tear us away from the reality of who we are in Christ. Sin and temptation tries to tell us we can do things on our own or even better yet there is another better way that will make you happy.
But we can’t deal with those issues until you are first solid in the foundation of who you are, you are not your own you are Christs. You have died to the futile ways f the world and are being lead into newness of life in Christ.
Next week Adam will talk about relationships and how they affect us.
(This in many ways is a key identity issue) Who you are in Christ will shape how you live out the faith with others and also your contentment where God has you today:
We will then look at money and how money affects many areas of our lives in plenty and in little it has a profound affect on how we live out the faith
and then over the last two weeks we unpack anger and anxiety both of which in the last few years have seemed to be heading for a tipping point, and yet in Chris these are not things we should be living in. We are Christs
So today who are you:
Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians that the judgment of God will deal with the sins of Mankind rightly so as believers it is our job not to look out at the sinful world and state the obvious but rather to ensure that when we look in we are representatives of who Christ is, that our lives mirror the gospel. That our identity is secure and representative of the truth of Christ.
Because Identify doss matter and as delivers ours is the most beautiful complete, and hopeful for it is Christ.
So who are you: