Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Believer's True Identity - Part 2

I recently shared with you that it is very important for the body of Christ to know their true identity for a few different reasons.  For one, members of the body have to know their spiritual identity before they truly know who they are in Christ.  In addition, believers of Jesus Christ need to know their actual identity in order to receive everything that Jesus died to give them and all that includes as well.  They can only know their true identity when they look into the spiritual "mirror" of God's word.  Knowing their spiritual identity also helps the believers to know their purpose in God's plan.

First of all, we are adopted by God.  (Ephesians 1:5)  We are adopted into His spiritual family.  We are part of God's family once we accept Jesus into our hearts. 

Next, we are accepted by God.  It does not matter what we do or where we are spiritually.  God accepts us and loves us unconditionally.  (Ephesians 1:6)

We are truly blessed by God.  (Ephesians 1:3)  He has spiritual blessings stored up for us because of what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross.  We must believe that we are blessed in order to receive all of our spiritual blessings.

Additionally, we are chosen by God before the beginning of time.  Before the foundation of the world was laid, God chose us to be His people.  He created us for His purpose and plan.  (Jeremiah 29:11)

We are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.  According to Dictionary.com, the term 'redeemed' means cleared by payment or bought back.  We were purchased at a price.  That price was Jesus.  We are forgiven of all sin once and for all time.  (Ephesians 1:7)

We are justified by God through our faith in Jesus Christ.  (1 Corinthians 6:11; Galatians 2:15-17; James 2:23-25)  According to Dictionary.com, the term 'justified' means 'to declare innocent or guiltless; absolve; acquit.'  Therefore, we who are justifed are innocent or guiltless in God's eyes.  It is not due to our own human acts but due to Christ's one act of love. 

We are blameless. It means that we are without blame or fault before God our Father. He sees us just like He sees His son, Jesus. (Ephesians 1:4; Colossians 1:21-23; 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13)

Next, we are also sanctified by God.  (1 Corinthians 6:11; John 17:17, 19; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4)  He sanctifies us by His word...His truth.  According to Dictionary.com, the term 'sanctified' means 'made holy; consecrated'.  We are purified and freed from sin. 

We are already holy. (Ephesians 1:4, 4:24; Colossians 1:22, 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13; 1 Peter 1:13-16) Jesus is holy. His spirit within us is holy which helps us to be holy in our behavior.

We are already pure too. (1 John 3:2-3) Like Jesus, we are pure because of His spirit within us.

In addition, we are called by God to do great work for Him.  (1 Corinthians 7:20, 24)

We are anointed by God.  (1 John 2:20-21, 27)  God knows all things.  His spirit within us knows all things and teaches us all things.  We must cooperate with Him and His spirit within us.

We are complete in Christ Jesus.  His spirit within us makes us fully complete and whole.  (Colossians 2:9-10)  We do not lack anything in Him. 

We are perfect in Christ.  His spirit within us is perfect which makes us perfect just like Jesus.  (Matthew 5:48)

Lastly, we are righteous in Jesus.  We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.  (Galatians 3:6; Ephesians 4:20-24, 6:14; 1 John 2:29, 3:7)

It helps to know our true identity in Christ Jesus in order to be the women God has created us to be for Him, His purpose, and His plans for us.  When we believe what God says about us instead of what other people say to us or about us, it will not only change us but change our lives for the better.  We will no longer be deceived by the devil.  We will have everything God wants us to have and be everything that God wants us to be.  We will be living the abundant life...walking into all of the blessings of God.  (John 10:10)  We will be living in God's perfect will.  (Romans 12:2)  We will experience as much as heaven on earth as possible.  (Matthew 6:10)

Copyright 2013 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Believer's True Identity

Who are you?  You may think or say, "Well, I am a daughter.  I am a mother.  I am a sister."  Yes.  All of those terms may be true.  However, they are part of your physical identity.  It is just as important, if not more important, to know your spiritual identity.  Can you tell me now, "Who are you in Christ?" 

Through my journey the last few years, I have discovered that a lot of the body of Christ does not know their true identity.  It is very important to know one's true identity especially the believer's true identity in Christ.  A person must know who they are before they can believe and receive everything that is rightfully theirs. 

In order to observe or see yourself in the physical world, you have to look at yourself in a mirror.  The same is true of yourself in the spiritual world.  You also have to look at yourself in a mirror in order to see yourself in the spiritual realm.  However, the "mirror" in the spiritual world is the Bible or God's word.  Therefore, let's go to His word to look at our true identity in the spiritual world. 

Once we have accepted Jesus into our hearts and into our lives, we are new creations.  (2 Corinthians 5:17)  Many believers do not even seem to know and understand that part of their spiritual identity.  They think and act like they are still the 'old man' or the 'old creation'.  However, it is not true.  They are now 'new creations'.  It is important to see ourselves as God sees us in order to think and act like it.

In addition, we are Children of God.  We have been spiritually born into the Family of God.  (Romans 8:15-16; 1 John 3:1-2)  We have a new Father.  We also have a lot more sisters and brothers in our spiritual family. 

Next, we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus.  (Romans 8:17; Galatians 3:29, 4:7)  When someone is an heir, it means they have an inheritance.  When someone is a joint heir, it means that they also have an inheritance but that inheritance is joined to another person.  In this case, it is Jesus.  That is huge.  We receive everything that Jesus receives as an inheritance.  However, if you do not know your spiritual identity, then you will not be able to know and receive your inheritance.

We are also temples of the living God.  (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19-20)  Our bodies are God's temples.  When we accept Jesus into our hearts, His spirit lives within us.  Therefore, we should honor God our Father with our bodies.

Additionally, we are Saints of God.  (Ephesians 5:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:13)  When God looks at us, He already sees us as a finished person of God.  As far as He is concerned with us, we are His saints.  A saint thinks and acts differently and a lot better than an old sinner who is saved by grace.

Next, we are God's Beloved.  (Colossians 3:12; Ephesians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 John 3:21, 4:7)  We are part of a special group of people who God loves dearly.  We are loved and cherished so much by God.

In addition, we are God's workmanship.  (Ephesians 2:8-10)  We are created by God for His purpose and plan.  (Jeremiah 29:11)  When you think of a workmanship, what do you think of now?  Personally, I think of a creation, or better yet, a masterpiece.

We are everything that our Father God says we are as we look in His mirror.  New Creations, Children of God, Heirs of God, Joint Heirs with Jesus, God's Temples, Saints of God, God's Beloved, and God's Workmanship.  Those terms are just some of the ones He uses to describe us in His word.  There are plenty more where those came from too.  We will look more into His mirror together at a later time.

Copyright 2013 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The True Nature of God

When you do not know someone or know very little about someone, you usually make incorrect assumptions or draw incorrect conclusions about that person.  The same is true of God the Father.  When we do not take the time to get to know Him more fully, we may make incorrect assumptions or draw incorrect conclusions about Him. 

If we have not had an earthly father available to us or we have had an earthly father who has been a poor example to us, we may see or know God the Father the same way.  We may think or say, "Oh, he is never around" or "He is always leaving me."  Or...we may say, "Oh, he does not love me" or "He is not a good father."  We may think that God the Father is not available to us, or He has abandoned us, or He hates us, or He is a bad Father.  However, none of that is true about our Father.

The way we see our Father affects the way we receive from Him.  Therefore, it is very important that we correctly see Him and accurately know Him as God the Father.  We will look at God's word now in order to learn more about the true nature of God.

First of all, God is love.  (1 John 4:8)  Therefore, if He is love, His primary character trait is loving.  We can know Him more fully through His love for us as His children.  Next, please look at 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  If "God is love" as we just learned in 1 John 4 and "Love is patient...kind..." as we just learned in 1 Corinthians 13, then God can also be seen and known by these characteristics.  Therefore, God is patient.  He is kind.  He is...so on and so forth. We can come to know our Father as patient, kind, and so on.

David who wrote a lot of the book of Psalms had a good and close relationship with God.  He was sincere or "real" with His Heavenly Father.  It did not matter what David was going through at the time.  He knew that he could cry out or call out to His Father whenever and wherever he wanted or needed Him.  David knew that his Father God was available to him anytime and any place.  He also came to know his Father more closely and dearly.  Thus, because of David's intimate and deeply loving relationship with his Father God, he learned more about his Father's true nature through various situations in his life.  He came to rely, depend, and trust his Father more fully because of everything they had experienced together in their relationship. 

David came to know that his Father was worthy of much praise.  Now, look at Psalm 145.  In this particular Psalm, David is actually praising his Father and talks about His characteristics.  In verse 8, David says that "The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love."   "The Lord is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does."  (Psalm 145:13b, NIV)  "The Lord is righteous in all his ways..."  (v17) "The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth."  (v18)  "The Lord watches over all who love Him..." (v20) 

Like David, we can also come to know Him more fully and accurately.  We can come to know our Father's true nature by being in a close, deep, and intimate relationship with Him.  We can also call out or cry out to our Father anytime or any place.  He is always available to us.  He is always with us!  He never leaves us!  He never forsakes us!  (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8)  He meets us exactly where we are at any given time or place.  He always loves us!  He is a good Father!

  Copyright 2013 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Listening to God

God our Father often talks to us, His children. However, we as His children are not always listening to Him. With all of the busyness in life, sometimes we cannot hear our Father God. Oftentimes, we are too distracted or caught up in the routine and busyness of everyday life. It does not mean that our Father is not talking to us though...or, at least, trying to talk to us throughout our days. We just may not hear Him when He is talking to us.

It takes an especially attentive ear for His children to hear Him. We, as His children, must be still and listen very well to hear our Father's voice. We must also train ourselves to correctly hear His voice. There may be other voices talking to us at times. It takes much wisdom and discernment on our part when it comes to the Spirit of God. (1 John 4:1-3) Then, we must not only have the knowledge of our Father but also the experience with Him to know Him and His voice.

Of course, it is like that with anyone who is in a relationship with someone. It takes that one-on-one time with each other. It takes time to get to know one another. It certainly takes time to learn each other's voice with the tone, the inflection, and the pitch. It also takes time to distinguish that person's voice from other voices. The same is true of our relationship with our Father and the knowledge of His voice.

If we listen to the wrong voices, we can be led in the wrong direction and eventually down the wrong path. Therefore, it it very important to know our Father's voice. In addition, it is important that we really listen intently to Him. Sometimes, He may only say something once. Other times, He may try to tell us something more than once for our benefit. Either way, it is beneficial for us to listen for His still small voice. We, as His children, must be very attentive and not allow other voices to drown out His still small voice.

Your Father is talking to you. Are you listening?

Copyright 2013 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Faith: A Brief Study

What is faith? Faith is a belief in someone or something. When people believe or have faith, they show it by their actions. They also speak it out. Someone may say, “I believe in you. I have faith in you.”

The faith that I am writing about now is faith in God…faith in Jesus Christ. How do we acquire faith in Jesus and ultimately in God? “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” (Romans 10:17, NIV) Therefore, I will share more of the word of God with you. May your ears, eyes, and hearts be open to hear, see, and understand what God would have you hear, see, and understand now.

Are you familiar with the true Gospel or the “Good News”? The Apostle Paul talks about the “Good News” in 1 Corinthians 15. Before I go on though, 1 Corinthians is a written letter from Paul and Sosthenes to the members of God’s church in Corinth. Look at Paul’s explanation of the “Good News”. (1 Corinthians 15:3-8) That is the “Good News” in a nutshell so to speak. Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NIV) Look also at John 3:17-18. In Isaiah 53, the prophet Isaiah spoke about Jesus…the Son of God. (Isaiah 53) It was God’s plan for His Son, Jesus to be born to the virgin, Mary, and His earthly father, Joseph in the little town of Bethlehem thousands of years ago. (Matthew 1:18-25) It was God’s plan for Jesus to be baptized by John the Baptist. (Matthew 3:13-17) It was part of God’s plan for Jesus to be tempted in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights. (Matthew 4:1-11) Look specifically at Matthew 4:1 and 4:11 now. It was part of God’s plan for Jesus to go into ministry after He endured and resisted all of the temptation in the wilderness. God had been preparing His Son, Jesus, for ministry for some time. He knew that Jesus would pass all of His tests. God knew that His Son would learn all of His lessons. The Father knew His Son, and God had faith in Jesus. It was part of God’s plan for Jesus to be arrested. (Matthew 26:47-56) It was part of God’s plan for His Son to be charged with a crime. (Matthew 26:57-68) It was part of God’s plan for Jesus to be sentenced to death. (Matthew 27:1-10) Look specifically at verses 1 through 4 at this time. It was God’s plan for Jesus to suffer under the rule of Pontius Pilate. (Matthew 27:11-26) Look now at verse 26. Then, take another look at Isaiah 53 for a minute and look at verse 10. It was part of God’s plan for His Son to be mocked by soldiers. (Matthew 27:27-31) It was God’s plan for Jesus to be nailed to a cross. (Matthew 27:32-44) It was God’s plan for His Son to die for us…for you and for me. (Matthew 27:45-56) It was God’s plan for Jesus to be buried and placed in a tomb. (Matthew 27:57-61) It was God’s plan for His Son to rise from the dead. (Matthew 28:1-10) Look back at Isaiah 53 a minute…specifically verse 11. God was with Jesus throughout everything. He was with Him every step of the way. He had a purpose and plan for Jesus.

Just like Jesus, we can be assured that God our Father is always with us. He will never leave us or forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8) We can also be assured that He has a purpose and plan for us. (Jeremiah 29:11) He works everything out for our good, His purpose, and His glory just like He did for Jesus. (Romans 8:28) We can trust God our Father. Have faith in God! (Mark 11:22-24) When you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, you will be saved eternally. (Romans 10:9-11)  Now, that is great news!

Copyright 2013 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.