Satan managed to twist the perception of who Father is and who we are. He progresses this plan by bending out of shape our perception of what the Gospel is and who Christ is for us. Paul writes, ‘I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!’ Gal 2.21 NIV. Here is a clear signal that any gospel that retains people in the law and the abstractions of the knowledge of good and evil when un-diluted life is theirs directly in Jesus is a false gospel with a false christ. IDENTITY ‘Who do you say that I am?’ The answer to this question determines whether we are crippled or whole. Identity is the key issue of our being. Having the right identity means the difference between mere existence and life to the full. Being yourself in the most complete way is what is meant by Christ in you, the hope of glory. Satan’s ploy in Eden involved deceit about God’s identity and our human identity. Today’s ploys of the Enemy remain the same – they contain lies about who we are in Christ. Satan will attempt to seed lies into our consciousness such as. ‘Are you really a son/daughter of God.’ The answer is always ‘yes!’ Because Jesus is all things ‘yes’ in our relationship to Father. If you have come to Christ, you have come to the light. You have come to the One who shows us how to see. He has received us into His light. He is shining His light into our life. Will we insist on our darkness, which is our gospel and demand that Jesus repents of being the light and the life? Will be accept Him as the light or will we insist that He accept our ‘light’ as a valid gospel? In His light we belong and in His persons we grow into who we really are. Most of us have been raised to think that right and wrong, good and evil are the key issues of our relationship to God. They are not irrelevant, but they are not key. The key issue is that you belong and that you are included in the Communion that is God. GOOD THEOLOGY Good theology uncovers Satan lies and disposes of embedded insinuations in the form of myths, veils and poor Christian teaching. Good theology attacks them with the truth. Just as Jesus revealed Father and offered Himself as life to the full, so Holy Spirit offers Jesus to you, reveals God as who He actually is and places us where we belong in our mind’s eye - in full confidence as sons and daughters in intimate fellowship with our Father. CHRIST’S MIND We need to have the mind of Christ as regards our identity. If he can, the Deceiver will present to our imaginations a distorted Jesus along with a slanted gospel in a bid to sap the life out of us and our potential of a new creation person. BELIEFS Even if Holy Spirit is bolted on to such a ‘gospel’ it will contain within it, the seeds of death. The battle-field of existence is the field of beliefs because it is from beliefs that we make our version of reality. The gospel of the Kingdom is God’s version of reality, God’s version of who He is and God’s version of who you are. This is why it is a superb advantage to have our living, moving and being – our identity in Him. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.’ Acts 17.28 NIV. We are saying that we have a choice. We can be the offspring of the Father of Truth of the lesser beings who are sons of the father of lies.
BUT WHO ARE YOU? Our answer to the question, ‘Who am I?’ tells us where we are hoping to find an identity. Satan pressed Jesus on this issue because he understood correctly that out of our perception of identity, the issues of life spring. BENT IDENTITY Satan for a time, successfully thwarted the plan of God for the human race by mangling their sense of identity. Change the vine and you change the branches. This is why we need Jesus as our identity vine where we can happily engage with the Gardener who will cut off the manifestations of our false identities and provide us with a new source of being. ‘He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful’ John 15.2 NIV. WOMB OF OUR BEING In his book The Shack, William Paul Young writes the line, ‘You were made to live in God.’ We might think this is obvious, but it may not be to us while we are living in the law. The chief illusion that many moulder in, is the misconception that we were made to live in religion. Not at all. We were created in relationship to God and have been redeemed into union with God. PROTECTING OUR WHEEL CHAIR We can fight quite hard to maintain the false self when religion is the womb of our identity. If religion is all we have we will fight for it. If our identity is religion we will passively/aggressively maintain it. But we will be dead men walking. The things we own, enjoy and have done are not our identity. We are our identity. This identity is unique. Christ saw who we were before creation. It came to us at conception and is known and understood by Jesus, if not by ourselves. This is why Christ is our life in a much deeper way than we have often thought. With Christ as our life, we grow into our real self on a daily basis. Let’s be clear. Jesus knows who you are and He loves you – always. What is clear is that the religious person seldom knows who He is. Transitioning from religion to Christ our life is the birth of our real self. New birth is not about giving up a bad morality for a good one. It’s about leaving behind our Adamic life for Christ as us. That’s incarnation and that’s new covenant. ‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’ Gal 2.20 NIV. FALSE SELF/REAL SELF When ministering in the spirit of religion we may attempt to gain credibility and authority by outlining 0ur academic qualifications and achievements. To be sure these have some bearing. Ignorance is not bliss. People are not theologians because they have a Bible. But the person who is simply ministering in the I AM of Jesus will be content to share their life in God. In their preaching they will be the life of God and multiply spirit and life. From a law-based culture we are mostly the distributers of words. The I AM of you joined with the I AM of Jesus is the most powerful witness to the life that is ours in God. It is spirit and life. The sons of God, the wheat in the field, find their identity in Father God. The tares have their identity diluted by the father of lies. SEEING THE KINGDOM OF GOD We either live in God or we think we do. The realisation that we have only been thinking we do can be the beginning of our re-birth and our born - again identity. On this aspect of human behavior Christopher Heuertz writes, “Often our first interaction with a new acquaintance exposes our fears or insecurities, demonstrated in how we describe ourselves. Usually, we allow carefully curated fragments of our identities to lay claim to the whole. I’m frequently guilty of beginning my own introductions with references to what I’ve done or do for a living, as if that tells someone who I am.” (1) THE REAL YOU As stated, who we are is who we are in God as the person He brought forth at creation, redeemed at the cross and empowers by the Spirit each day of your life. Who we are is who we are in communion with Jesus. It takes some maturing into the reality of being a son of God in spirit and in truth before we can get a grip on the fact that what matters about our identity is that we are truly daughters and sons of God; that Jesus has gained this belonging for us; that heaven celebrates this fellowship, loves us for who we are and bends every effort to draw us out of our self-constructed identities into the safety and authenticity of our simple and un-polluted identity in Jesus Christ.
(1) Heuertz, Christopher L.. The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth (p. 17). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.