Identity is the key issue of life and of the self. This was the issue that precipitated the fall with the insinuation that Father could not be believed or trusted and that we as Adam and Eve were less than we were when we were actually sons of God. It’s significant that Satan attempted the same deception on Jesus in the attempt to get Him to deny who He was: The Son of God.
IDENTITY IS KEY
The distortion of the self and the denial of the Christ by presenting weaker or a lesser christ along with a lesser gospel, produces a false christ, a false gospel and a distorted self. Every time we are tempted to think, ‘I am not enough,’ the attack on our identity is renewed. It is countered by our living in Christ and agreeing with Father than Jesus is our life and our identity.
KNOWING GOD TRULY
Eternal life and life to the full every day is found where Jesus says it is found, ‘This is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent’ John 17.3 NIV. Rightly interpreting the word of truth is the result of being possessed by the true Christ and the one Gospel.
Wring in the introduction to Thomas Merton’s, ‘Contemplation In a World of Action’, Robert Coles observes of the Psychologist Erickson, “His immensely important writing and research constantly emphasize the struggle so many of us wage, in adolescence and beyond, as we try to find a personal destiny for ourselves and try also to make commitments to others …
… “We give ourselves over to others, both individuals and institutions and, more broadly, to places where we work and to neighbour hoods in which we live, while reserving for ourselves a certain distance: the right, it can be said, to be appreciative and responsive and loyal, with the obligation to find a proper respect for our own personal or private ideas and ideals.”
IDENTITY OR SHADE
Some never become their true selves in this life because they have been absorbed into an intellectual belief system that insulates them from God, or made a shrunken version of themselves by venerating the law that insulates them from God and from themselves.
Identity: Many of us are so smothered by the externalities that falsely present themselves as ‘life to the full’ that we develop a self that is never our real self. Of course we can think it is. We mat think our income or professional accomplishments are us. But they are not. The real self is the you that Christ saw before the foundation of the world and the self He desires to draw you into as a son/daughter of God.
The most vitiating stifler of the true self is religion that poses as a relationship with God when it is really only a relationship with the externalities of religion. The most successful insulator of the self from God is the religion of law. It’s counterfeit of Godliness comes from the fact that it actually insulates us from God while pretending it is God is of God.
YOU ARE YOURSELF IN HIM
Jesus was one with His Father and the expression of His Father. He was able to say of His identity that ‘I and the Father are one,’ and more. ‘No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him’ Matt 11.27 NIV. Because Jesus is God and one of us we have received Jesus’ oneness with Father as our own. Should we choose Jesus as our Saviour and our life He will be our LIVING WAY and reveal Himself, His Father and His true Gospel to us.
‘Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth’ 2. Tim 2.15 NLT.
We can sleep in the shame of dodgy gospels due to laziness or a quiet bigotry.
WHEN LIGHT AND LIFE IS YOU
‘When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’ John 8.12. To follow Jesus is to be aligned with the gospel of Jesus, John and Paul. You can’t just make it up. If we do, the result we be a fog of confusion and distortion. Should we invent our own gospel and entertain a self-generated christ, we will have an obscured and distorted view of Jesus, a bent gospel and be thwarted in our true identity as daughters and sons. A false christ always produces a false you.