Identity Issues God s Glory and Our Joy Ephesians 1:9

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1 Identity Issues Gd s Glry and Our Jy Ephesians 1:9 We ve been talking identity and hw we frm it The age-ld questin f Wh am I? This questin is imprtant because wh we believe urselves t be will shape and infrm the way that we think, feel and act Hw we live with and tward each ther and (mst imprtantly) Gd We all live ut f ur identity (self-understanding) Identity is cmplex. We are a lt f things. There is much that is true abut us. But what we are endeavring t discver is what is mst true abut us (dminant in shaping hw we think, feel and act) Ways we usually frm identity: What we d (excel r fail) I m an expert r I m a screw up What we have (r dn t have) What we can attain Pssessins are nt just pssessins We lk t find urselves in them What we want (r dn t want) Hw we feel What we are attracted t Alchlic, gay Several f these things may be true (in different cmbinatins) Yu may be an talented, lw incme, gay Yu may be a screw up, wealthy, alchlic (D, have, desire) These are lesser ways t answer the questin f Wh am I? What must be asked is wh des Gd say I am, in light f what Christ has dne fr me? That is hw we discver what is mst true abut us Identity (think, feel, act) The reasn we must ask wh Gd (in and thrugh Christ) says we are is because we are creatures We are created beings Created beings are cntingent r dependent n Gd We nly exist because Gd made us and we nly cntinue t exist because He s wills it Clssians 1:16-17 Thrugh Christ Gd created everything in the heavenly realms and n earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can t see Everything was created thrugh him and fr him. He existed befre anything else, and he hlds all creatin tgether.

2 Since we nly exist and cntinue t exist because f Gd s wrk thrugh Christ, we must lk t Gd s wrk thrugh Christ t understand wh we are! We are creatures cntingent and dependent The challenge we face is ur prclivity t lk inward r utward t frm identity Wh I am in light f what I, myself d, have r desire (inward) Wh I am in light f what thers d, have, r desire frm me (utward) What we must d t answer the questin Wh am I? is lk upward As cntingent, dependent, creatures What has Gd dne fr me; have fr me; desire fr me? Ephesians 1:3-8 If yu are a Christian, this is what is mst true abut yu (thugh yu are wicked) T summarize, what is mst true abut yu is that yu are lved by Gd (The Belved) = Identity (Wh yu are) As I said earlier, we live ut f ur identities The prcess f Christian life is t begin t live ut f being the belved f Gd Cf. Ephesians 4:1 & 5:1 (Cf. Phil 2:12-13 where wrk ut = cultivate) What that des is transitin us t the questin that always fllws Wh am I? Why am I here? What is the meaning and purpse f life? What am I suppsed t d, accmplish, and cntribute? This is the questin answered by verse 9 (read) As creatures, we are nt nly cntingent and dependent we are als subrdinate The creatin is always less than the creatr T see it any ther way is t be an idlater Verse 9 tells us that even thugh Gd has dne, and has, and desires wnderful things fr us it is nt abut us It is a plan regarding Christ (details next week) A plan t fulfill His wn gd pleasure All things were created by Him and fr Him (Cl 1:16) We exist fr Gd s pleasure and Gd s glry and nt ur wn Failing t realize this is precisely where everything has gne wrng We try t live fr ur pleasure and ur glry It can never be right because we are creatures! (cntingent, dependent, subrdinate) We are less than We were nt made fr urselves This is why we have been calling ur study f Ephesians 1:1-14, Identity Issues Gd s Glry in Us Thru Christ s wrk fr Us Once we settle ur identity issues and stp frming ur self understanding accrding t: What we d well, r where we fail What we have, r dn t have What we desire, r dn t desire

3 And base it n what Gd in Christ has dne fr us, and has fr us and desires fr us Then we start t live fr Gd s glry Because the nly thing salient abut us (apart frm Christ s wrk fr us) is that we are desperate, brken rebels and sinners But because f Wh Gd is, and what Christ has dne fr us, we are: Lved and Chsen (v. 4) Hly and Adpted (vv. 4 & 5) Redeemed and Frgiven (v. 7) Blessed and Graced (v. 3 & 6) Why? It has everything t d with wh Gd is and what Gd wants (a plan t fulfill His wn gd pleasure) Because there is nthing gd abut us as sinners withut Christ (and nthing we culd d!) Deuternmy 9:4-6 After the Lrd yur Gd has dne this fr yu, dn t say in yur hearts, The Lrd has given us this land because we are such gd peple! N It is nt because yu are s gd r have such integrity Yu must recgnize that the Lrd yur Gd is nt giving yu this gd land because yu are gd, fr yu are nt yu are a stubbrn peple. Scripture tells we are it is Gd s plan regarding Christ, because nly thrugh Christ are we: Lved. Because we were unlvely in ur rebellin Chsen. Because we were rejected and cndemned Hly. Because we were evil and dirty Adpted. Because we were lst and abandned Redeemed. Because we were slaves t sin Frgiven. Because we were guilty befre Gd Blessed. Because we were cursed Graced. Because we were undeserving Gd did all f this fr us In and thrugh Christ s wrk (mysterius plan regarding Christ) Fr His wn glry and pleasure Isaiah 43:7 Bring all wh claim me as their Gd, fr I have made them fr my glry. It was I wh created them. Therefre, we live ut f this new identity (see abve) fr Gd s glry and pleasure! Because that is why we are created and sustained The questin f Why am I here? is answered in this statement: T glrify Gd and fully enjy Him frever. The Westminster Larger Catechism, Questin 1 T begin t live ut f this identity f belved child f Gd If we were created fr Gd s pleasure and glry then we shuld please Gd and nt grieve Gd Ephesians 4:30 D nt bring srrw t Gd s Hly Spirit by the way yu live. Remember, he has identified yu as his wn 1 Crinthians 10:31 S whether yu eat r drink, r whatever yu d, d it all fr the glry f Gd.

4 1 Crinthians 6:19-20 Dn t yu realize that yur bdy is the temple f the Hly Spirit, wh lives in yu and was given t yu by Gd? Yu d nt belng t yurself, fr Gd bught yu with a high price. S yu must hnr Gd with yur bdy. Matthew 5:16 Let yur light shine befre men in such a way that they may see yur gd wrks, and glrify yur Father wh is in heaven. Jhn 15:8 When yu prduce much fruit, yu are my true disciples. This brings great glry t my Father. Clssians 3:23 Wrk willingly at whatever yu d, as thugh yu were wrking fr the Lrd rather than fr peple. = S as grateful and dependent creatures, we can live fr Gd s gd pleasure and glry But ding this des nt nly cnsist f ding the right things and refraining frm the bad T glrify Gd and fully enjy Him frever. Enjy Jesus!!! (Mantra) Existing as Gd s belved children fr Gd s pleasure and glry des nt mean that we are t live lives vid f pleasure Gd is nt a csmic killjy r a heavenly Scrge: He actually wants us t be cntent and happy (But nt t exalt the pursuit f thse things ver and abve the pursuit f Him and His glry) We remain as creatures Once we stp lking fr meaning in what we d, what we have, and what we want And we find meaning in what Gd has dne in Christ, what we have in Christ, and what Gd wants fr us in Christ Once we stp lking inward t discver wh we are And lk upward (as creatures) t wh Gd is Then we can begin t enjy things mre and need them less (cntent in Christ) 1 Timthy 6:17 Gd richly gives us all we need fr ur enjyment. Gd actually want yu t enjy Him by enjying His gifts Gd desires that His creatures be happy as well as hly Satisfactin as well as sanctificatin (Cf parents t kids) James 1:17 Every gd and perfect gift is frm abve, cming dwn frm the Father Sme f us have a sense that glrifying Gd means denying urselves material things Others f us, n the ther hand, think that life cnsists f material things and the enjyment f them

5 But the Gspel (identity) brings us t the cnclusin that we have been recnciled t Gd wh is a radical Giver (Jhn 3:16) and can nw enjy Him One f the ways we enjy the Giver is by enjying His gifts Is there a greater way t lve the Giver than t delight in His gifts? Fremst f all Christ! Enjy Jesus (Scripture, prayer and cmmunity will help yu) He sees t it that we can never be actually cntent and happy apart frm Him We were created fr Him and ur hearts are jyless until they find jy in Him Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 (almst 3,00 years ag) A persn can d nthing better than t eat and drink and find satisfactin in their wn til. This t, I see, is frm the hand f Gd, fr withut him, wh can eat r find enjyment? A pem (abut 500 years ag): Just these tw wrds He spke! changed my life, "Enjy Me." What a burden I thught I was t carry -! a crucifix, as did He. Lve nce said t me, "I knw a sng,! wuld yu like t hear it?" And laughter came frm every brick in the street! and frm every pre! in the sky. After a night f prayer, He! changed my life when! He sang, "Enjy Me." If Gd has saved us thrugh Christ fr His gd pleasure and fr His glry Then he enjys us (in Christ) Then it pleases and glrifies Gd when we enjy Him thrugh Christ I am my belved s and my belved is mine. Sng f Slmn 6:3 Maybe yu have been lking fr meaning in what yu d, what yu have, what yu desire Nw yu have heard that yu will nly find ultimate meaning in what Gd has dne fr yu, what Gd has fr yu and what Gd desires fr yu in and thrugh Jesus! Cme t Him! Repentance and faith

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