Identity – BT3
Then understand who God has made you to BE
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Our self-image of “WHO we are” either keeps us imprisoned or sets us free! Much of what keeps us in our own prisons of repeating actions that simply don’t work but still trying to improve on our “might and power” to get better results, is that we still see ourselves as the world or as “performance-based” religions do. Until we really own up to the truth about our completely-different “New man” identity within the completely-different New Covenant, we will still act out of our old perceptions of ourselves. The “WHATS of doing” naturally flow from the “WHO of being,” actions from identity, whether for bad or good. The old covenant (most of the OT) says “we are sinners” that must do works to earn or merit God’s approval, pleasure, and love, so it is all conditional and merit-based! Many churches and world religions teach some form of this. However, the completely-different New Covenant says that “we are saints or ‘holy priests’ in Christ” who are saved by unconditional-favor-of-grace and thus unconditionally-loved by the Father solely because of our trusting-relying-faith in Christ’s perfectly obedient, sacrificial death for us. If the Father is madly in love unconditionally with His Son Jesus with nothing but “approval and pleasure” directed toward Him, and we really are “inside Christ,” then ALL of that is directed right to us as well! But do we really believe this? Do we really see ourselves in this way?
Although the entire NT repeatedly reminds us of “WHO we are in Christ,” most Christians have been conned into believing that at least some of the OT image of us is also somehow true. This really is schizophrenic, but we hear this preaching all the time! However, these are but “traditions of men” that simply won’t let go – religion trying to mix with genuine fellowship with God! Christians are told they are “not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you” per Romans 8:9. However, if we really believe somehow we are still “outside of Christ” trying to reach God through our “might and power,” then we will be acting as if we are still “in the flesh,” which is the approach of all religion.
Just knowing the theology of “WHO we are in Christ” doesn’t make it a reality for us either. There is a radical difference in the original languages between gnosis info-knowledge and ginosko experiential, relational knowledge – the first is stuck in the head that only puffs it up with conceit (a), the other makes it deep into the heart where it can produce fruit (b)! The ones healed by Jesus are those who “understand with their heart, not just those who see with their eyes or hear with their ears” (c). <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 8:1, 1 Timothy 6:4, b) Luke 8:15, c) Matthew 13:15; John 12:40; Acts 28:27.
What is the solution? Paul proseuchomai conversationally-prays for Christian “eyes of their hearts to be enlightened that they may eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know . . . the immeasurable greatness of His Spirit’s power” (a). Now gnosis info-knowledge is acquired through man’s “might and power” reading and study as the Pharisee did of scripture (b) but the “secrets of the kingdom are kept hidden from these sophia wise and sunesis ‘connect-the-dots’ rational-understanding ones but instead revealed to little children by the Holy Spirit,” especially through conversational-prayer (c), just as New Covenant experientially, relationally yada/ginosko knowing of God is no longer through teaching of scripture from Moses “from the greatest to the least” down a hierarchal chain of command to little children and ignorant slaves, but available to all of God’s children and now by prophetic eido ‘seeing’ to know God and NOW “from the least to the greatest” (d). <Notes> a) Ephesians 1:18-19, b) John 5:39, c) Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11; Ephesians 3:5; Colossians 1:9, d) Jeremiah 31:31-34 cited in Hebrews 8:8-13, 10:16-17; Romans 11:27.
As Christian musicians, all of us should be starting out with a poor self-image if we honestly see the amount of sin in our lives! Only pride would blind you to the truth that you were a sinner in desperate need for a savior, as Paul states in Romans 3:10-18, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” That’s the ‘Bad News’ of the “old man.” Religion will keep you in this, always trying to work your way out to get rid of the guilt.
But the ‘Good News’ or logos gospel message, is that Christ came to deal with this problem of sin – its guilt and power – and to create us as “new men.” Religion and the “accuser of the brethren” Satan will do everything in their power for us to continue to ‘see’ ourselves as “old men” to keep us from the power of ‘seeing’ ourselves as “new men” and being in a trusting relationship with Jesus Christ so that His powerful Holy Spirit can make us holy! It’s not WHAT you know – how much scripture you can read or study – that will make the difference. The scribes and Pharisees were experts at scripture but they “did not know God or have the love of God within them” Jesus said. The difference will come by WHO we know – Jesus said that “zoe genuine-life only comes by experientially, relationally ginosko knowing the Father and the Son whom He sent.” And the only way the NT consistently teaches is the way to do this is through proseuche conversational prayer, which in nature is very close to worship.
As Christian musicians, we will either be sharing “Bad News” or religious ways to deal with it or the “Good News” ways that God has dealt with it through Jesus Christ. Which will your music ministry portray?