Identity – BT3: Understanding who God has made you to BE changes what you DO
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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 – even though we still try to improve on our own “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-kind “NEW man” identity within the completely-different-in-kind 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 (97.4 % of the Old Testament – see Logos Word of God – BT5a) 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 all world religions teach some form of this.
However, the completely-different-kind New Covenant says that “we are saints or ‘holy priests’ IN Christ” who are saved by unmerited, undeserved, unearned, unconditional-loving-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 New Testament repeatedly reminds us of “WHO we ARE” “IN Christ,” most Christians have been conned into believing that at least some of the Old Testament 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 – but this is exactly The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit in churches!
However, the New Testament says Christians are “absolutely-in-fact-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 own flesh’s “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 or epignosis genuine, full, experiential, relational knowledge – gnosis is stuck in the head that “only puffs it up with conceit” (a), the other 2 makes it deep into the heart where it can bear fruit (b)! The ones healed by Jesus are those who “understand with their heart, not just those who physically see with their eyes or physically 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 Christians that the “eyes of their hearts to have already been [with ongoing effects] enlightened/illuminated in-order-that to have already been [with ongoing effects] eido mentally ‘seen’ to perceive/know . . . the immeasurable greatness of His [Spirit’s] enabling-power” (a). <Notes> a) Ephesians 1:18-19.
Now gnosis info-knowledge is acquired through man’s “might and power” reading and study as the Pharisee did of “diligently searching the scripture” (a). However, the “secrets of the kingdom are kept hidden from these [so-called] sophia wise and/coupled sunesis rational, logical, inductive ‘connect-the-dots’ understanding ones, but-instead revealed to little children by-the-means-of-the Holy Spirit,” especially through conversational-prayer (b). <Notes> a) John 5:39, b) Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11; Ephesians 3:5; Colossians 1:9.
That’s because “the experientially, relationally yada/ginosko knowing of God” under the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant is “absolutely-in-fact-NO longer through teaching“ of scripture (or the understanding of it) from Moses “from the greatest to the least” down a top-down hierarchal chain of command that finally reaches the little children and uneducated slaves, but available to all of God’s children and NOW instead “by prophetic eido ‘seeing’ to perceive/know God” and NOW “from the least to the greatest” (a). <Notes> a) Jeremiah 31:31-34 cited in Hebrews 8:8-13, 10:16-17; Romans 11:27.
As Christian musicians, all of us should rightfully have started out with a poor self-image if we honestly saw 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 flesh’s “old man.” Religion will keep you IN this, always trying to work your way out to get rid of the guilt.
But the ‘Great News’ or gospel logos message, is that Christ came to deal with this problem of sin – its guilt and power – and to create us as a completely-different-in-kind “NEW man” under the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant. 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 a completely-different-in-kind “NEW man” and being in a trusting-relying-faith 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 in John 5:41, 7:28, 8:55, 15:21. The difference will come by WHO we relationally know – Jesus said in John 17:3 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 by proserchomai ‘drawing close beside God’ through devoted, patiently-waiting, watching, listening proseuche conversational prayer, which in practice is very close to worship.
As Christian musicians, we will either be sharing the “Bad News” or religious ways to deal with it or the “Great News” ways that God has dealt with “the problem” through Jesus Christ. Which will your music ministry portray?
Spiritual Education, Understanding who God has made you to BE changes what you DO, DOing flows from BEing, , Flesh’s Might & Power FOR God verses By God’s Spirit WITH God, Old Covenant & World Religion Works FOR versus New Covenant Relationship WITH God, Schizophrenic Christians from mixing Old & New Covenants, Head knowledge won’t changes us but Heart-Relationship knowledge will, The knowledge of God is NOW not thru teaching or understanding scripture, The knowledge of God is NOW through proseuche relationship conversational-prayer, Bible-expert scribes & Pharisees didn’t know God or have God’s love