WHO DO I SAY I AM?
Sin is identity theft – You were made in God’s Image Gen 1:27 | Rom 8:29
Sin: “Hamartia” – Mistaken Identity (Mike Wood)
People express their Identity in many unconscious ways like bumper stickers, licence plates, and profile headers and descriptions on social media. The way we dress and style our hair, the decisions we make daily is predetermined by our perceived identity. Tattoos is chosen to express and conceptualize Identity, who am I?
How would you label your identity? What do you believe about yourself?
Some people’s personalized license plates are interesting; If you have one word to identify and describe yourself, what word would you choose? ‘convict’? ‘gangsta’? ‘wild1’? ‘sexymom’? Bumper Stickers: “Mom’s Taxi” “Villon” and even Curse words are used to identify the owner of the vehicle.
Paul address the NT believers as: Saints, (1 Cor 1:2; Rom 1:7) believers, fellow-workers, co-laborers! It seems easier to express yourself as a sinner, a loser, a failure than to rise up and think of yourself as a Saint, holy, and consecrated. Yet this is exactly what it means to become a follower of Christ. Your identity has changed. (2 Cor 5:17) You are a new creation.
Our Lives are Hidden in Christ
For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Col 3:2) To become Christ-like is impossible for man, but all things are possible for God (Mat 19:26) who changed us and we have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him (Col 3:10) This is the great mystery now revealed that God glory is revealed in and amongst us. (Col 1:27)
What did Jesus called Himself? The I-Am Principle
Jesus’ own claims to be the Christ the Messiah – the Anointed.
Jn 4:25-26 See also Mt 23:10; 26:63-64 pp Mk 14:61-62; Jn 10:24-25
The “I am” sayings of John’s Gospel
Jn 8:58 See also
Jn 6:35 the bread of life
Jn 8:12; 9:5The light of the world:
Jn 10:7-10 the gate;
Jn 10:11-14 the good shepherd;
Jn 11:25 the resurrection and the life;
Jn 14:6 the way, the truth and the life;
Jn 15:1-5 the true vine
Jesus mostly referred to Himself as the Son of Man Lk 19:10 See also Mt 11:19; Lk 5:24; Jn 3:13; 6:53.
Jesus eventually died because He acknowledged He is the Son of God, the Messiah, King of the Jews. He was tempted by Satan himself “if you are the son of God” (Mat 4:3) Even John the Baptist doubted and asked his disciples to go and ask him. (Mat 11:3) His own family and hometown people doubted. (Mark 6:3-5)
People cannot form your Identity if you do not consent.
Culture, Parents, teachers and leaders has a strong influence. People can confirm and receive or reject you, but they cannot steal your identity if you do not surrender it to them. We need to silence the voices and tune into our heavenly Father’s voice to get our true identity.
Consequently you alone have the power to receive and accept who God says you are. Sometimes we wait for a father or a leader to qualify us; yet you yourself have to first qualify and know/love yourself.
Jesus expressed himself often by saying “I am” this is after all His name. Being sure of who He is, is what they held against Him and the reason why they crucified Him. (John 10:31-39; Luk 22:70) Expect persecution the more certain you become of who you are.
Your life in Christ began with a Proclamation of Faith (Rom 10:9-10) “I am a Child of God” All the “IN CHRIST” Promises are I Am Statements: (Phil 4:13; Eph 1:6; Rom 8:31, 37)
Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation. (Ro 10:9–10).
See yourself in the Word
John the Baptist had to see himself in the Word. (Isaiah 40:3) and believe it. He knew his own purpose and said “I am the voice in the desert…” (John 1:23) He also had several prophecies spoken over his life. (Luke 1:15).
When your Identity is tested, it is an opportune Kairos moment for Promotion in the Spirit:
After the Church in Antioch fasted and prayed they separated Barnabas and Paul. Acts 13:2 Barnabas mentioned here first, because of his prominence at the time. In Salamis they were given an open door to the Proconsul Sergius Paulus and intelligent man. Acts 13:7 but a false prophet a sorcerer Bar-Jesus or known as Elymas resisted them. In vers 9 Paul is first named Saul, as to bring to remembrance the old identity. But Paul Filled with the Holy Spirit rebuked him publically. From that moment Barnabas disappeared from prominence and Paul’s Identity was settled and secured.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is being filled with the Spirit if Christ, His holiness, is power, His fruitful character with signs and wonders following. (v 11)
We perceive and form our inward Identity by adhering to internal and external voices and our senses. We discern our spiritual Identity by Hearing God’s Voice and developing our Spiritual senses. (Heb 5:12-14)
The spiritual importance of a name
Scripture Reading: (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1, 3, 4, 10) Prophesied by Isaiah a 100 years before Cyrus was born. Here is a good example of God calling someone even before they were born. Besides designating persons, a name also stands for fame, renown, reputation, character gained or expressed. You cannot have an intimate relationship with a group of people, only with individuals.
The Bible mention a few examples of individuals who were called by name.
Isaiah – The Lord has called Me from the womb; From the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name. (Isa 49:1)
Jeremiah – Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations. (Jer 1:5)
Israel (Jacob) – Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. (Isa 43:1)
Paul – But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, (Galatians 1:15)
David – You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me (Ps 139:13-16)
Jesus – Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
Several people’s names were changed in the Bible. Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel, Naomi to Mara, Simon to Peter, Saul to Paul etc.
Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.” (Isaiah 43:7) Every person is made in the image of God and thus bears his name and identity. (Gen 1:24) Beware of cursing your existence and being. Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What are you begetting?’ Or to the woman, ‘What have you brought forth?’ “ (Isaiah 45:10)
Because of sin (mistaken identity) we lost our identity and became slaves to satan and the world. But through Christ who died for our sins and broke the bondage of sin, he has given us a new identity. Even to them I will give in My house And within My walls a place and a name Better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name That shall not be cut off. (Isaiah 56:5) The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the Lord will name. (Isaiah 62:2)
Christ in us is our real and original identity, which we lost through sin but through faith in Him regained. As the knowledge of Christ in us increase the more we begin to look and think like Him.
Jesus was the Word in flesh. God made no mistake when He created us; there is a part of Christ in all of us. By being true to ourselves and accepting who we are, we reveal Christ even without trying. Ambition, strife, envy, pride and discontent are fruit of an inner insecurity and are thus a sign that such a person has not yet accepted the truth of Christ’s nature is already within. It is within not without!