When the Bible speaks about who you are, it is not to elevate yourself (not even to elevate your identity in Christ in order to accomplish some good). When the Bible speaks of you being “in Christ,” (Rom 6:11) or of you being His “special possession” (“the crown jewel”; Titus 2:14), or of you being “a royal priesthood” (1 Pet 2:9) it is for these two-fold purposes (1) to motivate you to change, to grow, to become what you are declared to be, and (2) to motivate you to sing the praise of Him who made you what you are.
Motivate to Mortify Sin/Self (including individual self replaced for sake of corporate self)
Romans 6:11-12 (cf. Rom 8:1-2; 12:5; 15:17-18; 1 Cor 3:1; Gal 5:6; Eph 2:10; Phil 2:1; etc.) 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions (emphasis added).
Motivate to Magnify God
1 Peter 2:9 (cf. 2 Cor 5:17-18; Gal 3:22-28; Eph 1; 2:7, 13; etc.) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
We think this verse reads something like:
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may remember who you are in order to live well in a fallen world.”
Motivate to Magnify God & Mortify Sin/Self
Titus 2:14 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a special people [the crown jewel] for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
If asked, “But mommy who I am matters, doesn’t it?”
Consider this reply, “Sweet pea, who you are is not the issue, whose you are is what matters. Because of whose you are you are responsible to respond according to His will and to make much of Him.”
God says, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” When kids make fun of you, do not look to build yourself up that you may have strength to withstand their insults (you do not need ego strength, even if it is strength in who you are in the Lord), but remember (1) God is with you (Heb 13:5), (2) pleasing Him is better than anything (2 Cor 5:9), including being liked, (3) dying to self and serving, indeed blessing (Rom 12:14), those who hurt you will bring your soul the greatest joy (Acts 20:35), and (4) you may have to confront (Luke 17:3).
Parents, we must get our children’s eyes, yea verily our own as well, off of self…and unto God.
“Whenever you view the sin of another against you as a greater problem than your own sin [-ful response], you will tend to seek Christ as your therapist more than you seek him as your Savior [Redeemer]. Christianity becomes more a pursuit of healing than a pursuit of godliness. The gospel is reduced to the healing of emotional needs” (Lane & Tripp, How People Change, 10).
How Do We Help This Type of Counselee
“I value all things only by the price they shall gain in eternity.” ~ John Wesley
“Only one life, it’ll soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” ~ C. T. Studd
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” ~ Jim Elliot
“No sooner do we believe that God loves us then there is an impulse to believe that He does so, not because He is love, but because we are intrinsically lovable” ~ C.S. Lewis
- Where is the focus on the above quotes? Eternity or God?
- God’s Remedy for Self:
- Mark 8:34
- Luke 18:14
- Ephesians 5:29 (already love self)
- Matthew 7:12 (Golden rule)
- Need to change focus from self to God:
- Galatians 2:20
- Whenever people are not alert to the exaltation of self, they become vulnerable to theological aberration that feeds on this self-centered philosophy (see Phil 1:21).
Instead of trying to feel better about ourselves by finding our identity in Jesus, how about we just marvel that we have life at all and that He, the Father, is the source of that life: “He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Cor 1:30).
“If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased” (C. S. Lewis, TheWeight of Glory, 26; italics added).
10,000 Blessings in The Reward,
Rod and Staff Ministries
*Compiled from Semester One: Principles of Biblical Counseling. 2nd Edition. Lesson Five.
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