Friday, April 12, 2013
Today’s Topic: Sovereign Identity
Today’s Text: Ephesians 1:5 (ESV) In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will,
This morning the Holy Spirit spoke a truth to me concerning the issue of the Father’s Sovereignty. It started with a question that raced across my mind – “What about identity?” He instantly got my attention, and I knew exactly what He meant. You see, when it comes to the truth of God’s Sovereignty, we generally and primarily think of it in terms of activity, i.e. God’s control of nature, political powers, circumstances and events. Yet Sovereignty, by pure definition, demands control of more than just activity. It must also include the control of identity.
As the Holy Spirit spoke to me, He convicted me of my abuse of my identity. He opened another compartment of my mind where I had been working on Sunday’s sermon, and used the story of two blind men coming to Jesus to drive home the point. These two men came to Jesus and asked to be healed of their blindness. In response, Jesus asked them, “Do you really believe I can do this for you?” They responded with a unanimous YES! So Jesus restored their sight.
As my mind drifted into the subject for Sunday, which is the faith that Jesus required for the healing, the Holy Spirit asked another question. “How many blind people, after being healed, willingly go back to being blind?” After responding quickly and saying none, I thought about it more deeply. Once Jesus Christ established a new identity, and it was accepted by faith, no one need ever go back to the previous identity. The new identity has been established forever by the Sovereignty of God.
This is when the Holy Spirit began the convicting process in my own heart. How many times have I abused the identity Christ gave me by returning to the old one? How often have I distrusted the Sovereignty of God by not believing that the identity He gave me is not only eternally secure but entirely sufficient? Every time I fall into any level of despair or discouragement about my past, or any time I allow the circumstances of today to re-define me according to my old nature, am I not abusing the Sovereignty of God?
Read again in Ephesians 1 the description of His Sovereignty (verses 4, 5, 8 and 11) and our identity. I will assist you by underlining key thoughts.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight
9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
By the Sovereign will of God I am adopted permanently into the family of God through Jesus Christ who redeemed me and forgave me of my sins. I have been sealed eternally with the Holy Spirit who guarantees the inheritance promised to me in the glorious presence of God someday. That is my identity – and yours, if you believe the same. God, who is Sovereign, has said so, and if I truly believe it, then I will never willingly choose to go back to being blind.