Faithlife
Faithlife

Introduction to finding our identity in God's truth

Finding our worth in God's truth  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 2 views

An Introduction to finding our identity in God's truth from Robert S. McGee's Search for Significance books and dvd series.

Notes & Transcripts
Let me be real…Imagine trying to teach others how to find their true worth only in Christ while at the same time trying to find my own worth in doing a great job teaching and making sure that you all like me this next week. How sick is this? Well this is what happens when we follow Satan’s math.

Satan’s math

This math is not based upon God’s truth about who we are, but is based upon Satan’s desire to destroy all that is good and keep God’s people in slavery so they will not live as those who have been redeemed by Christ’s precious blood. Thus, he tells us that our self-worth is: my performance plus what other people think of me.

Self-worth = my performance + other people’s opinion of me

This Satanic formula takes the form of four false beliefs about ourselves that we will look at next week.

Who am I?

I must meet certain standards to have value and be able to accept myself.
I must have the approval of others in order to accept myself.
Those who fail should be punished, including myself.
I am what I am, I cannot change.
Those who fail should be punished, including myself.

Questions we may ask ourselves

Who am I?

Yet, we will not leave simply look at these lies, but we will look at how we should handle these lies based upon God’s truth.
The answers to these questions will reveal several things about yourself. Does my life have any value? Does my life have a purpose? Does my life have any meaning?
This is very important because our existence is determined by the way we perceive ourselves. From our relationships, to what we try to do, to what we avoid, to the misery in our lives comes from our sense of who we are. So how well we live with ourselves and others is based upon how we deal with this math.

Our answers reveal

The reality is that we are in a spiritual battle between God and Satan. It began when Satan rebelled against God and continues today. It affected us when Satan tricked Eve and Adam joined wilfully in Satan’s rebellion. This rebellion propelled the world into sin and Satan became the God of this world. Yet, when Christ finished his work on the cross, he defeated Satan. So now, in Christ we are a new creation and are given the duty to battle against Satan through the power of the cross.

How well I live with myself and others.

Our identity, how we see ourselves, our understanding of what God did for us in Christ will determine whether we live as an active participant in the battle or a victim of the battle. In order to do this we must not listen to Satan’s lies, but to God’s truth. What is this truth in relationship to these lies?

God’s truth

Our existence is determined by the way we perceive ourselves. From relationships, what we try to do, what we avoid, and the misery in our lives all comes from the sense of who we are, how we value ourselves. In short...how we deal with this math.
You are what God says you are.
God speaks and worlds come into existence.
You are God’s new creation and you have a new identity.
These truths are the foundation of all we will talk about next week. So we will look at each lie and then counter these with God’s truth, the truth that comes with power, God’s power:
Justification (Monday)
Reconciliation (Tuesday)
Propitiation (Thursday)
Regeneration (Friday)
I know these are big words, but don’t worry, we will make sure they are clearly defined and that we understand them.
Before I end for the night, I would like you to understand how these lies come about and why they have so much power in our lives.

What happens?

How I am doing in my spiritual battles.

From the very beginning of our lives these lies have been circulating and are still being reinforced. So here is what happens and has happened throughout our lives.
We experience situations.
Most Christians don't understand that they are in the middle of a conflict between God and Satan.The battle began when Lucifer rebelled against God in heaven. Some scholars believe that tells us the fall of Satan. Satan apparently was puffed up with pride and wanted the worship which belonged to God alone. He rebelled and God cast him from heaven.God created the world and the first people. Satan tricked Eve into rebelling against God as well, and Adam willfully joined this rebellion (). So Adam followed Stan in his rebellion. After this rebellion Satan became the god of this world (until Christ's work on the cross), see , , , and ; ; . For Christ defeated Satan on the cross (; ). Also, see http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/the-fall-of-satan-and-the-victory-of-christ.How are you doing in this battle?
These four false beliefs trigger thoughts.

How I am living out my duty.

These thoughts trigger emotions.
Our duty is to deal with Satan and his demons through the power of Christ. Our identity is crucial here. We are to be actively engaged in this battle. We are not supposed to be a victim of this conflict. God chose not to stop this war, so he gave us a new nature, his Spirit and the word to deal with Satan and his demons.
We act on these emotions.

Whether or not I live as a victim

These actions reinforce our commitment to these false beliefs.
My identity, how I see myself, my understanding of what God did for us and with us in Christ, determines whether we live as an active participant in the battle, or a victim of the battle.
Our goal for the week

What is our goal?

What does God say about this?

Our goal for the week is to understand that our situations are being interpreted by these 4 false beliefs. So, if we change our false beliefs, we will see our emotions change, once these change, then our behavior changes as well.

You are what God says you are.

But we can’t do this without the power of God and the truth of God. For it is only the truth of God, who he is and who we are, and what he has done and made us that can release us from these false beliefs.
You are not what you think you are, or even what others may say you are, rather, you are what God has declared you to be! You have an identity as a new creation.

How will we do it?

God speaks and worlds come into existence.

So, we will spend time this week looking at God’s antidote.
At creation, God simply spoke, and things were created, out of nothing, ex nihilo.
God has given us a new heart.

You are a new creation of God with a new identity.

God has declared what is true to us.
When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, God declares us to be a new creation. And thus we are. We are given a new identity. The same thing that happened at creation happens to us. God declares us a new creation, and we are. God takes away the spirit we are born with and puts a new one in us that will be with him for all eternity.But there is one problem…Satan wants to teach us our identity, and he does this since our birth. It happens sometimes through our families, always through society, and even sometimes in churches.
God has given a clear process of how to defeat these false beliefs and replace them with his truth.

What does Satan say about this?

Thus, our goal for next week is to develop an ongoing defense against new false beliefs that will arise in our lives.

God’s provided help

God has put in us a self-reflective response (we talk to ourselves) that when it finds us wanting causes us tremendous emotional pain. This is not a bad thing.
I must meet certain standards to have value and be able to accept myself.If I don't perform to a certain level, I can't accept myself and must reject myself. I don't have value if I don't perform.I must have the approval of others in order to accept myself.I have to have the approval of others, especially certain ones like parents, in order for me to accept myself. This is the most pervasive of them all. It generalizes over everyone as we think we then have to have the approval of others.Those who fail should be punished, including myself.We don't just use this on others, we use it on ourselves too.I am what I am, I cannot change.
This is what God uses to help us understand how we are. He wants us to experience failure and rejection in order to drive us to him. God allows these struggles in our lives to push us to him.

We will seek out and destroy the false beliefs so that we don’t have to struggle with them. We can do this with weapons that God has given us.
2 Corinthians 10:4–6 NLT
We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. And after you have become fully obedient, we will punish everyone who remains disobedient.

What happens during situations in our lives?

What are our weapons?

Four false beliefs trigger thoughtsThoughts trigger emotionsWe act on these emotions.This reinforces our commitment to the false beliefs.Situations occur in our lives. We go from one situation to the next. We feel like we can control the situations we are going through. But we can't.However, God has planned these situations we go through. When we go through them, they impact these 4 false beliefs. When these beliefs are triggered, thoughts get triggered, and these trigger emotions. From here, we act on these emotions. As our actions happen, more power is given to the false belief.
tells us the nature and power of these weapons:

Why do I feel this way?

Not fleshly or carnal, not psychological (v. 4a)
Often, we have no idea why we feel this way. We only explain it by pointing to a particular situation. But, if it is the situation that is the problem, and we cannot control how we feel, then we are at the mercy of whatever situations happen in our life.
Effective and powerful weapons (v. 4b)

Is there hope?

Destroy strongholds (v. 4b)
If we understand that our situations are being interpreted by these 4 false beliefs, then if we change our false beliefs, we will see our emotions change, and if our emotions change, then our behavior will change.Situations are real, but two people can go through the same situation and experience it completely different. Why? Because they believe different things in different ways.
Destroy arguments (v. 5a)

Satan working overtime

Destroy high things (v. 5b)
This same process happens universally, for all people in all countries. Satan wants us to fall into his trap so tightly, so completely, that even though we accept Christ and have a new spirit, his lies have been embedded in us, and so we have difficulty accepting what God says is true.Christians who know their true identity are the real threat to Satan and his plan on earth. Thus, he works overtime to keep up from knowing our identity.
Destroy what is raised up (v. 5b)

God's antidote

Win thoughts for Christ (v. 5c)
He declares what is true to His childrenGod creates within us a new spirit, and declares to His children only that which is true. He has told us who we are. And this is the pathway to finding our significance and defeating Satan's lie.He has a clear process of how to defeat these satanic false beliefs and replace them with His truth God gives us an inspired formula to defeat these false beliefs. Even though we have used these false beliefs 1000s of times, he has given us all we need to defeat them.The problem is that we are discouraged. We have read books, seen truth, and had people explain it to us in such a way that we were profoundly affected, yet, in a few months, we went back to being the way we were.Why? Most of the time we learn the truth, but we did not learn how to put it into practice in our life.What we are going to learn is what the truth is, and God's process for bringing it into our lives.
We won’t be able to use these weapons without God’s help and enlightening us in his knowledge. So, I have one request of you this week…to pray a simple prayer. A prayer that asks God to reveal himself and his truth to us, and reveal his truth about who we are in Christ.

What are the goals for this study?

The Question

God has put in us a self-reflective response (we talk to ourselves) that when it finds us wanting causes us tremendous emotional pain. This is not a bad thing.
This is what God uses to help us understand how we are. He wants us to experience failure and rejection in order to drive us to him. God allows these struggles in our lives to push us to him.

The Question

To have an ongoing defense against new false beliefsThere are three things to this defense.1. As situations occur and false beliefs are triggered, we need to recognize when our emotions are alerting us that something is wrong, that we are basing our thinking on the Satanic equation.When situations happen and emotions kick in, we need to understand the thoughts behind the emotions , because unless they are chemically induced, they can be rejected. If we don't think certain thoughts, the emotions behind them go away. The emotions only stay if we think the thoughts that produce them. An example of forgetting why we are mad.2. Immediately we reject the satanic thoughts, and the satanic beliefs.Once we recognize the thoughts, we can recognize the beliefs behind them, and then reject these things and replace them with the truth.3. We must accurately label the emotion we are experiencing, trace it back to the thoughts that triggered it and keep the emotion alive.This will help us identify the lie that we are believing, reject it, and remember the truth that we base our lives upon.Unfortunately, many Christians hide from their emotions, interpret them wrongly, and think they are sinful to be having them. This causes us lots of trouble.To seek out and destroy the false beliefs so we don't have to struggle with themIt is possible for us to get feedback from the mechanisms in our mind that produce these thoughts so we can destroy them. These mechanisms are called stronghold and God has a specific way for us to do this.
Do you know God as your Father? Have you experienced his regeneration? Have you been given a new heart?
Can you say this?
Because of Christ's redemption I am a new creation of great worth.
I am a new creation of great worth.

Our Weapons

I am deeply loved, completely forgiven, fully pleasing, totally accepted by God, and absolutely complete in Christ.⁠ There has never been another person like me in the history of humankind, nor will there ever be.
completely forgiven,
fully pleasing,
totally accepted by God,
and absolutely complete in Christ.⁠
There has never been another person like me
in the history of humankind,
nor will there ever be.
God has made me an original, one of a kind, really somebody.
one of a kind, really somebody.
If you aren’t sure, it should become incredibly clear throughout the week.
We are caught in the middle of a war between God and Satan. God has given us the task of dealing with Satan and his demons. The only thing worse then being at war is being at war and not knowing you are in a war. We have an enemy. We need to know he is there.
If you don’t believe this or agree with this, or if you aren’t sure, I pray that this will become clear to you throughout the week.

Not fleshly or carnal, not psychological (v. 4a)

This is not a weapon that is psychological. The flesh cannot fix the flesh. A supernatural act is needed to go against such a terrible enemy.Effective and powerful weapons (v. 4b)Which is most effective? God's weapons or man's? Would you choose a weapon made by the brightest, most skillful man, or a weapon made by God?Many Christians think they have picked up a weapon that God created, but it has no effect, and they think it is operator error. But, more than likely it was a man-made weapon.

Destroy strongholds (v. 4b)

Since something must be destroyed, or torn down, it means that it was incorrectly built. Something was raised up that God did not teach us.Destroy arguments (v. 5a)These are arguments, reflections of our mind. All our life we were taught these false beliefs. They hold a pretty high position in our life. Even though we have accepted Christ, and we are told who we are, we believe these satanic arguments.

Destroy high things (v. 5b)

These are things that are placed higher than what God has said they should be. We have to pull down those things which we have held to be ultimate truths. We need to only hold ultimate those things which God has revealed to us. These high things have been dominating our life.

Destroy what is raised up (v. 5b)

These arguments that are in the high places suppress God's knowledge in our mind. These beliefs suppress what God has actually taught us and keep us from experiencing all that God has for us.

Win thoughts for Christ (v. 5c)

Our goal is to have our thoughts reflect God's thoughts in every area of our life, including his thoughts about who we are.

Ask God

To reveal himself to youTo reveal yourself (in Christ) to you You must understand that your very identity, that which creates emotional problems for you, your struggles, bad decisions, misery, comes out of your identity.If you don't understand that identity is part of the spiritual conflict between God and Satan, then you won't understand what we are having to deal with.

Why is it so hard to see we are loved and valued?

Natural answer: we talk to ourselves the most with the wrong formula

We talk to ourselves the most. What do we say? We use the satanic formula, and we use it over and over. It has been used so much by us that we have a false identity that controls our life.

Supernatural answer: original sin, the fall of man

The origin of man in the garden explains the "high reasoning". We were created to reflect the character of God and to rule. We were not created to be little gods. But we chose to follow our own desires and try to be God.

What happened in ?

The pattern originated here.1. Satan wanted to get a conversation going.If he could converse with Eve, then he could ask questions to get her to think false things about God, finding fault with him.2. Satan called God a liar.3. Eve allowed the lie to stand.Eve didn't respond to this, instead of confronting the lie, she allowed it to stand. This was when Satan had already won.4. Adam wanted to follow even into lostness.5. Adam followed Satan into rebellion.Through this he lost his dominion, following Satan's suggestion.

The result

Man's mind was blinded with empty reasonings.Man's mind was hostile to God and was spiritually dead.Mankind can no longer commune with GodMankind cannot receive the things of God

God's design for humanity

spirit: communion, and communication with Godsoul: seat of the intellect and emotionsbody: related to the physical world around them

God's design of how things should work

spirit: to control the soulsoul: to control the bodybody: to relate to the physical world

After the fall

spirit: became dead to GodThe spirit, though still in existence because it is eternal, was dead to God. People still can communicate with spirit beings. If a person never accepts Christ, their spirit goes to the place created for Satan and his angels, the pace of torment. Here they will be reunited with their body and be tormented as the fallen angels will be.soul: wrestle with the body to control the personbody: physical appetites put demands on the personThere is a battle between the soul, emotions and intellect, and the body. God cannot come into union with a fallen man. In his fallen condition, our natural state, where we created these false beliefs.As long as man continues to use the false identity, he is not a threat to Satan. God has a counter to this.

God's counter

God has placed within us a self-reflective response (talk to ourselves) that when it finds us wanting causes us tremendous emotional pain.God wants us to understand who we are. He wants us to experience failure and rejection in order to drive us to him. God allows struggles in our lives to push us to him.

My Identity in Christ

Because of Christ's redemption I am a new creation of great worth. I am deeply loved, completely forgiven, fully pleasing, totally accepted by God, and absolutely complete in Christ.⁠ There has never been another person like me in the history of humankind, nor will there ever be. God has made me an original, one of a kind, really somebody.
RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →