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Identity: For You

Furthering Thoughts for April 29th 2019

We were in the Burbs [my nickname for Burbank, is this a thing?] the other day to renew Eliott’s passport. With the unpredictability of our parents health, we thought it was wise for all of our passports to be ready if we needed to fly over the water to South Korea. But anyway, as we were putting down all his information, there was so many identity related questions. Social security, d.o.b, residential address, parents names, parents ID’s, reasons for flying, hair color, eye color, weight, height, proof of birth certificate. And of course, this is important to have proper identification for any traveler.

In the Philippians reading, we find two identities. “Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things” [Php3:19]. Yes, “with minds set on earthly things”, this becomes who we are. How far will this identity take us? The devil says, “you will be like gods…you surely will not die”[Gen3]. The great lie, indeed.

It’s a constant spiritual battle [Eph6:12, 1Pt5:8] for “we are constantly under attack from the devil to be our own citizen and live our own way”. The idols are very real and also very deceptive as they tempt all of us to live according to the fallen flesh. The appeal is there for the sinful and covetous heart. Yet, at the same time, we fall into the identity crisis [see Adam and Eve in Genesis 3]. “rather than Jesus’ way. Our way appeals to what feels natural to us; we do what we want to do even though it is counter to God’s way”.

Lost we become in the endless sea of idols. How far will this identity take us? Not far, no where at all. Yet our flesh would be tempted to say otherwise. Thus, we repent.

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” [Php3:20]. Or as it reads in John 1:12 “but to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” This is who you are! By the grace of God, we have been given [grace grace grace…God to man] the citizenship of heaven through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus. And though we fall short, our faith is not about what we have done, but our faith is centered on the work of Christ and what He has done for us.

So when someone asks, “Is your citizenship in heaven?

Your answer is a resounding “Yes!”

Jesus has died for me. Jesus has rose for me. Jesus writes my name in the book of life by His body and blood shed on the Cross. Jesus forgives me of my sin as He willing went to the Cross to be the sacrifice for me”.

Note: The subject to every verb is Jesus. Your citizenship rests on what has been done for you. The Cross… done for you. The Resurrection…. done for you. Baptism… done for you. Lord’s Supper… done for you. Life forgiveness and salvation… done for you. Your identity and faith rests on what has been done for you.

This is who you are.

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Amen.