WHO AM I?
Remember that during the last time I taught, the lesson was called What Is Your Name?, and we talked about how we describe ourselves. We have what we think we are like, what others think we are like, what God thinks we are like, etc. There are different versions of us depending on who you talk to.
However, today, we are going to talk about WHO you are, and it has nothing to do with what you do, or what others think. It is the absolute truth about you, completely unchangeable, regardless of what anyone, including you, thinks about you.
So if WHO I AM has nothing to do with what I have gotten for myself, or what I do, then who am I without DOING anything? If I was laid in a bed paralyzed, and couldn’t DO anything, what would I still be because I am a born-again, spirit-indwelt, believing Christian?
For example, when a child is born, who is that child? He hasn’t done anything yet, so how would you describe him?
WE CAN BE DESCRIBED BY OUR FAMILY GENETICS:
Everyone is a son or daughter of someone else by birth, and some of us are sons or daughters by adoption or through step-families.
We share our natural parents’ DNA, the fabric of their physical being. We share a blood type. Physical conditions can be passed down. You can be pre-disposed to certain illnesses through genetics, from heart problems, to diabetes, to alcoholism.
– My ex-husband, as well as his brother, both had a condition where the cartiledge didn’t completely close in their ears. Their ears were smaller and somewhat misformed. When my first child, Joshua was born, since it had been by cesection under full anesthesia, neither his father nor I had seen him or knew what he looked like. He had said to me as we waited for them to bring him to us, “How can we know if he is ours?” Well, they brought him in to us, and the first thing my ex did was to look at his ears. There was a small area on the top of Josh’s ears where the cartiledge did not close all the way. My ex was very upset, but the condition appeared to become smaller and smaller with each generation, and Josh’s ended up only looking like a dimple in his ear. The bottom line was that the father knew who his son was by the passing down of a visible genetic trait. Some traits might be mental or emotional or personality-based.
WE CAN BE DESCRIBED BY OUR FAMILY LIKENESS IN APPEARANCE:
My grandson looks more like a clone of my son-in-law than like his son. He is the spitting image of Thomas in every way. You wouldn’t even have known that my daughter was involved. But there is absolutely no denying that Brayden is Thomas’ child. They were almost identical from birth. Those are some strong genes!
That makes up for my children, who pretty much looked like me, and not their father.
Once, someone say my mother and I and said, “Oh, I see where you get your red hair.” I said, “No, we use different bottles.”
WE CAN BE DESCRIBED BY WHERE WE LIVE AND WHAT OUR FAMILY OWNS OR DOES, OR BY ITS STATUS:
WHERE WE LIVE:
That child’s family lives on the hill in a mansion. That child’s family lives in a single-wide in a trailer park. That child’s family lives in a small single family residence. That child’s family lives in an apartment.
WHO OUR PARENTS ARE:
That child is John’s son = Johnson.
WHAT OUR OCCUPATION IS:
That child will be a Carpenter just like his father. John the Carpenter becomes John Carpenter
Levites were priests by lineage, as were Kings and royalty. If you were born into a Levite family, you were destined to be a Priest of some sort. If you were born into the High Priest’s family, you were destined to be a High Priest.
WHAT BUSINESS OR THINGS WE OWN:
If a family has a baby, and someone asks about the baby, they may say that the baby belongs to the family that owns Dixie Speedway.
I AM A SON OR DAUGHTER OF THE GOD AND KING OF THE UNIVERSE
God created everyone, but not everyone is a “child of God”. As opposed to a natural family, where the actions of 2 other people determine your existence and inclusion in a family, this family is voluntary. You can be adopted into God’s family at any time, and all you have to do is accept the invitation by placing your faith in Jesus Christ as the risen Son of God who paid for your sins.
1 John 3:1-3 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.
I am a son of God through faith. (Gal 3:26)
I am God’s child for I am born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, which lives and abides forever (1 Peter 1:23).
I am born of God, and the evil one does not touch me (1 John 5:18).
I am a member of God’s household (Eph 2:19)
I am a member of the body of Christ. (1 Cor 12:27)
I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works (Ephesians 2:10).
I am greatly loved by God (John 3:16, Romans 1:7; Ephesians 2:4; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4).
I am Jesus’ brother. (Rom 8:29)
WE CAN BE DESCRIBED BY OUR FAMILY GENETICS:
However, unlike our natural birth, when we accept the invitation to be adopted into God’s family, we are changed – there is a caterpillar into a butterfly metamophosis. We actually become something different than we were before. Our spirit, which was previously dead, comes alive, and we now have the spiritual DNA of our Father.
I am a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
–The “creation” that ocurs at the new birth is the same type of “creation” that took place in the first chapter of Genesis. The word translated created in Genesis 1:1 gives the impression that before God brought heaven and earth into existence, there was nothing like it anywhere else. The same is true with the “new creation in Christ Jesus.” You are a “new species of being that never existed before.”
— You need to realize that you are not a spiritual schizophrenic – half-God and half-Satan – you are all-God. The problem area is not in your spirit; it lies in your mind and body. It is every believer’s responsibility to take God’s Word and renew his mind; then he can use that Word to control his body. (Kenneth Copeland)
I am a partaker of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4).
It is not I who live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20).
I am joined with the Lord and am one Spirit with him. (1 Cor 6:17)
I am a branch that abides in Jesus the vine, bearing fruit from His Spirit. (John 15:5)
I am a spirit being alive to God (Romans 6:11;1 Thessalonians 5:23).
– Before, my spirit, the part that can communicate with God, was dead. But now my spirit is alive and I am a part of Him because my Spirit is joined to His Holy Spirit.
I am the temple of the Holy Spirit; I am not my own (1 Corinthians 6:19).
I am anointed. (2 Cor 1:21) – which means, I have the Holy Spirit.
– 21Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, 22who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.
I am righteous. (2 Corinthians 5:21, Eph 4:20-24). This is actually a part of your DNA.
–Some people confuse righteousness with holiness, but righteousness has nothing to do with the way you act. Holiness is your conduct; righteousness is what you are – the nature of God. You didn’t come into right-standing with God by being good or acting right. It was faith in Jesus Christ and His redemptive work at Calvary that brought you into right-standing with God.
I am holy and blameless and above reproach before Him (Col 1:22)
I am a child of the light and day, not of the night or darkness. (1 Thes 5:5)
WE CAN BE DESCRIBED BY OUR FAMILY LIKENESS IN APPEARANCE:
Let’s look at Colossians 3:9-11.
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices
And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
We have a “new self” which is continually being changed into the image of Jesus Christ, our Creator. And this scripture tells us that it doesn’t matter where we come from, what race or nationality we are, or what we have done. Once Christ is in us, He changes everything. Slowly but surely, we become everything that Jesus is.
Our identity lies in the fact that we are no longer that old person.
WE ARE BRAND NEW; WE ARE IN CHRIST, AND
WHO CHRIST IS DETERMINES WHO WE ARE.
I am like Jesus. (1 John 4:17)
I am the aroma of Christ to God in the midst of those being saved and those who are perishing. (2 Cor 2:15)
I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). Jesus said He was the light and then said we are the light. As He revealed the truth by his actions and words, so do we.
I am the salt of the earth. (Matt 5:13) Salt was used with offerings to God. Levicitus 2:13 reads: “And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.”
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
All of these descriptions fit Jesus. When we are of the same DNA of Jesus, and we are listening to God’s Holy Spirit guiding our decisions, we will also be described in this same way.
WE CAN BE DESCRIBED BY WHERE WE LIVE AND WHAT OUR FAMILY OWNS OR DOES OR ITS STATUS:
WHERE WE LIVE:
I am raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12).
I am a stranger and temporary resident of this world. (1 Peter 2:11)
I am a citizen of heaven. (Philippians 3:20)
WHAT OUR OCCUPATION IS:
This is our family business that we were born into.
I am an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).
I am a minister of reconciliation. (2 Cor 5:17-20)
I am a living stone built up as a spiritual house, a holy priest who has the responsibility and privilege to offer acceptable sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)
I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people (1 Peter 2:9).
I am a king and a priest. (Rev 1:5,6)
– In the Bible, no man could be both a king and a priest. You could be one or the other, both by lineage, meaning you had to be born into a family of kings or priests. But we take after Jesus, who is both a King who has authority over all, and a Priest, who can minister to God. We are Kings and Priests who have spiritual authority over this world, and the responsibility to minister to God.
–Your position in the Body of Christ can be compared to your position as a citizen of the United States. (Paul was taken into custody and mistreated by the authorities in Acts and when he told them he was a Roman citizen with the rights and privileges of a Roman citizen, they were scared.) As an American citizen, you have certain rights that are outlined in the Constitution. These rights are called “The Bill of Rights.”
Had our forefathers been using Old English terminology, they would have called it, “The Bill of Righteousness.” As long as you obey the laws of the land, you are a citizen in right-standing with the United States government.
These same principles apply to you as a child of God. Being a believer (being in Christ Jesus) makes you a citizen in the kingdom of God and entitles you to everything in that kingdom. The Bible is your spiritual “bill of righteousness,” outlining all the rights and privileges available to you; whether or not you partake of your rights is another matter. Ignorance will rob you of the abundant life that is freely available to you.
The best illustration of this is the story of the man who saved for years to be able to buy a boat ticket to America. Once he had saved enough, he bought his ticket and boarded the ship. Since he didn’t have any money left for food, he brought along some crackers and cheese. Every evening at mealtime, he would look into the dining room at the other passengers enjoying their food; then he would return to his cabin and eat his crackers and cheese. The day the ship docked in New York harbor, a steward came to him and said, “Sir, have we offended you in any way? I noticed that you didn’t eat any of your meals in our dining room.” The man answered, “Oh, no! You see, I didn’t have enough money for meals so I ate in my room.” Then the steward said, “But sir, your meals were included in the ticket!”
As Christians, we have an abundance of privileges available to us. They were bought and paid for by Jesus at Calvary. But if we don’t know it, how can we take advantage of them?
I am called of God to be the voice of His praise (Psalm 66:8; 2 Timothy 1:9).
WHAT MY FAMILY RECEIVES:
I am a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17).
I am forgiven of all my sins and washed in the Blood (Ephesians 1:7).
I am justified. (Rom 5:1)
I am delivered from the power of darkness and translated into God’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13).
I am redeemed from the curse of sin, sickness, and poverty (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Galatians 3:13).
I am more than a conqueror through Him Who loves me (Romans 8:37).
I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony (Revelation 12:11).
I am strengthened with all might according to His glorious power (Colossians 1:11).
Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, there was a homeless young woman who lived on the streets. She had no parents, no clothes except those upon her back, no belongings to speak of. She ate whatever she could find, even someone else’s left-overs in a garbage can.
One day, the prince of the city came through the streets with his royal carriage and saw the young woman rummaging through the garbage bins. His heart was filled with compassion, and he had his servants invite the young woman to enter the carriage to come to the royal palace. The woman was confused; why would the Prince want her to come to the palace?
But she accepted the invitation, though she remained somewhat in a daze. When she came to the palace, she was shown to a huge bedroom with a large canopied bed, closets full of women’s clothing, and which was adjacent to a large bathroom, with a huge jaccuzzi tub. She was instructed to remove her clothing, take a long bath, and put on any of the clothing she found in the closet.
She was suspicious, and very uncomfortable, to say the least, but her curiosity, mixed with her fatigue and her hunger drove her to try it. She enjoyed the luxurious bath and the delicious feeling of being clean; she felt almost decadent when she put on the long flowing gown that she had picked out of all of the splendid garments. She went down the long staircase and was escorted into the main banqueting hall, where she sat down to a huge feast with every food imaginable. The Prince had requested that a special feast be held in honor of the young woman, who probably had not sampled such fare before.
The evening was wonderful. She enjoyed the food, the drink, the fine clothing and the wonderfully important way she was treated by the Prince and the servants. It was like living in a dream. And she expected the dream to soon come to an end.
But the Prince requested that the young woman become his Ward, his permanent guest, whose welfare would now be his concern. All of her needs would be taken care of by the Prince. She was welcome to stay with the Prince as a Princess of the kingdom for as long as she desired.
Amazed at such a prospect, she followed the servant back to the huge bedroom, where she was given a silken dressing gown for sleeping. The bed was soft, the sheets cool, the covers warm. It was perfect.
Yet in the morning, she found herself hungry again. And out of habit, she reached for her old rags instead of the fine clothing hanging in her closet. She went downstairs, through the huge banqueting room and kitchen, and went outside, behind the palace to the garbage dump, where she began rummaging for scraps from last night’s feast, as she had learned to do throughout her life in order to keep from starving.
One of the servants noticed a beggar eating out of the trash cans and informed the Prince. His Highness looked out the window and recognized the beggar as his new Ward. He rushed down the stairway and out behind the house and turned the young woman toward himself.
“Why are you wearing these rags? You have new royal clothing in your new bedroom. And why are you eating out of the dumpster? There is an abundance of food in the royal refrigerator, all at your disposal. You are dressed like a pauper, and acting like one who has no food or clothing, when in actuality, you are now a princess, with all the goods, rights and privileges of royalty. Don’t you know who you are?”
“I am an orphaned pauper,” said the young woman, “living in your palace. I don’t deserve to be in such a fancy place; I am nothing, and I have nothing. I have never done anything to even merit my visiting here, much less my living here.”
“That’s not the point,” said the Prince. “I invited you here, and adopted you as one of the royal family solely out of my compassion for you. You didn’t earn it; I freely gave it to you. And you no longer are an orphaned pauper; you are a royal Ward, with all of the benefits and privileges that come with being my Ward.
“Whether or not you wear the fine clothing or eat the sumptuous food is up to you, but it is yours nonetheless. However until you accept the fact that you are no longer a pauper, and embrace the truth that you are now a Princess, you will never be able to enjoy all that now belongs to you.”
The young woman stood there baffled. How could this be? Who was she? A pauper or a Princess? She didn’t know who she was anymore. She had been a pauper so long, she continually felt like a pauper. But the Prince has decreed that she is a Princess, and whatever the Prince decrees is the truth.
“Dear Prince, I have been a Pauper so long, I do not know how to be a Princess. I don’t feel like a Princess inside. And yet I know that what you decree becomes law. So I need you to help me remember who I now am, so that I will act like a Princess instead of a Pauper. I do so want to be a Princess.”
The Prince called one of the royal servants, a handmaiden named Paraklete. “You”, the Prince said, “are to remain at the side of the Princess at all times, reminding her that she is now a royal Princess. You are to remind her of the benefits and privileges that come with her rank, and remind her of the behavior befitting someone in her position. You are not to force her to do anything, but to always speak the truth in love to her.”
And the newly found Princess slowly learned to eat from the royal refrigerator rather than the royal dump, and reach for her new fine clothing rather than her rags. And she made good use of the royal bathroom and routinely tried to keep herself clean from the filth she used to walk and wallow in.
But this slow transformation of her outward actions only followed on the heels of the renewal of her mindset. With Paraklete by her side, reminding her that she was not a pauper, but a royal Princess, she slowly learned what her new identity truly was, and learned to act according to who she now was.
1. What was the woman before she met the Prince? What did she have? A pauper. Nothing.
2. Did she deserve to be invited to the palace? Had she done anything to merit the favor of the Prince? No.
3. Once the Prince decreed that she was a Ward of the royal family, and a now a Princess, was the woman still a pauper? What was she? No. She was a princess.
4. Did she feel like a Princess? Did that make her any less a Princess? No. No.
5. What made her a Princess? The Prince’s decree; he said she was a Princess. And whatever the Prince says is law in the kingdom.
6. What did she act like the morning after her first night in the palace? Why? A pauper. Because her mindset and habits were still those of a pauper. She continued to think of herself as a pauper.
7. Did her actions change the fact that she was a Princess? Why? No. Because she didn’t become a Princess by her actions, but by entering into a dependent relationship with the Prince, so her actions couldn’t cause her to lose her royal standing.
8. Who did the Prince give to her as a “helper”? What was the helper to do? A handmaiden named Paraklete. She was to remind her that she was now a royal Princess, and reminded her that she should act like a royal Princess.
9. And what were the resulting changes in the young woman’s life? She started reminding herself of the truth, that she was a Princess, and therefore started acting like a Princess.
10. What were you before you met Jesus: a sinner or a saint? What did you have to offer him? A sinner. Nothing.
11. Did you deserve to be invited into the kingdom? Did you do anything to merit the favor of the Son of God? No. No.
12. Once you received Jesus by repenting of your sins, placing your faith in Him, and surrendering your life to Him, Jesus decreed that you were a royal son of God. Even more so, God the Father now said you are “righteous” in His sight, a saint of God. So what are you now: a sinner, or a saint (sanctified in Christ)? Why? A saint. Because God has decreed it.
13. Do you always feel like a saint? Does that make you any less a saint? No. No.
14. What made you a saint? God the Father’s decree. He said you are a saint, and whatever the Father says is law in His Kingdom.
15. Do you sometimes act like the sinner you used to be, instead of the saint God says you now are? Why? Yes, I sometimes sin. Because, over the period of a lifetime, I have developed habits and mindsets that are used to doing things my way, independently of God. Breaking habits, and replacing lies I have always believed to be true, doesn’t happen overnight.
16. Do your actions change the fact that you are a saint? Why? No. Because I didn’t become a saint because of my actions, but because I entered into a dependent relationship with God, so my actions can’t cause me to lose my standing as a saint.
17. Who has the Lord given to you as a “helper”? What is the helper to do? The Paraklete, or the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. He is to remind me of who I am now, and remind me of how I am to act. He lets me know when I am acting like a saint, and when I am not.
18. What do you think the result would be if you told yourself daily that you are no longer a “sinner saved by grace”, but a “saint that occasionally sins”? I would start acting like a saint that occasionally sins instead of a sinner saved by grace.