?DEFINED: WHO GOD SAYS YOU ARE?
Romans 8 Sermon Series on IDENTITY | August 4 ? September 8, 2019
Preached by Dr. Michael Lewis @?Roswell Street Baptist Church
?Who are you?? is a question that we all seek to answer. Some would answer this question based on their current status of being a student or graduate or certification or followers on social media; others may answer this based on career or pursuit of being a contractor, doctor, IT specialist, pastor. But far beyond what you do in life is who you really are in your identity. Mark Twain once said, ?The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.? Identity is your search to find out why you were born. The basic questions of ? ?Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?? can be answered as your heart is open to receive answers from God. DEFINED is a sermon series based on Romans chapter 8. The question this series poses is ? ?WHAT DO YOU ALLOW TO DEFINE YOU??
One of the most important discoveries is found in WHO GOD SAYS YOU ARE. God is very clear in His Word of Who He says you are ?in Christ.? This series will use clips from the new Kendrick Brothers’ movie OVERCOMER to illustrate key points of how our IDENTITY is defined. The movie?s message is about high school basketball coach John Harrison and his team as they face an uncertain future when their town’s largest manufacturing plant shuts down unexpectedly. As hundreds of people move away, John reluctantly agrees to coach cross-country, a sport he doesn’t even like. His outlook soon changes when he meets Hannah Scott, an unlikely runner who pushes herself to the limit. Inspired by the words and prayers of a new friend, John starts to train Hannah for the biggest race of her young life.
Sunday, August 4, 2019 @ 10:30am – “What Do You Allow To Define You??
– Overview of Romans 8
– Identify things we allow to define us ? performance, approval of others, blame, shame
– Define yourself by who God says you are ?in Christ Jesus? ? chosen ? not forsaken; forgiven ? no longer condemned; loved ? not ignored; accepted ? not rejected ; God is for you ? not against you
– Possibly end the sermon by singing ? ?I am a Child of God, Yes I am? as response to the Word.
Who you ARE is more important than what you DO? All of your DOING is to flow out of your BEING .
Sunday, August 11, 2019 @ 10:30am – “Defined by Who God Says You Are – JUSTIFIED, REDEEMED, & EMPOWERED“
– Defined by being Justified ? You are No Longer Condemned
– Defined by Redemption ? You are No Longer in Bondage
– Defined by Empowered by the Spirit ? You are No Longer weak
As you have ?freely received? of God?s grace, this empowers you as a disciple to give approval, compassion and support.
Sunday, August 18, 2019 @ 10:30am – “Defined by Who God Says You Are ? ACCEPTED, INTIMATELY LOVED BY GOD, RESURRECTED, ADOPTED”
– Defined by Belonging ? You are not Rejected Vs. 8 ? 10
– Defined by Spiritual Resurrection ? You are no longer Dead! Vs. 11 ? 13
– Defined by Adoption as God?s Child ? You are no longer a Slave Vs. 14 – 17
As you have ?freely received? of God?s great love, you can now ?freely give? acceptance, love in challenging relationships, new life, and approval.
Who might the Spirit be prompting you to ?freely give? His love to?
Sunday, August 25, 2019 “Defined by Who God Says You Are – HOPE-FILLED, SUPPORTED, KNOWN”
– Defined by Hope in troubles ? You are no longer hopeless Vs. 18 -25, 28
? Our response is Embracing Hope – Implicit, unwavering trust that His Word will never fail
– Defined by Support ? You are no longer alone Vs. 26-27
? Our response is Prayer with the Spirit ? Disciplined, bold and believing prayer.
– Defined by being Known by God ? You are no longer isolated. Vs. 27
– Our response is to cultivate gratitude ? practicing thanksgiving in all things.
As you ?freely receive? God?s rich love in these ways, you can freely give hope to someone who is hopeless, support (Gal 6:2) and deeper relationship (knowing, being known, caring involvement).
Sunday, September 1, 2019 – “Defined by Who God Says You Are – LOVED, CHOSEN, DEFENDED, BELOVED?
– Defined by as ONE LOVED BY GOD ? God says He has a plan.
– Defined as CHOSEN ? God says I am special.
– Defined as DEFENDED ? God is for me, not against me!
– Defined as ONE JESUS PRAYS FOR ? God invites me to pray with Him!
As you ?freely receive? of His great love, you can freely give His love in relationships that demonstrate appreciation, acceptance, security, support ?
Who might the Spirit be prompting you to express in a deeper way Jesus? love?
Sunday, September 8, 2019 – “Defined by Who God Says You Are – UNCONDITIONALLY LOVED?
Celebration of the Lord?s Supper in A.M. Worship?
– Defined not by Life?s Adversities Vs. 35 ? 36
– Defined as Overcomer ? not as one who is overcome Vs. 37 ? Victor, not Victim
– Defined by Eternal Love, not temporary hate Vs. 38 ? 39
As you have freely received Jesus? unconditional love, who may the Spirit be leading you to freely give His unconditional Love?
Our true identity is that we are ones who have been loved by Jesus?and will continue to be!
Have you embraced your identity as one who is anticipating encountering His love? If not, why not? Through these encounters, our relationship with Him deepens and a relational history develops. As in any relationship, touching memories and emotional images are etched on our hearts, ever ready to be recalled and embraced. The logos of the Word is becoming Rhema (Romans 10:17).
ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS ?
Our world shares with us a lie that who you are is determined by your performance, thereby keeping many in the bondage of what we might call ?who-do-ism?? the belief that who I am is equal to what I do. In our society, when I meet someone I say, ?Hi, my name is… What?s yours??
And what is the next question I ask? Isn?t it ?What do you do?? Then, having heard what the person does, my self-focused flesh begins to assess the question, ?How does what I do compare to what you do??
Our loving relationships with one another affirm our identity as God?s beloved. He then sends us forth as ambassadors of this good news to those who do not know Christ. God?s declaration of our identity and unconditional worth is communicated as we bless people with His care and love, even though they have not done anything to deserve or merit it.
THE CHALLENGE OF EMBRACING OUR TRUE IDENTITY
Our journey toward genuine discipleship begins with the simple realization that we are the recipients of divine love, the beloved! That is our identity. But embracing this identity is far from experiencing the reality of God?s love for them. They may attend countless seminars, work through several discipleship curricula, and read God could really love us in the face of such shortcomings. If we buy dozens of books on the spiritual life, yet they remain painfully unaware of this lie, we will never have great boldness and passion for what we have been called to do
Satan often attempts to deceive us into believing that our identity is solely based on what we do, thus causing us to focus on how we have failed or where we have fallen short, and to question whether
. All the evil one has to do to hinder our effectiveness in embodying the Great Commandment and fulfilling their identity as God?s beloved. the Great Commission is to prevent us from recognizing our true identity.
HOW DO WE DEFINE OUR VALUE AND WORTH?
We live in a world that operates on the premise of ?doing things? in order to be ?OK.? We work hard to keep jobs and work even harder to get raises. Many struggle with the belief that their worth is determined by what they do and how well they do it.
They tend to equate ?what I do? with ?who I am?. Jesus-followers who are not free to see their identity as the beloved of God may have an inconsistent sense of well-being that fluctuates according to their levels of ?doing.?
Jesus-followers who are not free to embrace their identity may also often be critical of themselves or other people and may exhibit a strong drive to perform.
Finally, we may find that Jesus-followers who have not embraced their identity may be overly sensitive and defensive and may frequently personalize any feedback about their performance that is less than outstanding.
Condemnation needs to be overcome by the Gratitude and Freedom That Come Through Truth (Romans 8:1,2).
Condemnation from the evil one seeks to equate our worth with our behavior, telling us that we are terrible people or bad Christians because we do not pray enough, do not read our Bibles enough, yell at our kids, and so on. Allow the Holy Spirit to take these lies captive, and embrace the truth of who the Creator has declared you to be: You are His child, a joint heir with Christ (Romans 8:17). Your worth is determined by your Creator, and He chose to pay the ultimate price through the gift of His Son (Romans 5:8). Pause to allow gratefulness for His grace to well up inside you. Recall the Apostle Paul?s grateful words in Romans 7:24, 25: ?What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God? through Jesus Christ our Lord!?
Fear Needs to Be Cast Out by God?s Perfect Love (1 John 4:18). Begin by identifying and tracing your fears: I am sometimes afraid that ___________________________________. (For example: I am sometimes afraid that I will lose my job.) And if that happens, I am afraid that ___________________________
(For example: And if that happens, I am afraid that I will not make it financially. I will have to declare bankruptcy.) And if that happens, I am afraid that ___________________________ (For example: And if that happens, I am afraid that my spouse will be upset, and maybe even leave me.) Underneath each fear is a lie from the ?father of lies? (John 8:44). Embrace a specific truth from God?s word, hide it in your heart, and meditate on it often. A specific truth that can help cast out my fears is __________________ (Read and reflect on Numbers 14:17, 18; 1 Samuel 15:29; Luke 15:28; Romans 8:37?39; 2 Peter 3:8, 9.)