THE CHURCH OF CHRIST THE KING

Christ in you - His Kingdom in the world

IDENTITY 3

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In the matter of identity we can have a pure, undivided and robust identity in Jesus. We can have a diffuse and confused identity when there are multiply hubs in our life. Then again we can an idolatrous identity when we attach ourselves to substitutes for Jesus.

Father always meant us to be His daughters and sons. We initially rejoiced as Adam and Eve in union with God and as the living expression of His Fatherhood. Yet we were deceived into compromising our identity; seduced into make an addition to our identity where none was required.

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As a result we diffused ourselves into many identities and depleted ourselves. This fissure that occurred as the fall did not end this - just diluted it for a while. During the age of Adam, we were not cut-off from God. But we did become the playthings of our own idols - the entities we erected and placed before our gaze to help us construct alternative identities. But revealed Himself and us in His Son.

In the fullness of time God sent His Son and our life in union with God began anew with the resurrection of Jesus and the indwelling of God in human beings that we call the incantation.

Here in this new status, this inter-woveness of being conceived before the world began, we received what Jesus already had: We and Father became one. Became one in the same degree of intimacy that each member of the trinity has with each other. This incredible oneness and communion is ours as the sons and daughters of God. So who are you? You are a son/daughter of the Most High God.

IDENTITY FETISH

Given this, it is incredible that we should covet lesser identities and construct religious and denominational identities as if we are still naked and as though they add something to us. They do have an effect but only of the kind of a man wearing fancy dress on a work day. Adam and Eve did try to clothe their nakedness with skins as soon as it was seen that their identity was undermined. Yet they were clothed in the moment by the kindness of Father and in the fullness of time with the person of Jesus Himself. He is our identity.

Let’s be clear. Jesus is our identity and He is our exclusive identity.

The issue with Father, Jesus and ourselves is always identity. ‘Who do they say I am?’ Similarly the deep issue of your life is you and your identity. ‘Who do you say you are?’ Let’s be clear. If Jesus is not our exclusive identity, our identity is blurred and compromised and our glory as a son is crippled in spirit and soul. Our sonship is much dented and buckled, our soul is mouldy and our eyes can scarcely see.

EXCLUSIVE IDENTITY

Paul talks of our being ‘hidden in Christ’ with the implication that by being hidden in Him we are known as ourselves and revealed as sons and daughters. Again Paul declares our identity in Christ with the uncompromising words, ‘When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory’ Col 3.4 NIV. We are talking the issue of life and the source of your being. Here at the root of your nature there are no dual identities. You are either a son in Father or you are not.

On the issue of who and what we are - identity - Stephen Crosby writes, “In John 17:22 the Lord makes a remarkable statement associated with the believer's union with Him. He said that He had given (Gr.: perfect indicative active) His disciples His glory: not will give, not might give, but given. Christ shares His glory with the believer … Christ has the same prerogative with the believer and has made a predetermination to share His glory. It (the indwelling Spirit) is the earthly reflection of Christ's exaltation in heaven; the participation He gives to friends of the glory He now has with the Father.  The glorifying of Jesus and the streaming forth of His Spirit are intimately connected; in vital organic union the two are inseparably linked.

The nature of the glory the believer shares is not the essence of raw deity, but rather it is the glory we share in privilege of the inhabitation and the indwelling of the Father, in the spirit of sonship. It is the glory of identical oneness that Christ had with the Father. It is the visible glory seen on Christ in John chapter one: the glory of inhabitation, union, a Father-Son relationship full of grace and truth. All that He had, the glory of it, is given to the church: not earned, not merited, given.”

Crosby, Stephen. The New Testament Prophet: Understanding the Mind, Temperament, and Calling (Kindle Locations 1297-1310). . Kindle Edition.