Saturday, October 17, 2015

Identity in Christ? (Prisoner of Christ)

This was included in the list of identities. (As I said in the beginning, I did not compile the list, I received it. I would have made sure it was in alphabetic, not quasi-alphabetic.) There are renderings into English of the original language as "the prisoner of the Lord." Other versions put it "prisoner for the Lord." Based on my limited knowledge of the original language, I would say the latter rendering is more accurate.

Which means being a prisoner is not an identity of being in Christ. It is a result of that identity.

Who a person is, dictates what a person does. We are what we are deep in the core of our being. This is true of any person, no matter who. So, the writer was in prison -- literally, in prison -- because he lived from his heart, obeyed God's vision for him, and offended a whole lot of people. (Although, it was probably not his individual behavior that offended. Rather, it was his ontinual confounding of the "experts." The experts were offended, because he kept showing them they were not so expert.)

Although, we always live from our hearts, we don't always live in agreement with our hearts. We have been born into the world, which is corrupted by sin, and chose to give God our allegiance. God has given us a spiritual DNA injection, and our spiritual transformation/restoration to our original design is assured. But we are in the "process" of transformation and restoration.

Moreover, in this life, we have made agreements, and given ourselves promises. This means, because of circumstances we have gone through, we have reached certain conclusions about ourselves, the world and God. This conclusions form a filter and frame of reference through which we live. And too often, the conclusions compel us to live wrongly.

The process of spiritual transformation is assured. We can cooperate with the process by changing perceptions and perspectives ... coming to new conclusions and agreements, and therefore, changing the filters.

So, the process of exploring our identity in Christ is a way of making these changes. We see God more truly. We begin to see ourselves as God sees us. Agreements and conclusions are proven false. And we begin to live in congruence with how God designed us.

The world still lives in agreement with the lies of the enemy. So, if we are living in agreement with our identity in Christ, we will cug across agreements of the world. And the world will react. And we will get caught in the reaction. We will suffer pain as a result.

And it is not pain because of thinking wrongly, acting wrongly or speaking wrongly. It is the opposite. (Doesn't mean there won't be pain because we act like jerks. Which Christians sometimes do.)

The world and this life will be a source of pain, no matter if you choose to live in agreement with the enemy,  or live in agreement with the Creator.

In this series, we are contending that God views us in a particular way(s), and that if we embrace it (them), we will move closer to living how God designed us, and we will move the world closer to how God designed it. And we will experience good, bad, reactions for God, and reactions against God. We will fail. We sill triumph. But we should never measure our ultimate value, progress or standing with God based on any of that. We should believe we are, what God says we are.

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